Monday, February 06, 2012

The Digital Divide Lives On...

As the Internet continues to become increasingly essential to the global culture and economy, those with Internet access - and the skills to maximize benefits from it - are at an ever-greater advantage than those without. This distinction between the Internet haves and have-nots is what is referred to as the Digital Divide, and new statistics from the McKinsey Global Institute show how the U.S. is lagging behind other countries.

Consider...

  • The Internet is responsible for 21% of all economic growth in developed nations.

  • 100 million U.S. households lack high-speed Internet access.

  • 46% of the poorest households don't own a computer, but only 4% of the wealthiest go without one.

  • Minorities have lower rates of Internet access than whites by roughly a 72% to 57% margin.

  • More than twice as many rural households use dial-up as urban households, and nearly 1 in 10 Americans in rural areas have no broadband available at all.

  • Globally, the U.S. ranks 12th for Internet access and 14th for broadband penetration.

  • This last statistic is often explained by a lack of competition. 96% of Americans have access to two or less service providers, resulting in higher costs.

  • Emerging technologies are far more expensive in the U.S. than abroad. For example, Verizon Fios service costs 2.5 times as much as comparable service in Amsterdam, 5 times as much as in Paris, and 6 times as much as in Hong Kong.
  

1 Comments:

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Patrick C. Fitzpatrick said...

Rob,
Another great post. I know this topic is important to you.
Just one question. This fact "46% of the poorest households don't own a computer, but only 4% of the wealthiest go without one." I take issue with that one. Given that so many people now have "smart" phones - which undoubtedly connect to the internet - is not having a computer at home that important? Isn't the issue access regardless of how?

 

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