Investments by cable companies and other technology providers have made Texas the second most wired state in the country. (see 2015 Texas PUC Scope of Competition Report).
Broadband adoption, however, continues to be a key issue. According to our partners at Broadband for America, people’s broadband adoption rates fluctuate largely based upon household income. However, once a household has a broadband connection the value of high-speed access to the Internet quickly becomes apparent.
The role of broadband as a major driving force for innovation in the cable industry was a focus of the opening session at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association’s annual Cable Show in 2013. In his keynote speech, Michael Powell, president and CEO of NCTA, emphasized the role of broadband in making cable accessible at nearly any time and any place. However, he also noted the importance of continued research and innovation. “We are on an endless journey to deliver an exceptional experience to American consumers and businesses.”
Digital inclusion means ensuring that every segment of our population (regardless of income or location) can participate in the information age, since the production and consumption of information is among the strongest drivers for economic development and job growth, as well as advancements in healthcare and education. Consider this adoption fact: In 2008, 88 percent of households with annual income over $100,000 were connected to broadband, while only 41 percent of households with annual income less than $25,000 had adopted it. (See report by Mark Dutz, Jonathan Orszag and Robert Willig, “The Substantial Consumer Benefits Of Broadband Connectivity For U.S. Households).
Increasing broadband adoption rates for low-income households is crucial to improve their economic outlook. Many people are finding it impossible to move forward in today’s job market without having familiarity with, and access to, online tools. That’s where broadband adoption plays such a critical role.
- Closing the broadband adoption gap will create $32 billion in annual economic value.
- One third (100 million) of Americans haven’t adopted broadband at home.
- 88 percent of households with annual income over $100,000 are connected to broadband.
- Only 41 percent of households with annual income less than $25,000 have adopted broadband.
- Students with broadband at home have a 6 to 8 percent higher graduation rate than those without broadband at home.