The ailing economy and wider access to streaming content both lead to additional cord cutting, but a new culprit may be to blame: Internet piracy. There is increasing concern that Wi-Fi Internet access could also have a negative impact on cable or satellite subscriptions — but additional research must be carried out before conclusions are made.
Internet piracy has been blamed for a host of different things as of late, but cord cutting is one of the newer arguments.
“Home Internet penetration barely moved from 2006 to 2009. The slow growth in the era of Facebook, Pandora and YouTube shows that people are accessing the Internet from home through different methods, even if they haven’t paid for access themselves,” said Billy Hulkower, Mintel senior analyst, in a statement.
Specifically, 72% of those surveyed have Internet access, with 56% currently with some type of DSL or cable Internet subscription. It’s the 16% left over that have access but don’t subscribe, however, that has researchers most worried.
Internet users from the higher-income demographics are most likely to leech free Wi-Fi — with 20% of those surveyed living in an household with at least $75K in annual income admitting to using the Internet at home — but not having an Internet subscription. Meanwhile, younger consumers also are more likely to leech Wi-Fi, because we’re more familiar with “how to find and connect to their neighbors’ service.”
It is up to each subscriber to make sure their Wi-Fi Internet security is properly working, but some companies are now taking some responsibility. When I had AT&T recently installed after switching from Comcast, the installation tech wouldn’t leave the Wi-Fi unsecured.
I’m more inclined to believe the poor economy and rising subscription costs are still the leading factors behind cord cutting. I can access my Wi-Fi connection and my next nextdoor neighbor’s connection, but signal strength significantly drops off with any other locations. I imagine some people are using Wi-Fi and Internet piracy to cut the cord, but it doesn’t sound like it’s a huge factor behind cable TV subscription cancellations.