Skip to content


Home Broadband 2010

I missed putting this link up from the Pew Internet and American Life Project while I was away in Miami last week. I thought you’d be interested in the new report about the state of broadband adoption among Americans:

Home Broadband 2010

They highlight a couple of things:
· Broadband adoption has slowed dramatically in the overall population, but growth among African-Americans was especially high last year.
· By a 53%-41% margin, Americans say they do not believe that the spread of affordable broadband should be a major government priority. Contrary to what some might suspect, non-internet users are less likely than current users to say the government should place a high priority on the spread of high-speed connections.

In addition to their skepticism towards government efforts to promote widespread broadband adoption, the 21% of American adults who do not use the internet are not tied in any obvious way to online life and express little interest in going online.

· They do not find online content relevant to their lives. Half (48%) of non-users cite issues relating to the relevance of online content as the main reason they do not go online.
· They are largely not interested in going online. Just one in ten non-users say would like to start using the internet in the future.
· They are not comfortable using computers or the internet on their own. Six in ten non-users would need assistance getting online. Just one in five know enough about computers and technology to start using the internet on their own.

The new Pew Internet Project survey found that Americans have mixed views about the problems non-broadband users face due to their lack of a high-speed internet connection. There is no major issue on which a majority of Americans think that lack of broadband access is a major disadvantage, although African-Americans, Latinos and young adults are more keenly attuned than average to the impact of a lack of broadband access.

· Job opportunities and career skills: 43% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to finding out about job opportunities or gaining new career skills. Some 23% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 28% think it is “not a disadvantage.”
· Health information: 34% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to getting health information. Some 28% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 35% think it is “not a disadvantage.”
· Learning new things to improve and enrich life: 31% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to learning new things that might enrich or improve their lives. Some 31% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 32% think it is “not a disadvantage.”
· Government services: 29% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to using government services. Some 27% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 37% think it is “not a disadvantage.”
· Keeping up with news and information: 23% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to keeping up with news and information. Some 27% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 47% think it is “not a disadvantage.”
· Keeping up with what is happening in their communities: 19% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to finding out about their local community. Some 32% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 45% think it is “not a disadvantage.”

As we move towards more ubiquitous access growth will slow. That’s just the nature of the math. You can grow very fast when the numbers are small and the market is large. As you reach saturation you see plateaux (just like my diet!). It also, unfortunately starts to create a particularly disadvantaged group in society and this is a major (and traditional) opportunity for libraries’ to address in their communities. This is particularly true in the core program areas of health, learning, government access and careers. Whatever the reason for an individual to have jeopardized access to the web, libraries can assist and delight their users.

UPDATE:

Flowtown has created a great infographic to show the Pew data:

Click here for a larger version.

Stephen

Posted on: August 19, 2010, 3:35 pm Category: Uncategorized

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.