Press Releases

High-speed internet offers significant opportunities to save on holiday spending, including travel, gift-buying and entertaining

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 21, 2016 – The average American household can save about $11,218.98 annually on household spending using broadband, the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) today announced. Before factoring in the average annual cost of a mobile data plan and a home broadband connection ($1,320), the yearly savings add up to $12,538.98. The financial analysis, “10 Ways Being Online Saves You Money,” was authored by Nicholas J. Delgado, certified financial planner and principal of Chicago-based investment bank Dignitas, in partnership with IIA.

Since 2010, IIA has calculated internet-enabled savings that are available in 10 different categories based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual Consumer Expenditure Survey. The research evaluates opportunities to take advantage of online offerings, virtual marketplaces, internet tools and mobile applications for web-exclusive discounts and effective comparison shopping. Over the past six years, the amount of money that consumers can keep in their pockets by utilizing high-speed internet as a tool has risen steadily from $7,707 annual savings in 2010[1], due to innovators rising to the challenge of meeting the demands of consumers, who are increasingly comfortable navigating the internet and conducting transactions online. Of note, household income before taxes rose 4.1% from $66,877 in 2014[2] to $69,629 in 2015, while average annual expenditures per consumer unit climbed 4.6% from $53,495 in 2014 to $55,978 in 2015.

“Getting caught up in the holiday spirit doesn’t mean you have to overspend on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, to name a few,” said Delgado. “Thankfully, broadband delivers a significant return on investment with valuable opportunities for deal comparison, group-buying, and online-only discounts that make it easier to stick to a budget.”

Drawing from the 2015 Consumer Expenditure Survey released on August 30, 2016 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IIA’s 2016 Cost Campaign analysis explored what the typical American family can save yearly on necessities like housing, food and clothing; basics including entertainment, gasoline and health insurance; and everyday services like bill pay and news, through opportunities only available via the internet.

The following savings are based on average spending in each category for the typical U.S. household, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Compared to IIA’s financial analysis last year, the greatest increases in savings opportunities emerged in Housing (23.50% in 2015, compared to 16.53% in 2014) and News (54.05% in 2015, compared to 39.29% in 2014). However, the percentage of savings on food (12.65% in 2015, compared to 25.68% in 2014), apparel (44.84% in 2015, compared to 62.55% in 2014) and gasoline (2.05% in 2015, compared to 12.28% in 2014) dipped. Of note, in 2015 spending on gasoline decreased by 15.32%, down from $2,468.00 the year prior.

According to Gallup, Americans, on average, anticipate spending $785 on Christmas gifts this year[3]. Based on the entertainment (62.03%) and apparel (44.84%) savings factors from IIA’s report, families can make their dollars stretch twice as far by taking advantage of internet-only deals, comparison shopping and access to deeper inventory online.

“Holiday season is spending season – from buying presents to traveling for vacations and family visits,” commented IIA Co-Chairman Jamal Simmons. “Luckily, savvy use of broadband tools can help families get more for their money.”

Of the 180 million U.S. adults expecting to shop Black Friday week through Cyber Monday this year, 114 million plan to shop online and 70 percent will use mobile devices, according to a new Consumer Technology Association (CTA) survey[4].

Simmons added, “Encouraging investment in 5G technology that will extend broadband to all Americans, from urban centers to rural areas, should be a top priority for policymakers. It’s also important that we show people how the internet is useful in their everyday lives – data from the NTIA’s 2015 survey on computer and internet usage[5] showed that the biggest reason for the digital divide is a perceived lack of relevance among non-adopters. Luckily, the value of saving money is a major benefit with which everyone can identify.”