Internet access has become a significant investment for many American households. The average cost of high-speed Internet among top U.S. cities is now $42.70 a month - and that’s for connections that average only 5.8 Mbps.
A growing number of U.S. households are opting for packages available from Verizon, Comcast and others that cost $100 and more per month for blazing speeds of up to 300 Mbps, optionally bundled with phone and TV service.
What matters, however, is not the cost of a broadband connection, but the huge savings that accrue from its daily use.
According to the latest figures from the Internet Innovation Alliance households with an average before-tax income of $63,685 enjoy huge savings when doing things online - $8,870 annually. This extraordinary savings makes the monthly cost of a broadband Internet connection a trivial concern.
How is this possible?
There are at least 10 ways today’s smart households are using the Internet to improve their financial position…
- Comparing, negotiating and bidding for better deals on everything from necessities like housing, food and clothing, to basics like entertainment, dining and travel.
- Choosing from a wider inventory at websites that offer products from many different manufacturers and suppliers.
- Taking advantage of discounts and coupons found only on the web that can be used online as well as in retail stores.
- Saving on gas and avoiding time to visit local retail stores and regional malls.
- Paying bills online to save on postage, eliminate trips to the post office, and better monitor cash balance.
- Cancelling cable TV, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, relying more on broadband to access movies, music, news, games and other special interest content.
- Eliminating land-line telephone service and going with Internet-based services like Vonage at half the cost, and Skype for free calling even to international locations.
- Using social networks to keep informed of the best products, the biggest savings, the newest deals, and the most reliable customer service.
- Turning to online legal, accounting, estate and other professional services that offer basic, low-cost packages that meet federal regulatory requirements as well as those of your own state.
- Freelancing from home for spare income, starting a home-based small business, telecommuting for an employer, or searching for a new job.
Broadband Internet at home and next-generation wireless networks for mobile devices are now important tools for reigning in household budgets, overcoming the effects of inflation, improving your shopping IQ to get the most out of hard-earned dollars, and gaining extra income.
Some people are proud of not having a computer or smart phone, let alone high-speed Internet. These are society’s new impoverished.