In a relatively short period of time, broadband Internet service in the United States has evolved from the exception to the norm. Over two-thirds of U.S. households subscribe to high-speed Internet services today. Notably, the pace of broadband adoption in America has been faster than any other consumer communications technology to date. But against such success, we must also acknowledge the challenge we still face in bringing the benefits of broadband technology to all Americans.
Studies by groups such as the Pew Internet and American Life Project and The Advanced Communications Law and Policy Institute at New York Law School identify many “barriers” to broadband adoption. Interestingly, while economic circumstances or the lack of a computer in the home often make the list, more common responses indicate that non-adopters do not see the Internet as being relevant to their lives, or, they are uncomfortable with using Internet technology and services.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has campaigned for wider broadband adoption. He argues that easy, affordable access to high-speed Internet service is a key component for financial, career, business, and personal success today in American life.
We agree with the Chairman and other broadband adoption advocates. Broadband has created a revolution in the way we live. Americans who aren’t online could greatly benefit by adopting broadband.
As the nation’s leading provider of broadband service, cable has invested more than $200 billion in upgrading our networks to enable high-speed Internet service. Today we make broadband available to more than 93 percent of American households. We’ve seen, firsthand, how broadband access has improved the education of our kids, health care, government, the delivery of essential goods and services, even the way we communicate with each other and entertain ourselves.
That’s why today we applaud Connect2Compete, the national non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through the power of technology, and The Advertising Council, whose slogan is “Inspiring Change – Improving Lives,” for the launch of a great new campaign that should boost the nation’s broadband adoption efforts.
Targeting ways to improve digital literacy among those Americans who need coaching, these groups have unveiled “Everyone On.” As this campaign proclaims, “Our goal is for all Americans to have access to free digital literacy training, online or in person.”
The premise of the project is brilliantly simple. Those of us who do use the broadband-delivered Internet can help educate those who do not, about the power and impact of broadband.
If you’re reading these words, odds are pretty good that you have the knowledge and experience to help make the Internet relevant – perhaps to an elderly relative, a disadvantaged child, or the family down the street that hasn’t realized the potential of having broadband at home.
As an industry, we in cable have worked with a variety of partners, including Connect2Compete, on efforts to make Internet service more approachable and more relevant to non-adopters. Often, such efforts focus on coordinated strategies aimed at building digital skills and offering low cost access to Internet service and equipment. And we’re proud that over the past two years, through these programs, we’ve helped add more than 150,000 economically-challenged households to the broadband rolls.
So now we encourage everyone to do their part. Go to www.EveryoneOn.org to see how you can help someone adopt broadband today. Together, we can help forge a great future for America.
from Cable Tech Talk http://ift.tt/2jTvwBt