Press Releases

Research Highlights Narrowing Demographic Gaps in U.S. Broadband Adoption

WASHINGTON D.C. – July 5, 2007 – Income and race are becoming less important differentiators in U.S. broadband adoption, according to The Pew Internet & American Life Project report published this week. This study, titled “Home Broadband Adoption 2007,” highlights a number of compelling trends related to broadband Internet use and identified that the total number of home broadband users this year is roughly as large as the entire universe of internet users in the first year of the survey of online use conducted in 2000.The Pew Internet Research Project’s findings come on the heels of a recently published Brookings Institution study that closely tracked and linked broadband penetration rates and U.S. employment growth.The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), a coalition of non-profit organizations and businesses committed to universal broadband access, believes both studies strongly validate the importance of investment in and access to broadband technologies. According to the IIA, the penetration of broadband internet in the home has accelerated the development and growth of on-demand video and music technologies, generating what has been coined the “exaflood” – an explosion of content straining the internet’s capacity. The IIA and its members are committed to working on practical solutions to enable the exponential explosion of content to flow through the internet’s pipes.“These findings by the Pew Internet Project demonstrate that the adoption of broadband Internet connections continues to rise in the U.S. but there still remain gaps in this adoption curve that must be addressed,” said Larry Irving, co-chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance. “While tremendous progress has been made in recent years, broadband use in rural areas and among minority groups continues to lag behind the rest of the country, limiting these groups’ ability to take full advantage of the many benefits afforded by the internet.”Among key findings of the study are:

  • The use of broadband at home by African-American adults rose to 40%, up from less than 15% in 2005.
  • 31% of rural Americans have home broadband connections, compared with 49% and 52% of suburban and urban residents respectively..

“It is important that we foster a commercial, tax and policy environment that encourages investment and innovation in broadband technologies and their deployment,” said Bruce Mehlman, co-chair of the IIA. “The Pew Internet research demonstrates that we’ve made important progress toward a more pluralistic consumption of broadband, but highlights the gaps which still exist. The IIA remains committed to working toward universal broadband access.”

To view the Pew Internet & American Life Project survey in its entirety, please visit www.pewinternet.org/

The Internet Innovation Alliance

Larry Irving and Bruce Mehlman founded the IIA in 2004. Irving is president and CEO of Irving Information Group, a consulting firm providing strategic advice and assistance to international telecommunications and technology companies. Mehlman is co-founder of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti Inc., a bipartisan public affairs consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the Internet Innovation Alliance visit: www.internetinnovation.org