Forget politics, regulatory hurdles, competition and all of the remaining rubbish that gets in the way. Seventeen million? How disturbing.
It’s easy to close our eyes to the realities of those numbers because most of us can’t identify with such a situation. To help open our collective eyes a bit, check out a few highlights from the latest research study conducted by Connected Nation (below). The glaring and ugly facts reveal wide gaps in vital broadband opportunities for children, especially in low-income households.
I truly believe that a lack of broadband access in the home is a set-up for children to potentially fall through the cracks. Without it, they may not realize their potential in our global economy. And THAT will hurt us all – in a very big way.
Are we being complacent about getting broadband to our nation’s youth? Are we, as an OSP community, stepping up or slipping on our responsibility?
And if we don’t step up, are we prepared to face the music when the old saying “what goes around comes around” – delivers on its promises?
• Connected Nation’s 2011 surveys of more than 27,000 residential consumers shows that 17 million U.S. children do not have broadband at home – and that 7.6 million of these are in low-income households.
The study reveals that:
• Only 37% of low-income minority households with children have broadband at home, compared to 66% of all households.
• Only 46% of all low-income households with children have broadband at home.
• 40% of low-income households do not own a computer, compared to only 9% of all other households.
“As we enter the country’s poorer areas, the adoption gap grows sharply. Hardest hit are low-income schoolchildren, because fewer opportunities to use broadband means fewer opportunities to learn, to interact, and to develop the skills necessary to participate in today’s economy,” said Brian Mefford, Connected Nation’s CEO. “Closing these gaps is key to our nation’s economic future, because an impoverished and disconnected population with fewer educational and employment opportunities could slam the brakes on economic recovery, job growth, and social development.”
Survey title: The Adoption Gap in Low-Income Families with Children
What’s your take on this subject? Leave a comment and get the conversation going.