Connected Texas Releases 2011 Residential Broadband Adoption Survey Results

38% of Texas residents still do not subscribe to broadband at home

Austin, TX – Today, Connected Texas released new residential broadband adoption survey results revealing the top trends in technology use among key demographics in Texas. 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. Most notably, the majority of low-income, rural, senior, disabled adult, and Hispanic 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.

“This new research offers us critical insight into how we need to plan local and regional broadband expansion,” said Connected Texas Executive Director Don Shirley. “The goal of our initiative is quality broadband access, adoption, and use across the state. We will use these new findings to create customized plans that directly target the Texas communities and residents who face the biggest challenges to realizing the life-changing benefits that broadband can bring.”

This survey is conducted in support of Connected Texas’ 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.

This survey reveals that:
  • 1.2 million people living in rural areas do not subscribe to broadband service at home.
  • When comparing to the 62% of all households that do subscribe, there remain large gaps among key demographics:
    • 61% of low-income households;
    • 59% of Hispanic households; and
    • 57% of seniors are without broadband.
  • Approximately 865,000 children in low-income households are without access to this essential tool at home.
  • 1.4 million Texas adults say a lack of digital skills and knowledge of how to use a computer and broadband is the main reason they don’t have broadband at home.
  • The biggest gap is among low-income rural Texans. Only 28% of low-income rural Texans subscribe to broadband and only 47% have a computer at home.
These results and comparisons to many others are available on Connected Texas’ new consumer trends widget. This interactive tool gives people the ability to view, share, and download the results. Connected Texas 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. Connected Texas’ parent organization, Connected Nation, is one of the top strategic advisors in the national initiative.

Connected Texas’ 2011 residential survey was conducted in the summer of 2011 and includes responses from 3,597 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 funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment of 2009.

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