[Technology 1232] U.S. Internet and Broadband Access Report

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David J. Rosen djrosen at comcast.net
Sun Aug 26 08:39:36 EDT 2007


Here's a summary of findings from the June 2007 PEW/INTERNET &
AMERICAN LIFE PROJECT Home Broadband Adoption Report http://
Summary of Findings

• 47% of all adult Americans have a broadband connection at home as
of early
2007, a five percentage point increase from early 2006.

• Among individuals who use the internet at home, 70% have a broadband
connection while 23% use dial-up.

• Home broadband adoption in rural areas, now 31%, continues to lag
high speed
adoption in urban centers and suburbs.
o Internet usage in rural areas also trails the national average;
60% of rural
adults use the internet from any location, compared with the national
average of 71%.

• 40% of African Americans now have a broadband connection at home, a
percentage point increase from early 2006.
o Since 2005, the percentage of African American adults with a home
broadband connection has nearly tripled, from 14% in early 2005 to
40% in early 2007.

These findings come from a survey of 2,200 adult Americans conducted
in February and
March of 2007.

Those of you who work with students, have you surveyed your classes
recently to see:

• if your students have the Internet at home? (yes/no)
• If so, if they have broadband access? (yes/no)
• if so, if the student her/himself uses the Internet? (yes/no)
• If so, how frequently?
(several times a day, at least daily, several times a week, at
least once a week, once in a while)

If not, consider developing a very short class survey with these
simple questions. If you do, please let us -- and your students --
know what you find. If you can, tell us what kind and level of class;
if urban, suburban, rural small town, or very rural ; ethnicity and
color ("race") of your students, and if you know, their income level(s).

Are your adult literacy education students keeping pace with home
Internet access at the same rate as the country as a whole, and if
not, how big is the digital divide?

If someone knows of a current study that answers this question,
specifically about low-literate adults, please let us know.

You might want to take a look at the PEW/INTERNET August 1st report,
Closing the Broadband Divide, which begins "Why It Will Be Hard to
Close the Broadband Divide" . It reminds us that in broadband
adoption ratings worldwide the U.S. has dropped from 4th in 2001 to
15th in 2006, and points out that the 29% of Americans who do not use
the Internet are disproportionately old and poor. It argues,
however, that it is not just a question of age and money, that non-
internet users also do not have positive attitudes about information
technology. (Now there's a variable we, as educators, might be able
to do something about! ) The report ends with:

"To reach the underserved, policymakers might consider more
aggressive and targeted outreach efforts that educate hard-to-reach
populations about the benefits of online connectivity. "


David J. Rosen
djrosen at comcast.net

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