The number of African Americans using broadband at home has increased by 22 percent from last year. Overall the use of broadband increased by only a few percentage points from last year but it’s black folks who are seeing the largest increase. That’s good news.
By: Mark Hachman
Although the percentage of Americans using broadband at home increased just slightly from last year, the number of African-Americans reporting access to broadband at home surged by 22 percent, a report said Wednesday.
According to a report compiled by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 66 percent of Americans said they had broadband access at home in 2010, versus 63 percent in 2009. Ethnically, 67 percent of whites reported home broadband; English-speaking Hispanics reported 66 percent; and blacks reported 56 percent.
A year ago, however, 46 percent of African-Americans polled by the organization reported broadband at home, a gain of 10 percentage points, or 22 percent in absolute numbers.
Pew polled 2,252 adults by phone between the end of April and May, including 744 reached via a cell phone. Users were asked to state whether they connected to the Internet via a dial-up landline, or with some form of broadband, including a cable modem, DSL, or wireless, according to Aaron Smith, research specialist with Pew.
When asked why African-Americans reported such a large jump, Smith said that Pew’s research didn’t examine the reason. “But we’ve been picking up on it for a couple of years now; not necessarily with broadband, but with higher levels of engagement with the Internet in general,” he said.
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