February 25, 2010
Findings of the FCC's Broadband Adoption and Use Survey Identify Barriers and Attitudes of Non-Adopters
The FCC conducted a survey of 5,005 Americans in October and November 2009 to understand the state of broadband adoption and use, as well as barriers facing those who do not have broadband at home. The main findings reported in Broadband Adoption and Use in America are:
- 78 percent of adults are Internet users, whether that means broadband, dial-up, access from home or access from someplace other than home.
- 74 percent of adults have access at home.
- 67 percent of U.S. households contain a broadband user who accesses the service at home.
- 65 percent of adults are broadband adopters. The discrepancy of two percentage points between household and individual home use is because some survey respondents are nonbroadband users but live with someone who, at home, is.
- 6 percent of Americans use dial-up Internet connections as their main form of home access.
- 6 percent are Internet users but do not use it from home; they access the Internet from places such as work, the library or community centers.
Barriers to Broadband Adoption. The survey identifies three main barriers to adoption:
Affordability: 36 percent of non-adopters, or 28 million adults, said they do not have home broadband because the monthly fee is too expensive (15 percent), they cannot afford a computer, the installation fee is too high (10 percent), or they do not want to enter into a long-term service contract (9 percent). According to survey respondents, their average monthly broadband bill is $41.
Digital Literacy: 22 percent of non-adopters, or 17 million adults, indicated that they do not have home broadband because they lack the digital skills (12 percent) or they are concerned about potential hazards of online life, such as exposure to inappropriate content or security of personal information (10 percent).
Relevance: 19 percent of non-adopters, or 15 million adults, said they do not have broadband because they say that the Internet is a waste of time, there is no online content of interest to them or, for dial-up users, they are content with their current service.
The survey also found that non-adopters usually have more than one barrier that keeps them from having broadband service at home. Over half of non-adopters, when selecting from a menu of possible barriers to adoption, chose three or more.
Attitudes of Non-adopters. The interaction of attitudes and use of communications goods and services creates four categories of non-adopters:
Near Converts, who make up 30 percent of non-adopters, have the strongest tendencies toward getting broadband. They have high rates of computer ownership, positive attitudes about the Internet. Many are dial-up or “not-at-home” users, and affordability is the leading reason for nonadoption among this group. They are relatively youthful compared with other non-adopters, with a median age of 45.
Digital Hopefuls, who make up 22 percent of non-adopters, like the idea of being online but lack the resources for access. Few have a computer and, among those who use one, few feel comfortable with the technology. Some 44 percent cite affordability as a barrier to adoption and they are also more likely than average to say digital literacy are a barrier. This group is heavily Hispanic and has a high share of African-Americans.
Digitally Uncomfortable, who make up 20 percent of non-adopters, are the mirror image of the Digital Hopefuls; they have the resources for access but not a bright outlook on what it means to be online. Nearly all of the Digitally Uncomfortable have computers, but they lack the skills to use them and have tepid attitudes toward the Internet. This group reports all three barriers: affordability, digital literacy, and relevance.
Digitally Distant, who make up 28 percent of non-adopters, do not see the point of being online. Few in this group see the Internet as a tool for learning and most see it as a dangerous place for children. This is an older group (the median age is 63), nearly half are retired and half say that either relevance or digital literacy are barriers to adoption.
I want to be a broadband user. I can't get it where I live. No cable, no dsl, no wi-fi, at any price. Some poor quality satalite service if you can get the guy to come ( 6 months and still waiting) at great expense.
I don't understand the results in the survey. If anyone had talked to me or my neighboors they would have been differnet.
Broadband needs to be mandated as phone service once was.
Help us out Please.
Posted by: amanda | May 19, 2010 10:29:25 PM