Digital Divide still large and wide in the U.S.

The term "digital divide" was coined over 15 years ago, but still exists in the U.S., where more than one-third of households do not have broadband connections and 25% of households have no Internet access at all.

This information comes from a recent study by The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) which examined 54,000 U.S. households in an Internet Usage Survey, and showed that 94% of households with $100,000 or more in annual income have broadband in their homes, while just over one in three of homes with $25,000 or less in income do.

Income and education are strongly associated with broadband Internet use at home but are not the sole determinants. Broadband Internet adoption was higher among White households than among Black and Hispanic households. Differences in socio-economic attributes do not explain the entire gap associated with race and ethnicity.

There's also an Urban Divide, with two-in-three households in urban cities having high-speed access, compared with slightly more than half of those based in rural areas.

"Americans who lack broadband Internet access are cut off from many educational and employment opportunities," said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. "The learning from today's report is that there is no simple ‘one size fits all’ solution to closing the digital divide.  A combination of approaches makes sense, including targeted outreach programs to rural and minority populations emphasizing the benefits of broadband. NTIA's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program is helping to address this challenge, but we are hopeful today's report will be useful to the larger community working to close the gap."

Source: MediaPost and NTIA press release


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