The next time you are driving down the freeway and some guy starts weaving over into your lane because he is busy on his phone, it's a safe bet it is happening in the Lone Star state. According to a report from the non-profit organization Connected Texas, Texans utilize broadband mobile services on their smart phones more than any other state in the U.S. except Florida.
In fact, the report states that 48 percent of adults in Texas use mobile connectivity to surf the web. That's really an incredible number when you think about it and it reaches across all demographics. From rural to urban, low income to wealthy, people in Texas love to get online using their phones (or their computers tethered to their phones).
"Smartphones are revolutionizing the way Texans communicate and function in our modern world," says Connected Texas Executive Director Don Shirley said in a press release. "We now have the power to communicate, work, learn, and generally manage life from the palm of our hands virtually anywhere we go."
That 48 percent, equal to Florida, is six percent above the national average and only two other states -- Alaska and Nevada, for very different reasons I'm sure -- are close with 46 percent each. Eleven percent of those using mobile broadband don't have a non-mobile connection to the Internet.
The most popular use of the technology is e-mail, with 82 percent of Texas adults who use mobile broadband messaging people like crazy with their phones.
Maybe the most shocking number is related to satisfaction with customer service. Four out of five Texas adults surveyed said they are "very satisfied" with customer service provided by the broadband services. On the other hand, that number dropped quite a bit when price was factored in.
What this adds up to is a bunch of people like to use their phones to get online in the state of Texas, which is convenient, but also often dangerous when you're on the freeway with one of the 48 percent.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.