Finding and Nurturing New Internet Users

We've been collecting and publishing data about broadband supply for more than two years. We've submitted six rounds of this data to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the National Broadband Map. Our Broadband Illinois website features a plethora of resources, maps, and tools created with this information. Studying the ways Illinoisans adopt to and use broadband is another key piece of the "broadband picture." This month, we are pleased to release a series of pathbreaking research reports into broadband usage. 

Our "Broadband Adoption in Illinois" report, released yesterday, reveals significant differences in broadband access and adoption of home users among our ten eTeam regions. Overall, Illinois falls inline with the rest of the country with a 68 percent home broadband rate, but some areas of our state are falling behind. Southern and Western Illinois residents reported home broadband rates below 60 percent. Additionally, only 56 percent of African American and Hispanic users in Illinois subscribe to broadband at home. One aspect of this research is that it helps drive action to enhance Better Broadband, Better Lives. An example is the broadband lifeline application we submitted to the Federal Communications Committee in conjunction with seven eligible telecommunication carriers. If the application is selected, we'll work to improve broadband usage rates in the the southern and western parts of the state. 

Further, in two weeks, we'll host the Illinois Broadband Research Conference in Chicago on Thursday, November 29. Panels on "benchmarking broadband" and "seeding demand" promise to showcase the work that has been done on broadband usage in our state. The work of Karen Mossberger and Caroline Tolbert highlights how users in 77 Chicago communities use the internet for work, job applications, and every day life.  

Following the research panels, I'll lead a discussion on "data-driven impact." We'll discuss what broadband research can do for economic growth in the City and State. Panelists include three leaders in the City of Chicago: John Tolva, Chief Technology Officer for the City of Chicago; Mark Harris, CEO of the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition; and Susana Vasquez, Executive Director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago.) They will speak on how they're using Broadband Illinois data to advance their work. 

The event is from 8 a.m to 3 p.m. on Thursday, November 29 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It's free and open to the public, but registration is required. Click here to see a full agenda and to register. See you there!

Tags: adoption, broadband conference, chicago, john tolva, karen mossberger, mark harris, research, susana vasquez, usage

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