Report: Path to Economic Recovery Must Address Broadband Challenges

Miami State, local and national leaders must focus more attention on the consumer side of America's broadband challenge, according to a report by Connected Nation.

The report coincides with a summit being held this week in Miami, called “Digital Pathways to U.S. Economic Recovery and Prosperity,” which is drawing the attention of some of the nation’s leaders to discuss the topic.

“Never before has the United States had such an opportunity for an economic return on investment as is available when we make broadband an infrastructure priority,” said Connected Nation chairman and CEO Brian Mefford during the summit’s keynote address. “Together, we have to elevate the understanding of the transformative power of broadband so that those who are the nation’s most vulnerable will not remain on the wrong side of the digital divide, therefore allowing for an economic impact of proportions never before possible in the history of our nation.”

The new Connected Nation report entitled, “Consumer Insights to America’s Broadband Challenge,” revealed that the largest barrier to broadband adoption is a lack of awareness about its benefits. Nearly one-half (44%) of those with no home broadband connection said, “I don’t need broadband.”

Likewise, the top barrier to computer ownership is also a perceived lack of need. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of those who do not own a computer said, “I don’t need a computer.”

Nearly one-fourth (24%) of those who do not own a computer cite the up-front cost as a barrier. Similarly, nearly one-fourth of those without a home broadband connection said broadband is too expensive.