The United States still faces a significant gap in residential broadband use that breaks down along incomes, education levels, and other socioeconomic lines, even as subscriptions among American households overall grew sevenfold between 2001 and 2009.
Those are some of the key conclusions of a new analysis, released last week by the U.S. Department of Commerce, of an October 2009 U.S. Census Bureau survey involving about 54,000 households.
The analysis found that the percentage of households connecting to the Internet via broadband grew to 63.5 percent in 2009, from 9.2 percent in 2001, reflecting increases across nearly all demographics. However, it also found that non-Hispanic white Americans and Asian-Americans were more likely to use a high-speed connection than African-Americans and Hispanics.
Among those without broadband, 38 percent said they don’t need it, 26 percent said it was too expensive, and 4 percent said it was unavailable.
A version of this article appeared in the November 17, 2010 edition of Education Week as Broadband Grows, But Gaps Persist