New NTIA Data Shows More Internet Users Than Ever Before

Woman connected to internet

As America continues to tackle the ambitious task to connect every corner of the country to the internet, the nation’s broadband leaders continue to be hard at work, extending their networks and upgrading speeds in communities of all sizes across the country. While the first few states have had their BEAD plans approved by NTIA, those projects are still a year or so away, as federal funds aren’t expected to be sent to projects until 2025.

However, the ongoing hard work to bring next-generation networks to far-out communities moves forward, with new data from NTIA showing positive results for broadband use, adoption, and access over the past few years.

More people used the internet in 2023 than during COVID

Despite the rapid shift to remote work and education that COVID triggered, new data from NTIA shows that in 2023 even more people were using the internet than in 2021.

  • 83% of people ages 3+ in the U.S. used the internet in any way in 2023, compared with 80% in 2021.
  • These gains came in large part from groups that historically have been more likely to find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide.
    • For example, 83% of American Indians and Alaska Natives used the internet in 2023, up from 75% in 2021.  
  • Internet adoption also increased among lower-income households (<$25,000 a year), from 69% in 2021 to 73% in 2023.
  • 72% of people lived in homes with both fixed and mobile internet connections in 2023, up from 69% in 2021.
  • Just 12% of people lived in homes without any connection in 2023, down from 14% in 2021.

Bringing the country closer to connecting every American

This new data demonstrates the progress America’s broadband leaders have made, doing their part to invest their own private capital in extending networks despite rugged or difficult geographies or economics. For the country to achieve the herculean feat of connecting every community, demonstrated success and experience are a key part of the equation to best utilize taxpayer dollars. To learn more about what it takes to build the physical infrastructure to extend broadband across deserts, swamps, and more, visit the NCTA website.