Digital Nation – Expanding Internet Usage

There is an interesting February 2011 research report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, on the state of Internet usage in the country.

The Forward introduction to the research quotes from President Obama: ““This isn’t just about faster Internet or fewer dropped calls. It’s about connecting every part of America to the digital age…”. The purpose of this report is to see how the United States is faring in this digital age. The report states there has been good progress, yet almost one third of American households still lack a broadband connection.

One of the many interesting statistics in the report is that “The rate of broadband adoption has outstripped such staples as VCRs, cell phones, cable, color televisions, personal computers, radios, electricity, and telephones.”

One of the primary reasons the government has interest in these studies are is to determine the impact on the country’s GDP. Quoting a 2009 study from Professor Leonard Waverman – “For example, the U.S. could increase its GDP by $100 billion with an increase of 10 additional broadband lines per 100 individuals.” In other words, there are financial interests in expanding broadband usage, not just social.

The report then presents summary graphic chart analysis on the Internet Access and Use:

  • Use by Family Income
  • Use by Education
  • Use by Age
  • Use by Race and Ethnicity
  • Use by Employment Status
  • Use by Household Type
  • Use by Gender
  • Use by Disability Status
  • Use by Location
  • Internet Use Anywhere
  • Use Outside the Home

It also charts basic reasons for Non-Adoption of broadband Internet:

  • Reasons for Non-Adoption
  • Demographic Differences in Non-Adoption
  • Types of Broadband Non-Users

Purpose of the study is “to identify demographic and geographic trends, particularly for home broadband adoption in the United States, and to understand the main reasons why some U.S. households remain unconnected.”

Source: Digital Nation, Expanding Internet Usage: NTIA Research Preview – February 2011