There was a recent article on Forbes.com that talks about the growing usage of numbers in broadband in the US. As we all continue to become part of a world where having broadband access whether it’s residential or wireless is becoming a key differentiator in the quality of life that people can have. The article cites some significant growth statistics:
“Among the major findings:
_ 94.1 percent of households with income exceeding $100,000 subscribed to broadband in 2009, compared with 35.8 percent of households with income of less than $25,000.
_ 84.5 percent of households with at least one college degree subscribed to broadband last year, compared with 28.8 percent of households without a high school degree.
_ 77.3 percent of Asian-American households and 68 percent of non-Hispanic white households subscribed to broadband last year, compared with 49.4 percent of African-American households and 47.9 percent of Hispanic households.
_ 65.9 percent of urban households subscribed to broadband in 2009, compared with 51 percent of rural households.”
These numbers are reported were prepared by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Economics and Statistics Administration. And at first glance of these numbers it’s easy to assume that growth is great across the board. But it is not and that’s what I like about this article the most. It does not attempt to spread that misconception. It also shows that the growth in broadband adoption among minorities is lagging fairly significantly. The same reasons that are always discussed are mentioned again. Income is one of the factors but the main factor continues to be that these groups still have large numbers of people who don’t see the value of the internet. The other point that they mention is that if people around you in your network are not using the internet then you are less likely to adopt it. That speaks to all the people who may read this post. If you are a minority then showing people in your extended the value in the internet through your own use speaks volumes in terms of relevance. As the holiday season approaches think about giving gifts that expose people in your life to the power of broadband and they will in turn show others. One thing I can tell you is that in 2011a that these numbers will increase. We have to work to make sure the gaps don’t continue to widen at the same time.
- Digital Divide Persists Despite Broadband Expansion (informationweek.com)
- Minority and Rural Residents Have Less Internet Access than Urban Whites (theroot.com)
- Broadband usage growing even as gaps persist (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Broadband use increases but socioeconomic gap persists (latimesblogs.latimes.com)