Ken's Project Blog

July 1, 2011

Why don’t more Americans get broadband Internet?

Filed under: In The News,Technology — Ken @ 5:46 pm

[Note: This post was originally from February, but was not posted until July 1st, Ken]

So I’m watching a Glenn Beck TV show from March 3rd, 2010 (practicing Good DVR Hygine), and he’s talking about the lack of broadband internet access, and how the FCC was proposing to spend another $9 BN (in addition the the $7.2 BN we are already spending from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, AKA “stimulus”) so that those without broadband internet access can get it… But he’s quoting a number that doesn’t seem right – his number is 4%.

He is saying that 4% of Americans can not get access to broadband internet – that can’t be right – so I did some digging… Here’s what I found.

This article (out yesterday, almost 11 months after Glenn’s broadcast) from Associated Press/AP Online says that 65.9% of urban homes, and 51% or rural homes, currently have broadband internet – that’s much bigger than 4%.

Then I remembered this graph (below) from an Ars Technica article which details the reasons people without broadband internet access gave Census workers to explain why they don’t have broadband internet access:

Hey, I think that’s where the 4% number came from – but there are lots of caveats to be considered before citing that number:

  • The report is of those households that don’t have internet, based on the above numbers, that means that 4% of the rural and urban households without access, not 4% of all households.
  • People who fail to see the value of broadband internet service may also live in an area not served by a broadband provider -they likely don’t care enough to determine if it is even available.
  • People that access the internet elsewhere may also live in an area unserved by broadband providers.
  • People lie to census workers.

Sources:

CBSNews.com: Stimulus Cash to bring Broadband to Rural Areas

BusinessInsider.com: The Real Reason Americans Don’t Have Broadband – We DON’T Want It

Ars Technica: Why Don’t Americans want broadband?

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