Americans are connecting to the Internet in record numbers, becoming dependent on this technology for global communication, information, and commerce. While Internet users continue to expand at unprecedented rates, there is a discrepancy among those users: urban vs. rural.
According to 2010 Census data, 61% of adults in rural America have mobile broadband or other Internet services at home versus 73% of urban adults (NTIA, 2011). This gap in access is a phenomenon known as the digital divide. The digital divide goes beyond simple geography, it can also depend on race and economic status, resulting in unequal access for rural areas, particularly Native American communities. In short, urban users typically have access to the Internet in their homes, their schools and in community facilities, while their rural cousins often find that clean air and wide open spaces translates into being left behind in this technological age.
However, it is evident strides are being made to help rural Americans utilize the Internet. Data from the 2010 Census shows that, of rural Americans with Internet access, 57% (NTIA, 2011) have high-speed (broadband) connections in their homes, compared with 46% in 2009 (Pew, 2010).
NTIA 2011, Exploring the Digital Nation: Computer and Internet Use at Home; Pew 2010, Home Broadband 2010
Inquiries Related to Rural Utility and
FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
USDA Rural Utilities Service
USDA Telecommunications Division
There are more organizations related to Technology in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 4/15/2013