But that’s misleading.
Of the 93 million persons without broadband identified by the study, about 80 million are adults. Small numbers of them access the Internet by dial-up connections, or outside the home at places like offices or libraries, but most never log on anywhere.
Asked about the reasons for not having broadband at home, almost half of respondents cited a prohibitive cost, and almost as many said they were uncomfortable using a computer. Forty-five percent answered “yes” to the statement, “I am worried about all the bad things that can happen if I use the Internet.” Others said they viewed the Internet as a waste of time.
A more accurate headline might be “One-Third of U.S. Without Computers, Mostly By Choice.”
This is fascinating and worthy of discussion in our industry. Collectively, we’ve screwed up. Badly. What can we do to make computers attractive to the third of our country who don’t use any of our stuff?
The F.C.C. was mandated by Congress to produce a detailed plan with specific recommendations to hasten the national adoption of broadband in the United States. […] It will recommend, among other elements, an expansion of broadband adoption from the current 65 percent to more than 90 percent, Mr. Genachowski said in a blog post on an F.C.C. Web site last week.
It’s not a question about broadband versus dial-up, but a question of computer-users versus non-users.
How does the FCC intend to make more people care about computers? How will the FCC address those who can’t afford a computer and internet service?
Without good answers to both questions, which I don’t believe are possible, I don’t see how we can significantly raise this metric. And even with great solutions to both, 90% seems unrealistic.
Instead of trying to raise broadband penetration to impossible levels, why not try to improve the broadband options that the majority of the country uses? That’s the sort of thing that the FCC is supposed to do, despite failing miserably to do so for the last decade.