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Jul 8
Pew: High Speed Hesitation Continues For Low Income Americans

Data from the Pew Internet and American Life project and other sources have long indicated that economics is a major barrier to increased broadband adoption.  Now, new data, released by Pew just before the July 4th holiday weekend, suggests that lower income Americans are not likely to get a broadband connection anytime soon.  While cost continues to be a major barrier, another factor is that the majority of dial-up users are satisfied with their current level of Internet access.  62% of Americans with dial-up connections have no plans to switch to broadband.

See the chart below for more information about Pew’s data (click to enlarge).
 pew_data.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another new trend to consider when examining Americans’ Internet use habits is that some companies are thinking about introducing metered pricing – i.e., charging those who use the Internet heavily more.  As I noted in this post, if enacted, this pricing strategy may exacerbate the divide between more affluent Americans with robust Internet connections and those without.  

However, those interested in reaching lower income Americans with health messages using the Internet should not give up hope.  There is some evidence that some groups like low-income African Americans access the Internet at the public library or at work.  These connections are often faster than the ones they enjoy at home.  Health communicators should recognize the many ways that different groups access the Internet and plan their outreach strategies accordingly.

 

 


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