U.S. Broadband Usage Grows, But Not Fast Enough

By Tracey E. Schelmetic November 10, 2011

There are some interesting and noteworthy conclusions from an update to last year's study of American broadband usage, entitled “last year’s report, Exploring the Digital Nation: Home Broadband Internet Adoption in the United States.” The new data, released today by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Commerce Department's Economics and Statistics Administration, are based on information from the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Current Population Survey (CPS) School Enrollment and Internet Use Supplement.

Some of the most interesting points:

                     As of October 2010, more than 68 percent of American households used broadband Internet, up from 64 percent one year earlier.

                     The most popular broadband technology was cable modem, with 32 percent of the broadband market, followed by DSL with 23 percent. Other broadband connectivity options such as mobile broadband, fiber optics and satellite services, accounted for a small, but growing, segment of households with broadband Internet access service, the report notes.

                     The use of dial-up Internet access has dropped from five percent of U.S. households to a mere three percent.

                     Seventy-seven percent of U.S. households have computers today.

                     Broadband use varied a great deal between racial and economic demographics, with rural households headed by an African-American adult showing the lowest use of broadband.

                     For households without broadband or any Internet connectivity, the primary reasons for the lack of access were: no interest or need (47 percent), lack of sufficient income (24 percent) and an inadequate computer (15 percent).

Officials are still troubled by the number of Americans with no broadband access (or Internet access of any kind). The fact that 100 million Americans are “cut off from the Internet at home” is a “troubling statistic in the 21st century economy,” noted NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling on a conference call with reporters today to announce the findings.

The report summary may be found here.


Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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