Commerce Report Shows Diminishing Digital Divide

Rahul Gaitonde, Deputy Editor, BroadbandBreakfast.com

WASHINGTON, November 9, 2010 –  After a year of data crunching and analysis, the Commerce Department has released a report titled “Exploring the Digital Nation Home Broadband Internet Adoption in the United States,” concluding that a digital divide still exists but is decreasing.

Yet almost one-fourth of all households did not have a single internet user. The study found that income and education have some of the most significant factors in determining if users have broadband at home. Additionally, cost remained one of the main reasons why users do not upgrade to broadband.

Taking a comparative view from 2007 to 2009. Broadband use in the home grow from 51 percent to 64 percent while non-use dropped 6 percent. The table below describes the basic demographic characterizes of broadband users. The data holds no real surprises. In relation to income, broadband usage increases as income increases, the same also holds true for education levels. This correlation between income and broadband usage

Looking at racial/ethnic data, Asians have the highest level of adoption at 77 percent followed by whites at 68 percent and blacks following behind at 49 percent.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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