Washington – Though
Americans are now using broadband connections at higher rates than ever before,
a "significant" portion of the U.S. population remains offline,
according to a new report from the Department of Commerce’s National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Overall, 64% of
households have broadband Internet, up 13% from two years ago.

The digital
divide, however, continues to persist, with low-income households, seniors,
minorities, the less-educated, non-family households and the non-employed
lagging behind other groups in home broadband use.

The two most commonly cited
reasons for not having broadband at home are that it is perceived as not needed
(38%) or too expensive (26%).

Americans also cite the lack of a computer as a
major factor. "Broadband Internet access is critical to creating jobs in America,
improving our global competitiveness, and enhancing our quality of life,"
said Lawrence Strickling, the NTIA’s administrator.

Strickling said that the
survey data will be useful to "the broader research community working to
address the digital divide." The complete report is available at the link


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