Tallahassee, FL. (October 26, 2011) – Today, Connect Florida released new residential broadband adoption survey results revealing the top trends in technology use among key demographics in Florida. The preliminary indicators from the survey are available online and give a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities for expanding broadband in targeted sectors. Approximately 28% of Florida residents are not subscribing to broadband at home. Most notably, the majority of low-income 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.
“The broadband adoption gap affects us all – it affects the economic future of our communities, it affects the education of our children, and it affects the economy’s potential for job growth,” said Tom Koutsky, chief policy counsel for Connected Nation, Connect Florida’s parent organization. “But there are no simple solutions to what is a multifaceted problem. Our state-based research into the demographic, economic, and digital skill barriers to adoption is a crucial first step that will help government and communities tailor and target effective broadband adoption solutions.”
This survey is conducted in support of Connect Florida’s efforts to close the state’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.
• 375,000 people living in rural areas do not subscribe to broadband service at home.
• 72% of all households subscribe to broadband – higher than the national average of 65%.
• When compared to the 72% of all households that do subscribe, there remain large gaps among key demographics:
- 59% of low-income households;
- 39% of Hispanic households; and
- 43% of seniors are without broadband.
• 267,000 children in low-income households are without access to this essential tool at home.
• 826,000 Florida adults say a lack of digital skills and knowledge of how to use a computer and broadband are the main reasons they don’t have broadband at home.
• The biggest gap is among low-income seniors. Only 26% of low-income seniors subscribe to broadband and only 54% have a computer at home.
Last week, Connect Florida released its broadband and business trends report showing that 74% of Florida’s business establishments use broadband, and those that do report having median annual revenues $130,000 greater than businesses without broadband.
The consumer adoption trends results and comparisons are available on Connect Florida’s new consumer trends widget. This interactive tool gives people the ability to view, share, and download the results. Connect Florida 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 Florida’s parent organization, Connected Nation, is one of the top strategic advisors in the national initiative.
Connect Florida’s 2011 residential survey was conducted in the summer of 2011 and includes responses from 1,203 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 by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.