FACT SHEET: Americans Using Internet for Many Tasks

FALLING THROUGH THE NET: DEFINING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE, July 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" still continues to widen.

Overview:

The use of the Internet has soared in recent years. As entrepreneurs put more time and money into Internet applications, Americans are also using the Internet for an increasing number of tasks. E-mail remains the killer application, used by nearly 80% of those with home Internet access. Searching for information and checking news are the other most common home Internet tasks.

Highlights:

Significant Findings:

As more and more Americans log on to the Internet, they are using it for a variety of tasks, from searching for information to job searches to academic support. In fact, various demographic groups are finding uses of the Internet to best meet their needs--the unemployed are searching for jobs, and the less educated are taking courses online. On average, however, certain groups still cannot access the Internet and are thus unable to benefit from the Internet's growing list of uses.

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