Monday, February 22, 2010

FCC Survey: 93 Million Americans without Broadband

A total of 93 million Americans -- one-third of the country -- are not connected to high-speed Internet at home, according to the FCC's newly-published National Broadband Plan Consumer Survey. This includes approximately 80
million adults and 13 million children over the age of five.

The survey identifies three main barriers to adoption:

  • Affordability: 36 percent of non-adopters, or 28 million adults, said they do not have home
    broadband because the monthly fee is too expensive (15 percent), they cannot afford a computer,
    the installation fee is too high (10 percent), or they do not want to enter into a long-term service
    contract (9 percent). According to survey respondents, their average monthly broadband bill is

  • Digital Literacy: 22 percent of non-adopters, or 17 million adults, indicated that they do not have
    home broadband because they lack the digital skills (12 percent) or they are concerned about
    potential hazards of online life, such as exposure to inappropriate content or security of personal
    information (10 percent).

  • Relevance: 19 percent of non-adopters, or 15 million adults, said they do not have broadband
    because they say that the Internet is a waste of time, there is no online content of interest to them
    or, for dial-up users, they are content with their current service.

The survey also found that non-adopters usually have more than one barrier that keeps them from having
broadband service at home. Over half of non-adopters, when selecting from a menu of possible barriers to
adoption, chose three or more. For example, more than half of non-adopters who cited cost also listed
reasons relating to digital literacy or relevance.

The full study is online.