True cord cutting is finally here
Bottom Line: The concept of cord cutting is about a decade old. Frustrated traditional TV customers combined with newer technology and the Great Recession culminated in a trend to cut the cord for millions of Americans. All told 9% of American households had cut the cord, meaning no traditional paid TV content, entering 2018. The other emerging trend of the past decade had been those who never had the cord. With the youngest Millennial's now being nearly old enough to legally drink, Millennial households are increasingly never setting up traditional TV to begin with. Right now, 21% of US households don’t have any paid TV service. The last time I covered cord cutting extensively I posed the question about whether we were really able to cut the cord however...a lot has changed since then and the answer for millions is now yes.
Previously I’d pointed out that the issue with cord cutting was the internet dilemma. Who’s you’re internet service provider? The problem for cord cutters was that it was the company they’d previously been using for TV service. Unbundle the TV service and they’d raise the price of internet service. That’s why I used to suggest that you really weren’t able to cut the cord. But that was then and for millions of Americans they are now legitimately able to cut the cord. According to the latest from the Pew Research Center 20% of Americans now use their mobile service provider exclusively for internet. That means that all but 1% of households who don’t use a traditional TV service are now using Mobile service providers and have truly cut the cord (or never had one).
Increasingly people have discovered the ability to use a mobile service provider, but research suggests that many more haven’t considered it because they don’t have unlimited plans and worry about how much interest usage will take place. First and foremost, Sprint and T-Mobile have unlimited plans once again, so if you’re a customer you’re all set if you want to travel down this path. For AT&T and Verizon customers, it might be worth evaluating actual internet usage. Most people don’t have any idea how much internet usage takes place at their home in a given month. With high capacity plans with AT&T and Verizon most customers would be just fine (if you have three kids streaming content ten hours a day it might be an issue but otherwise). If you’re interested in truly cutting the cord it could be worth looking into your actual usage.