In a recent post I briefly mentioned that nearly one in five Americans are still without a personal internet connection. Well the Pew Research Center investigated that figure further and has given us some valuable insight. The way we get to that 19 percent figure of Americans without internet is by adding up the number of Americans without a household broadband connection or a data plan on a tablet or smartphone. The rise of mobile data has reached a point where it can be a viable substitute for a traditional internet connection for a more traditional computer and that has become a big part of the strategy for closing the digital divide both in America and all over the world.
Also it may be hard to believe but 3 percent of Americans still access the internet through a 56k dial-up connection. Apparently there are still holdouts who want to stick with a really slow internet connection even as the internet has evolved way past them. (If you want to see a site designed for a dial-up connection, here’s Bob Dole’s campaign website from 1996. Yes it’s still on the internet and hasn’t been touched in 17 years.) Also apparently 2.5 million Americans are still under the misguided notion that they have to pay AOL for their internet connection and email address. The reasons cited for sticking with narrowband? Lack of broadband access in certain rural areas, lack of interest, and cost. I guess most of those people don’t try to stream Netflix.
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