1/3 of Internet Users Connect Via WiFi, Says Study

Dennis Faas's picture

In the twilight of 2006, a few tech websites proclaimed the year defined by the spread of the Internet.

One technology in particular, wireless Internet (or WiFi), has spread across the United States like wildfire. Many cities have taken on full WiFi networks, even footing the bill for expensive installation services. WiFi cafe restaurants, bars, and even shopping malls are becoming more and more common, with many retailers not even requesting a fee from users. (Source: gizmocafe.com)

So, how prominent is WiFi now?

Well, according to a recent study, one-third of all Internet users are accessing the web via wireless connection. The statistics are courtesy of the Pew Internet Project (PIP), which recently submitted its findings to the media.

In addition to the number of users online the 'net via WiFi, wireless connections have doubled in homes. 20% of Internet users now have a WiFi connection point, twice the number recorded in the last likewise study (performed in January of 2005).

The Pew Internet Project also found that 34% of all those studied had logged onto the Internet using a portable device, including laptops, PDAs, or cell phones.

Those behind the survey believe the rising popularity of WiFi has something to do with the technology's "always on" function. Although most broadband networks offer this type of convenience, only wireless access points can be easily linked to with portable devices. (Source: news.com)

PIP previously made headlines with studies seeking to prove the Internet's role as a "social glue" in American culture.

Its most recent survey of WiFi access polled 798 web users.

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