FACT SHEET: 'Digital Divide' Widening at Lower Income Levels

FALLING THROUGH THE NET: DEFINING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE, November 1999

This report on the telecommunications and information technology gap in America provides comprehensive data on the level of access by Americans to telephones, computers, and the Internet. It includes valuable information about where Americans are gaining access, what they are doing with their online connections, and provides trendline information since 1984.

According to the report, the number of Americans accessing the Internet has grown rapidly in the last year; yet, in the midst of this general expansion, the "digital divide" between information "haves" and "have nots" continues to widen.

Overview:

Income level is a strong determinant of a person or household's Internet access. While a predictor of overall Internet use, income level also influences where and how a person uses the Internet. Persons with incomes of less than $35,000 more often use the Internet outside the home, while those making over $75,000 predominantly use the Internet at home.

Highlights:

Significant Findings:

Americans without ready access to the Internet (at home or at work) are making use of public resources, often using public Internet terminals for many of the same tasks as home Internet users. Persons in lower income brackets more often use community access centers; however, public resources available to date have not alleviated the significant Internet use gap between rich and poor.


        Note:   Press Contact:                          For Report Details, contact:
                Mary Hanley, (202) 482-2075             Kelly Levy, (202) 482-1880
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