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Fact Sheet

What is the "digital divide"?

While there is no single definitiion, the digital divide is commonly understood to be the gap between people with useful access to digital and information technologies and those with little to no access at all.

Approximately 160,000 District hosueholds do not have broadband Internet

The average home broadband adoption rate of Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 is 85%

The average rate in Wards 5, 7, and 8 is less than 65%

District broadband adoption rates are correlated with income, education, age, and disability status

Of the U.S. adults who do not use the Internet*:

     34% don’t think the Internet is relevant to them
     32% feel the Internet is not very easy to use
     19% cite the cost of owning a computer or paying for an internet connection
     7% cited a physical lack of availability or access to the internet

Why is access to technology so important?

Tech access and skills are essential for full digital citizenship. Technology is affecting our lives in more ways than ever, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down. It has changed the way we communicate, work, learn, and get our news and information. That’s why people who don’t have access to the Internet, can’t afford it, don't know how to use it, or don’t see why it’s important are at a great disadvantage.

National research* on what Internet users do online finds that:

     91% use search engines to find information
     78% use the Internet to get news
     71% shop online
     67% use the Internet to visit a local, state or federal government website
     59% search for health information online
     56% search for jobs online
     51% of adults bank online

 

*Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project