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Digital Nation: 21st Century America’s Progress toward Universal Broadband Internet Access

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Citation Edit

National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Digital Nation: 21st Century America’s Progress toward Universal Broadband Internet Access (June 2010) (full-text).

Overview Edit

This report taking a first look at data collected through the Internet Usage Survey of more than 50,000 households, commissioned by NTIA and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in October 2009. Since 2007, the data show that while virtually all demographic groups have experienced rising broadband Internet access adoption at home, historic disparities among particular demographic groups overall continue to persist.

Highlights of the Report include:

  • Broadband Internet access at home continues to grow: 64% of households have broadband access compared to 51% in October 2007.
  • Notable disparities between demographic groups continue: people with low incomes, seniors, minorities, the less-educated, non-family households, and the non-employed tend to lag behind other groups in home broadband use.
  • While the digital divide between urban and rural areas has lessened since 2007, it remains significant. In 2009, two-thirds (66%) of urban households and only 54% of rural households accessed broadband Internet service, compared to 54% of urban households and 39% of rural households in 2007.
  • Overall, the two most commonly cited reasons for not having broadband Internet access at home are that it is perceived as not needed (38%) or too expensive (26%). Besides these value and affordability concerns, Americans also cite the lack of a computer as a major factor. In rural America, however, lack of broadband availability is a more frequently-cited major reason for non-adoption than in urban areas (11% vs. 1%).
  • Americans who do not use the Internet in any location most commonly cite insufficient value, or no need, as the reason. In contrast, households that have dial-up access to the Internet as well as households without any type of Internet access at home most frequently cite cost as the reason they do not have broadband access at home.
  • Despite the growing importance of the Internet in American life, 30% of all persons do not use the Internet in any location.

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