New Report Reveals Regional Differences in Illinois Broadband Usage

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, November 14, 2012 – The digital divide prevails in areas of Southern and Western Illinois where less than 60 percent of residents use high-speed internet services at their home, according to a report on broadband adoption and usage released today by Broadband Illinois.

Identifying who has high-speed internet, who doesn’t, and how broadband adoption can be expanded to more Illinois homes are key themes of the research, which was gathered via a phone survey in the first quarter of 2012. The report is unique in that it provides a regional breakdown of broadband adoption and usage patterns and cites reasons why some Illinois households choose not to have broadband at home.

“Our ten regional eTeams are poised to address the differences in broadband usage in each area of the state,” said Drew Clark, Executive Director of Broadband Illinois. “This exciting research provides new insights, at a regional level, that we’ve never before had access to.”

This first-of-its-kind report for Illinois was led by premier broadband researcher, John Horrigan, Ph.D., who worked for nine years as a director at the Pew Internet & American Life Project, helped author the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) National Broadband Plan, and designed and conducted the FCC’s first national survey on broadband adoption and usage. Horrigan currently directs the Media & Technology Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C

Because Broadband Illinois commissioned a separate research initiative concentrated on the City of Chicago, today’s report focuses on areas of Illinois outside of Cook County.

The report also provides significant detail on smartphone usage. Smartphones are cited as a “strong foothold” in how people in Illinois access the internet. Some 46 percent of Illinois residents have a smartphone, and adoption rates are particularly prevalent for African American and Hispanic users.

Other key findings of the report:

  • 68% of Illinois adults surveyed have broadband at home; 56% of African Americans and 56% of Hispanics have broadband at home.
  • There is significant regional variation in home broadband adoption rates. For example, in four eTeam regions- Northwest, Southeast Central, Southern, and West Central- home broadband rates fall below 60%.
  • The 32% of Illinois adults without broadband at home are older, more rural, and have lower incomes than broadband users in the state. Cost, relevance, and digital literacy are cited as key reasons people do not have broadband. 

To download the full “Broadband Adoption in Illinois” report, click here

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Tags: broadband adoption, broadband usage, eTeams, John Horrigan, report, research, Southern Illinois, western illinois

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