Connect Nevada Releases 2011 Residential Broadband Adoption Survey Results

33% of Nevada residents still do not have broadband at home

Carson City, NV – Today, Connect Nevada released new residential broadband adoption survey results revealing the top trends in technology use among key demographics in Nevada. The preliminary indicators from the survey are available online, which gives a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities for expanding broadband in targeted sectors. According to the survey, approximately 33% of the population still does not subscribe to broadband. Most notably, the majority of low-income and senior households are without broadband at home, leaving them facing an uphill battle in keeping up with essential online resources, job and educational opportunities, and social services.

“Access to broadband services is an essential ingredient in the strengthening of Nevada’s communities and its citizens through increased educational, employment training, business development, and communication options,” said Daphne DeLeon, chairperson of the Governor’s Nevada Broadband Task Force. “The results of the Residential Broadband Adoption Survey provide Nevada with a valuable tool to address broadband adoption gaps.”

This survey is conducted in support of Connect Nevada’s efforts to close Nevada’s digital gap. The survey explores the main barriers to adoption – cost, digital skills, and relevance – and also provides unique insights into the national broadband landscape. On Monday, November 14, Connect Nevada and the Nevada Broadband Task Force are hosting the state’s first broadband summit, called Wired for Success, in Dayton, NV. The summit is designed to promote access, adoption, and use of broadband for the purposes of economic development and improved quality of life for Nevada’s citizens.

“These new research findings and our upcoming state broadband summit are critical steps to ensuring the future of our state economy,” said Connect Nevada State Program Manager Lindsey Niedzielski. “Connect Nevada is working to bring quality broadband access, adoption, and use to everyone because broadband creates jobs, provides limitless education, and brings a world of services directly into local homes and businesses. Broadband is the key to a truly level playing field of opportunity.”

The survey reveals that:

• 35% of Nevadans living in rural areas do not subscribe to broadband service at home.
• When comparing to the 67% of all households that do subscribe, there remain large gaps among key demographics:
  • 64% of low-income households;
  • 42% of Hispanic households; and
  • 58% of seniors are without broadband.
• 47% of children in low-income households are without access to this essential tool at home.
• The biggest gap is among low-income seniors. Only 15% of low-income seniors in Nevada subscribe to broadband and only 40% have a computer at home.
• The largest barrier to non-adopters is relevance – 27% of non-adopters say there isn’t Internet content worth viewing. The second most commonly cited barrier is that it is too expensive.
• The number one reason Nevadans say they started using broadband is because they realized it was worth the cost.

These results and comparisons to many others are available on Connect Nevada’s new consumer trends widget. This interactive tool gives people the ability to view, share, and download the results. Connect Nevada will use these survey results to target solutions in communities based on the demographic and economic barriers that the surveys indicate are most relevant to those communities.

This release comes on the heels of the FCC’s newly released plans to launch a comprehensive public-private initiative called Connect to Compete, aimed at extending digital literacy training and providing employment assistance to communities. Connect Nevada’s parent organization, Connected Nation, is one of the top strategic advisors in the national initiative.

Connect Nevada’s 2011 residential survey was conducted in the summer of 2011 and includes responses from 3,032 residents. The survey was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment of 2009.

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