More parents now prioritize reliable Internet access over affordable childcare

by Time Doctor
reliable internet Americans priority

A new study by DE-CIX, a global Internet Exchange operator, reveals key trends in remote working preferences, migration factors, and the crucial role of reliable internet over childcare in the lives of Americans. The study conducted by Censuswide and surveying over 2,000 U.S. adults highlights changing workplace requirements and residential choices influenced by digital connectivity.

Remote work and migration trends

DE-CIX’s latest research shows a shift towards remote work, potentially redefining traditional employment and urban demographics. Nearly half (44%) of Americans would consider relocating if they could maintain their current job remotely or secure a remote role. This sentiment is strongest among younger Americans (18–24 years old), with nearly 7 in 10 expressing a desire to move and work remotely from a different location, compared to just a fifth of those aged 55 and above.

The future of remote work

Businesses need to prepare for a future where remote work is a permanent fixture in our professional landscape. “Our study indicates that younger generations—particularly Gen Z—place a high value on flexibility and mobility, elements that will shape future workplace policies and urban planning of digital infrastructure,” said Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX.

Internet reliability over childcare

The study reveals a surprising insight: reliable Internet access is rated more important than affordable childcare by the average U.S. parent when deciding where to live. This highlights the essential role of stable digital connectivity in today’s family dynamics and economic decisions. “In an era where both education and work depend on digital platforms, reliable Internet is a cornerstone of daily life,” Ivanov adds. This priority reflects broader societal changes where digital readiness is considered as much as childcare regarding education and career opportunities.

Local findings on urban mobility

The survey also highlights a strong interest in remote work capabilities in major business hubs. Residents in cities like San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles showed a high propensity to relocate if remote work options were available, with over half of the respondents in these areas expressing a desire to move. “These findings are a wake-up call for businesses and urban planners to invest in robust Internet infrastructure to retain and attract a vibrant, innovative workforce,” noted Ivanov. Strengthening Internet Exchanges across America is about competitive advantage and community resilience.

Key findings

  • Remote work preference: More than half (51%) of Americans value remote and flexible working arrangements, with younger demographics (18-24-year-olds) showing a much stronger preference compared to their older colleagues (64% vs. 31%).
  • Migration considerations: 44% of Americans would consider relocating if they could maintain their jobs remotely. High percentages of residents wanting remote work to enable them to move were in cities like San Francisco (55%), New York City (49%), and Los Angeles (61%).
  • Internet vs. childcare: Reliable Internet access is prioritized over affordable childcare among U.S. parents of children under 18 (25% vs. 16%) when deciding where to live, highlighting the essential role of Internet connectivity in modern family dynamics.
  • Internet disruptions: On average, Americans report experiencing Internet disruptions 53 times per year, with 82% of Americans acknowledging some level of Internet disruption. Younger people face more frequent interruptions, with 50% of people aged 18-24 experiencing Internet disruptions once a week or more compared to 18% of people aged 55 or older.
  • Improvement suggestions: The top suggestions for improving Internet experience include a greater choice of Internet Service Providers (37%), more fiber/mobile rollout (34%), and increased state (22%) and federal investment (20%) in Internet infrastructure.


The DE-CIX study highlights the evolving landscape of work and living preferences in the U.S. Reliable Internet is now a critical factor influencing decisions, surpassing even affordable childcare for many. As remote work becomes a permanent part of professional life, businesses and urban planners must prioritize digital infrastructure to meet these new demands.

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