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A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age

September 30, 2004
Abstract: 

A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age is the sixth report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce examining the use of computers, the Internet, and other information technology tools by the American people.  Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey of 57,000 households containing 134,000 persons, this report provides broad-based and statistically reliable information on the ways that information technologies in general, and broadband more specifically, are transforming the way we live, work, and learn.

- The Census Bureau's Survey Instrument and Raw Data is available at https://www.census.gov

- PDF version of A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age


A Nation Online:

Entering the Broadband Age

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2004

 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

 

Economics and Statistics Administration

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

 

foreword

Kathleen B. Cooper

Under Secretary for Economic Affairs
Economics and Statistics Administration

 

Michael D. Gallagher

Assistant Secretary and Administrator
National Telecommunications and Information Administration

A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age is the sixth report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce examining the use of computers, the Internet, and other information technology tools by the American people.  Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey of 57,000 households containing 134,000 persons, this report provides broad-based and statistically reliable information on the ways that information technologies in general, and broadband more specifically, are transforming the way we live, work, and learn. 

This year, we have chosen to focus on broadband technologies because now, more than ever before, high-speed connections promise to enhance our Nation’s productivity and economic competitiveness, improve education, and expand health care for all Americans.  High-speed networks provide the power to erase geographic, economic, and cultural gaps.  With high-speed connections, American workers can find jobs; small businesses can have global markets;  rural doctors can consult with specialists; and students can take classes that are taught from across the country.

Because of the significant promise of this technology, President Bush has set out a bold vision for broadband in America, establishing a national goal for “universal, affordable access for broadband technology by the year 2007.”1  Detailing the many benefits of the technology, the President noted that “[t]he spread of broadband will not only help industry, it [will] help the quality of life of our citizens.”[2]  We hope that this report and its successors will contribute to the ongoing discussion surrounding this important goal by highlighting the growing use of high-speed access across the Nation.

 

A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age

 

National Telecommunications                            Economics and Statistics

and Information Administration                         Administration

            Michael D. Gallagher, Assistant Secretary                 Kathleen B. Cooper, Under Secretary

for Communications and Information                        for Economic Affairs         

                                                                                               

Joint Project Team

                       NTIA                                                                        ESA

Joseph Watson, Jr., Associate Administrator                 Patricia Buckley, Senior Policy Advisor

for Policy Analysis and Development                            

 

James McConnaughey, Senior Economist                     Sabrina Montes, Economist

 

Wendy Lader, Senior Policy Analyst                             George McKittrick, Economist

 

B. Keith Fulton, Senior Policy Analyst                                      

                                                                                               

Sandra Ryan, Telecommunications Policy

  Analyst

U.S. Bureau of the Census

Demographic Surveys Division                                 Demographic Statistical Methods Division

       Maria E. Reed                                                                       Thomas F. Moore

      Bonnie S. Tarsia                                                                         Alfred Meier

       Tim J. Marshall                                                                           Jan Sheperd

    Robert E. Rothhaas                                                    Technologies Management Office

 Karen G. Wms. Woods                                                          Andrew Stevenson

     Laura D. Flores                                                                  Population Division

  Lorelei T. Dacquel                                                                  Jennifer C. Day

                                                                                                Alexander L. Janus                              

                                                                                                    Hyon B. Shin

Acknowledgments

NTIA and ESA would like to thank Meredith Attwell, Clyde F. Ensslin, John M.R. Kneuer, Maureen Lewis, Kathy Smith, and Josephine Scarlett of NTIA, and Keith Hall, Elizabeth (E.R.) Anderson, Jeffrey Mayer, Jane Molloy, Daniel Bachman, and David Beede of ESA for their contributions to this report.

____________________________

Questions or comments can be emailed to: NationOnline@doc.gov
Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.

A nation online: Entering  The broadband age.

Introduction.

Access and Use.

Online Behavior

Communications.

Entertainment

Transactions.

Information.

Effect of Geography.

Reasons for Non-Use.

Conclusion.

Methodology.

 

Appendix Table 1: Internet Use from Any Location by Individuals Age 3 and Older, September 2001 and October 2003 and Living in a Home with Internet Broadband Age 3 and Older, October 2003.

 

Appendix Table 2: Non-Internet Use from Any Location by Individuals Age 3 and Older, September 2001 and October 2003

 

Appendix Table 3: Internet Use by Percent of State Population, Age 3 and Older, October 2003.

 

Appendix Table 4:  Household’s Internet Connection Type, October 2003.


 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

As the Internet increasingly affects the daily lives of Americans and the U.S. economy, one of the greatest changes in recent years has been the rapid uptake of broadband technologies.  Between the Census Bureau’s Current Population Surveys conducted in September 2001 and October 2003, the number of households with Internet connections grew by 12.6 percent.  The data reveal that a transition is underway from dial-up to high-speed Internet connections.  The use of high-speed Internet connections grew significantly between 2001 and 2003 and more than offset the decline in dial-up users.  For this reason, this report focuses on what Americans are doing with their high-speed connections.

The dramatic uptake of broadband technologies has fueled the Nation’s rising use of the Internet.

 

·        The proportion of U.S. households with broadband Internet connections more than doubled from 9.1 percent in September 2001 to 19.9 percent in October 2003. 

·        In 2001, two-thirds of broadband households used cable modem service (66.4 percent). By October 2003, cable modem households dropped to 56.4 percent and 43.6 percent of broadband households were using other types of connections.

·        Meanwhile, the proportion of dial-up households declined from 40.7 percent to 34.3 percent.

The report finds that broadband users are more likely to use the Internet more frequently and in a wider variety of ways.

·        Among Internet users, those with broadband connections at home are more likely to be daily Internet users (66.1 percent) than those with dial-up service (51.1 percent).

·        Persons with broadband at home also engage in more types of activities online, particularly in the areas of entertainment, banking, purchasing products or services, and obtaining information. 

In addition,       broadband usage is lower in rural than urban areas.

·        A lower percentage of Internet households have broadband connections in rural areas (24.7 percent) than in urban areas (40.4 percent). 

·        Rural households with dial-up connections are significantly more likely than their urban counterparts to list "Not Available" as the reason they do not have a higher speed Internet connection (22.1 percent to 4.7 percent, respectively).

 

A nation online: Entering The broadband age

Introduction

With computers now almost as common in American homes as cable television service, the Internet continues to expand in importance as a communication, information, entertainment, and transaction tool.  One sure sign of growing reliance on this medium is the dramatic jump in high-speed, or broadband, Internet connections. [3]  The number of households willing to pay a premium over the cost of a basic dial-up connection for broadband access more than doubled between September 2001 and October 2003, growing from 9.9 million to 22.4 million. Underlying this growth is an evolution in the way people are connecting to the Internet.  One in five (19.9 percent) U.S. households and over one-third (36.5 percent) of Internet households now have a high-speed connection, while the number of U.S. households using dial-up service declined by almost 13 percent between 2001 and 2003. (See Data Note)

 

Data Note

The data in this report are from special supplements to the Census Bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey (CPS).  The most recent of these large-scale surveys of computer and Internet use (approximately 57,000 households in the latest supplement) were conducted in September 2001 and October 2003.  The 2001 data (previously published in A Nation Online, February 2002) have been adjusted to reflect the 2000 Census-based weights and provide for a more accurate comparison with the 2003 data. 

Also, in the CPS supplements, respondents were asked about specific connection technologies rather than connection speeds.  In 2003, broadband connectivity was calculated to include those using digital subscriber lines (DSL), cable modems, satellite, and fixed wireless Multi-Media Distribution Systems (MMDS). This question was more limited in 2001, where broadband was defined as the combination of  DSL and cable modem.  This means that the proportion of households with broadband is understated in 2001 relative to 2003.  However this understatement is slight in that the proportion of U.S. households with satellite and MMDS was only 0.4 percent in 2003.  The Federal Communications Commission defines higher-speed Internet services (commonly known as “broadband”)  as services and facilities with speeds of over 200 kbps in at least one direction.  See In the Matter of Local Competition and Broadband Reporting, Report and Order, CC Docket No.99-301, 15 FCC Rcd 7717, 7730 (2000).

 

 

 

 

These high-speed connections are becoming ever more central to accessing and relaying information quickly.  Because of broadband’s increasing popularity, this report focuses on the growth of home broadband usage and the ways in which broadband users differ from dial-up users.  The report finds that those with broadband at home are more intensive Internet users.  Persons with broadband at home are more likely than other Internet users to use the Internet frequently and engage in a wider variety of online activities, such as entertainment and information gathering. 

The report also examines the geographic differences in broadband adoption and the reasons why some Americans do not have high-speed service.  The distribution of high-speed usage across economic and demographic categories, for the most part, follows the same patterns of variation that have been observed in the past in overall Internet use.  One major difference, however, is in the pattern of geographic dispersion.  Although the rate of Internet penetration among rural households (54.1 percent) is similar to that in urban areas (54.8 percent), the proportion of Internet users with home broadband connections remained much lower in rural areas than in urban areas. 

Access and Use

By far the greatest growth in household connectivity in the last two years has been in the use of broadband technologies.  Computer ownership and Internet connections in the home continued to increase between September 2001 and October 2003, albeit at slowing rates (Figure 1). 

Figure 1: Percent of Households with Computers and Internet Connections,
Selected Years, 1997-2003*

Figure 1: Percent of Households with Computers and Internet Connections, Selected Years, 1997-2003

*Note: 2001 and 2003 reflect 2000 Census-based weights and earlier years use 1990 Census-based weights.

The proportion of U.S. households with computers reached 61.8 percent in 2003, and 87.6 percent of those households used their computers to access the Internet.  As a result, 54.6 percent of U.S. households had Internet connections (54.1 percent in households with a personal computer or laptop, plus an additional 0.5 percent using a mobile telephone or some other home Internet access device).  Household Internet connections increased only four percentage points in the 25 months between the two most recent surveys, compared to an almost nine percentage-point increase during the 13 months separating the previous two surveys (August 2000 and September 2001). 

Although the growth of the percentage of overall home Internet connections slowed, dramatic changes  occurred in the relative distribution of the various types of Internet connections.  Between September 2001 and October 2003, the number of households with Internet connections grew by 6.9 million.  However, the percentage of households with high-speed Internet or broadband connections more than doubled, increasing from 9.1 to 19.9 percent of all U.S. households (Figure 1), or by 12 million households.  Dial-up connections actually declined by 12.7 percent, or 5.6 million households, during the period.  These factors suggest that a transition is underway as Internet households move from dial-up service to faster broadband connections.  As shown in Table 1, the increase in Internet totals was due to growth in both of the major high-speed connection technologies:  DSL and cable. 

Table 1: Home Internet Connections by Technology, 2001 and 2003
(Millions of Households)

 

2001

2003

 

Percent Change

            Dial-Up

44.2

38.6

 

-12.7%

            DSL

 3.3

 9.3

 

181.8%

            Cable

 6.6

12.6

 

90.9%

            Other*

 0.5

  0.9

 

80.0%

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Households with Internet

54.6

61.5

 

12.6%

Total Number of Households

108.6

112.6

 

3.7%

* “Other” includes 0.4 million households with satellite and MMDS broadband in 2003.

The 2003 individual home connection numbers do not add up to the category total due to rounding.

 

Further, it is worth noting that broadband’s rate of diffusion is outpacing that of many popular technologies in the past, such as video cassette recorders (VCRs), the Internet, and personal computers (PCs) (Figure 2). 

Figure 2: Household Diffusion of Popular Technologies
in the U.S. After Reaching Five Percent Threshold

 

Figure 2: Household Diffusion of Popular Technologies in the U.S. After Reaching Five Percent Threshold

Source: OECD, Information Technology Outlook, 2004.

Another significant change over the last two years has been in the selection of broadband technologies.  Initially, cable modems were the leading broadband technology used to connect to the Internet.  Competing technologies, most notably DSL, have gained significant acceptance.  Between 2001 and 2003, the number of DSL users nearly tripled.  This gain has eroded the substantial market share lead that cable modems enjoyed in 2001.  Of the 18.2 percent of  U.S. Internet households that had higher-speed Internet capability in 2001, almost two-thirds used cable modems.  As shown in Figure 3, DSL’s share has grown over time, although cable still retains a higher market share.

Figure 3: Preferences in Broadband Technologies, 2001[4] and 2003
(Percent of Broadband Households)

 

 
  Figure 3: Preferences in Broadband Technologies, 2001 and 2003 (Percent of Broadband Households)
 
 

These data measure the presence of computers and Internet connections in the home rather than focusing on the individuals in the home who actually use the Internet.  Not everyone in a home with Internet access uses the Internet, however.  Furthermore, people without home Internet access may use the Internet at another location, such as school, work, or a public library.  Figure 4 shows that 14.2 percent of Internet users—or 8.4 percent of the U.S. population—lack home Internet access and use the Internet elsewhere.

Figure 4: Individual Internet Use by Type of Home Internet Connection,
 2003 (Ages 3 and Over)

Figure 4: Individual Internet Use by Type of Home Internet Connection,  2003 (Ages 3 and Over)

 

Online Behavior

Frequency of use and the number and type of online activities in which people engage vary substantially by whether they have Internet access at home and by the type of home Internet connection.  For example, almost one-third (31.9 percent) of Americans access the Internet on a daily basis.  Ninety percent of these frequent users have Internet access in their homes.  As shown in Table 2, people without Internet access at home are not only much less likely to be Internet users in general, they are also much less likely to be frequent users.

The greater number of online activities in which individuals engage, the higher the likelihood they will have broadband at home.  Even though the “frequency of use” variable refers to Internet use from any location, those individuals with broadband in the home are more likely to be daily Internet users (66.1 percent) than those with dial-up at home (51.2 percent).

Table 2: Frequency of Persons’ Internet Use by
Home Internet Connection Technology, 2003
(Percentage of Use)

 

Uses the Internet at least once a day

Uses the Internet at least once a week but not every day

Uses the Internet at least once a month but not every week

Uses the Internet less than once a month

Total

No Internet Access at Home

38.2

36.6

13.5

11.7

100.0

Dial-up Internet Access at Home

51.2

36.3

  8.0

  4.5

100.0

Broadband Internet Access at Home

66.1

26.7

  4.7

  2.6

100.0

 

People with broadband in the home also engage to a greater degree in certain online activities.  Figure 5 shows the percent of Internet users engaging in some common online activities in September 2001 and October 2003.  These activities have been grouped into four broad categories:  communications, entertainment, transactions, and information.  Figure 6 shows activities by percent of Internet users in each of three home connection types (no Internet at home, home dial-up access, and home broadband access).  As discussed below, individuals who go online for entertainment, banking, purchasing products or services, or obtaining information, are more likely to have broadband at home than those with dial-up service.

 

 

 

Figure 5: Online Activities, 2001 and 2003
(Percent of Internet Users 15 and Over)

Figure 5: Online Activities, 2001 and 2003 (Percent of Internet Users 15 and Over)           

Figure 6: Online Activities by Type of Home Internet Connection, 2003
(Percent of Internet Users 15 and Over)

Figure 6: Online Activities by Type of Home Internet Connection, 2003 (Percent of Internet Users 15 and Over)
Communications

E-mail remains the most prevalent online activity, with 87.8 percent of Internet users sending and receiving e-mail or instant messaging.[5]  As shown in Figure 5, the percentage of Internet users who e-mail remained virtually unchanged between 2001 and 2003.  Additionally, Figure 6 shows that those with dial-up and broadband service at home, as well as those without Internet access at home, are using the Internet for e-mail at substantial levels.  The survey did not ask about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), an emerging application, although future surveys will do so.

Entertainment

The use of the Internet for entertainment is substantially more likely among those with broadband.  As shown in Figure 6, the proportion of Internet users with home dial-up connections who listen to the radio or view TV or movies on the Internet is almost one-half of those with broadband connectivity (17.3 percent versus 30.9 percent, respectively).  In fact, dial-up users are more like those without the Internet at home in terms of the extent of their use of the Internet for entertainment. 

Transactions

Two of the activities with the greatest growth between 2001 and 2003 were online purchases of goods and services (e-commerce) and online banking.  As Figure 5 demonstrates, the proportion of Americans engaging in e-commerce has grown substantially—8.0 percentage points—over the 2001-2003 period.  Online banking grew by 10.4 percentage points, more than any other activity considered.  Both e-commerce and online banking are also areas where substantial differences exist between usage levels of home dial-up and broadband users.

Information

A large majority of Internet users go online for information. They most often search for product or service information, frequently as a precursor to online or conventional commerce.  In general, usage rates for dial-up and broadband users are similar in this area.  A significant portion of home dial-up Internet users (40.0 percent) and nearly a majority of broadband Internet users (47.9 percent) use the Internet to research health services and related issues.  News, weather, and sports is the only information category where a difference of over 10 percentage points exists between dial-up and broadband users: 64.4 and 76.2 percent, respectively.  The number of information searches about government services or agencies also grew between 2001 and 2003, with substantial differences existing in this e-government activity between those with broadband Internet at home and those without.

Internet users with broadband at home are more likely than those with dial-up or no home Internet connection to engage in each of the specific activities discussed above.  Additionally, they are more likely to engage in the highest number of online activities.  As shown in Figure 7, 15.0 percent of Internet users with no Internet at home engage in only one of the 12 activities considered.  The proportion of Internet users with Internet in the home that engage in only one activity is much smaller—8.3 percent of those with home dial-up service and 4.5 percent of those with broadband.  At the other end of the distribution, 22.1 percent of Internet users with broadband at home engage in eight or more activities.  The comparable figures are 10.6 percent for those with dial-up at home and 8.2 percent for users without Internet at home.

 

Figure 7: Activity Intensity by Type of Home Internet Connection, 2003

Figure 7: Activity Intensity by Type of Home Internet Connection, 2003

Effect of Geography

The proportion of Internet users in the population grew in every state between 2001 and 2003, although the levels and rates of change have not been uniform.  As shown in Figure 8,  the number of states where less than half of the population uses the Internet declined from four to one, while the number of states where over 70 percent of the population uses the Internet grew from one to six. 

 

 

 

Figure 8: Distribution of Internet Use Across the States, 2001 and 2003 (Internet Use by State Population, Ages 3 and Over)
Figure 8: Distribution of Internet Use Across the States, 2001 and 2003
(Internet Use by State Population, Ages 3 and Over)[6]

 

In general, home broadband adoption rates vary in ways similar to overall Internet adoption rates, although there are some important geographic differences.  As shown in Figure 9, rates of dial-up usage are roughly the same across geographic regions.  However, broadband rates are higher in the West and Northeast than in the South and Midwest. 

Figure 9: Type of Home Internet Connection by Region, 2003

Figure 9: Type of Home Internet Connection by Region, 2003

Note:  Broadband includes DSL, cable modem, fixed wireless (MMDS), and satellite.

 

As shown in Table 3, broadband connections at home are less prevalent in rural America (24.7 percent) than in urban areas (40.4 percent), particularly in central cities (40.9 percent).[7]  The 2003 CPS supplement found that in rural areas, subscribership for both cable modems (14.3 percent) and DSL (9.2 percent) is lower than national averages (20.6 percent and 15.2 percent, respectively).[8]  While broadband usage has grown significantly in all areas since the previous survey, the rural-urban differential continues.  However, wireless technologies such as satellite and MMDS are promising technologies for increasing broadband use in rural areas.  They are better suited at present than cable or DSL for providing high speed Internet access in areas where population density is low.  Even at this early stage of wireless deployment, rural households are slightly more likely than urban households to have satellite or MMDS.

 

Table 3: Type of Home Internet Connection by Rural/Urban, 2003
(Percent of Households with Internet)

 

Total US

Rural

Urban

Central City

Dial-up

62.8

74.7

58.9

58.4

Cable Modem

20.6

14.3

22.6

21.1

DSL

15.2

9.2

17.2

19.1

Satellite and Fixed Wireless (MMDS)

0.7

1.2

0.6

0.7

Other

0.8

0.7

0.8

0.8

 

This situation is not new.  As explained in the April 2000 report co-authored by the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce, cable modem and DSL technologies are less likely to serve rural areas for varied reasons.  Cable modem service may not extend to remote customers, who often do not have cable systems built out to their homes.  Additionally, the cost of building out cable modem service is higher in rural and remote areas, where the subscriber base is low.   DSL is similarly hampered by distance as loops extending more than 15,000 to 18,000 feet from the central switching office are less likely to be able to support DSL-based advanced services without significant cost increases.   The report concluded that “[t]he deployment of both technologies declines with population density.  [C]able modems and DSL services, although increasingly available in rural towns, are still far more available in larger metropolitan areas…. As a result, residents in rural areas will generally be the last to receive service.”[9]

The difficulty that residents of rural areas face in obtaining broadband is illustrated in the reasons that dial-up households give for not having moved to higher-speed service.  As shown in Figure 10, dial-up Internet households most often cite  “Don’t Need/Not Interested” (44.1 percent) and “Too Expensive” (38.9 percent) as the main reasons they do not have higher speed access at home.  Only 9.8 percent cited that high-speed service was not available.  

 

Figure 10: Main Reasons for No High-Speed Internet Use at Home, 2003Figure 10: Main Reasons for No High-Speed Internet Use at Home, 2003

 

However, there are major differences in the responses between rural and urban households.  Figure 11 shows that while only 4.7 percent of urban Internet households believed that broadband was not available, 22.1 percent of rural Internet households surveyed believed that they did not have broadband available to them.

Indeed, differences in availability may account for much of the disparity in broadband use between rural and urban areas.  For example, if dial-up households citing “Lack of Availability” as the primary reason for not having higher-speed access were added to those currently having broadband, then rural and urban households would have broadband Internet connections in roughly the same proportion (41.2 percent and 43.1 percent for rural and urban, respectively).

 

 

Figure 11: Main Reasons for No High-Speed Internet Use at Home
Rural/Urban, 2003

Figure 11: Main Reasons for No High-Speed Internet Use at Home Rural/Urban, 2003

 

Reasons for Non-Use

When asked, the reasons given for why some Americans choose not to use the Internet or broadband technologies extend beyond issues of geography.  Many Americans—41.3 percent  of the total U.S. population—still do not use the Internet from any location.  But, only 32.4 percent of U.S. households do not contain at least one person who uses the Internet.  The key reasons given by those households that have never connected to the Internet at home suggest problems of cost/value and availability, including:  “Don’t Need/Not Interested” (41.6 percent), “Too Expensive” (22.9 percent), and “No or Inadequate Computer Available” (22.5 percent).  Affordability and computer availability are even more important for those who had Internet service but discontinued it.  Major reasons for discontinuing home Internet use include “No or Inadequate Computer Available” (27.5 percent), “Too Expensive” (27.2 percent), and “Don’t Need/Not Interested” (18.4 percent).

Many of those who do not use the Internet employ other communications devices and entertainment media although their usage rates trail those of Internet users.  For example, 48.3 percent of households that do not have Internet have cable TV versus 59.9 percent of Internet households.  And 31.1 percent of households that do not have Internet have cell phones versus 67.7 percent of Internet households. 

Indeed, a certain percentage of Americans remain non-users even when there is already someone in their household using the Internet at home.  Figure 12 shows that almost one-quarter (24.7 percent) of non-Internet users live in a household that has an Internet connection.  Additionally, only seven percent of the non-Internet users live in a household with broadband access.  Therefore, it appears that regardless of availability or affordability, a certain percentage of Americans likely will remain non-users, just as five to six percent of households have consistently declined home telephone service since the early 1990s.

Figure 12: Non-Internet Users by Availability of Internet in the Home,
 2003 (Ages 3 and Over)

Figure 12: Non-Internet Users by Availability of Internet in the Home,  2003 (Ages 3 and Over)

 

Conclusion

The Internet facilitates an ever-growing range of activities and applications such as educating  children; accessing information from across the globe; connecting with people, governments, and organizations; obtaining information about health care; conducting price comparisons; bidding on contracts; and widening entertainment choices.  As the volume and complexity of the Internet’s content has grown, so has the need for high-speed access technologies.  In light of this trend, it will become increasingly important for Americans to have affordable access to broadband service.

The report demonstrates that broadband use is growing swiftly, and that broadband technologies are expanding the range and frequency of Internet use.  Yet, not all geographic locations in the United States are using high-speed services to the same degree.  Future surveys will enable us to track our progress in ensuring that all Americans have access to this important information technology.

 

 

Methodology

This report utilizes data from the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Census Bureau, taken from the Census Bureau’s October 2003 Current Population Survey (CPS) of approximately 57,000 sample households.  The survey took place during the week of October 19 through 25, 2003, and generated response rates of 92.7 percent for the basic CPS, with 93.7 percent of the CPS respondents answering the School Enrollment and Internet and Computer Use Supplement (i.e., 86.9 percent of the CPS sample answered the supplement).

The households surveyed were selected from the 1990 Decennial Census with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  The sample is continually updated to account for new residential construction.  The Census divided the United States into 2,007 geographic areas, each typically comprised of a county or several contiguous counties.  A total of 754 geographic areas were selected for the 2003 CPS survey.

For each household, Census Bureau interviewers spoke to a person (called the “respondent”) who was at least 15 years old and was considered knowledgeable about everyone in the household.  For purposes of collecting data at the household level (such as type of connection to the Internet), the respondent provided information pertaining to the “householder” or “reference person,” who is an adult in the household who either owns or has signed for the rent on the residence.  For purposes of collecting data at an individual level, the respondent provided responses for himself or herself and proxy responses for all other members of that household age 3 and older.  The survey, therefore, provided information on 134,189 individuals (age 3 and older).

The procedure used in developing estimates for the entire civilian noninstitutional population for the Current Population Survey (CPS) involves the weighting of sample results to independent estimates of the population by sex, age, race, and Hispanic/non-Hispanic categories. These independent estimates are developed by using civilian noninstitutional population counts from the decennial censuses and projecting them forward to current years using data on births, deaths, and net migration. Estimates in this report from the September 2001 CPS have been updated from those presented in the previous A Nation Online report.  The 2001 estimates in this report are based on population control benchmarks consistent with Census 2000, whereas the previous report’s estimates were based on benchmarks consistent with the 1990 census.  Weighting the estimates with 2000 population controls, instead of the 1990 census controls used in the previous report, had very little effect on Internet, broadband, or computer connectivity in 2001.

The Census Bureau cross‑tabulated the information gathered from the CPS according to specific variables, such as income, race, education level, household type, and age as well as by geographic categories, such as rural, urban, and central city, plus state and region.  The sample was too small to support statistically significant statements about some questionnaire items which only rarely drew positive responses.

All statistics in the survey are subject to sampling error, as well as non-sampling error such as survey design flaws, respondent classification and reporting errors, data processing mistakes and undercoverage.  In some cases in the report, numbers may not add up to the total due to rounding.  The Census Bureau has taken steps to minimize errors in the form of quality control and edit procedures to reduce errors made by respondents, coders, and interviewers.  Ratio estimation to independent age-race-sex-Hispanic population controls partially corrects for bias attributable to survey undercoverage.  However, biases exist in the estimates when missed people have characteristics different from those of interviewed people in the same age-race-sex-Hispanic group.

Given the size of the sample, calculated standard errors are small.  For example, our estimate that 61.8 percent of households have a computer (Figure 1) has a standard error of 0.20, which, when multiplied by 1.645, yields a 90-percent confidence interval of 61.5 to 62.1 percent.  However, as the population under consideration becomes smaller, the confidence interval widens.  For example, the width of the 90-percent confidence interval for many states exceeds 5 percentage points.  See Source and Accuracy Statement for more details, available at http://www.bls.census.gov/cps/bsrcacc.htm.

The data used in this report are freely available in a Public Use File maintained by the Census Bureau. See www.census.gov.

 

 

Appendix Table 1: Internet Use from Any Location by Individuals Age 3 and Older, September 2001 and October 2003 and Living in a Home with Internet Broadband Age 3 and Older, October 2003

 

Internet Users

(Percent)

Lives in a Broadband Household

(Percent)

 

Sept. 2001

      Oct. 2003

Oct. 2003

TOTAL POPULATION

55.1

58.7

22.8

Gender

 

 

 

  Male

55.2

58.2

23.9

  Female

55.0

59.2

21.8

Race/ Ethnicity a

 

 

 

  White b

61.3

65.1

25.7

    White Alone

n/a

65.1

25.7

  Black c

41.1

45.6

14.2

    Black Alone

n/a

45.2

13.9

  Asian Amer. & Pac. Isl. d

62.5

63.1

34.2

    Asian Amer. & Pac. Isl. Alone

n/a

63.0

34.7

  Hispanic (of any race)

33.4

37.2

12.6

Employment Status

 

 

 

  Employed /e

66.6

70.7

26.0

  Not Employed (unemployed or NLF) e

38.0

42.8

16.1

Family Income

 

 

 

  Less than $15,000

25.9

31.2

7.5

  $15,000 - $24,999

34.4

38.0

9.3

  $25,000 - $34,999

45.3

48.9

13.4

  $35,000 - $49,999

58.3

62.1

19.0

  $50,000 - $74,999

68.9

71.8

27.9

  $75,000 & above

80.4

82.9

45.4

    $75,000 - $99,999 f

n/a

79.8

36.8

    $100,000 - $149,999 f

n/a

85.1

49.3

    $150,000 & above f

n/a

86.1

57.7

Educational Attainment g

 

 

 

  Less Than High School

13.7

15.5

5.9

  High School Diploma / GED

41.1

44.5

14.5

  Some College

63.5

68.6

23.7

  Bachelor's Degree

82.2

84.9

34.9

  Beyond Bachelor's Degree

85.0

88.0

38.0

Age Group

 

 

 

  Age 3 - 4

17.6

19.9

22.0

  Age 5 - 9

41.0

42.0

24.1

  Age 10 - 13

66.7

67.3

25.8

  Age 14 - 17

76.4

78.8

28.3

  Age 18 - 24

66.6

70.6

25.5

    In School

85.4

86.7

33.8

    Not In School

54.0

58.2

19.0

  Age 25 - 49

65.0

68.0

25.9

    In Labor Force

68.4

71.7

26.8

    Not in Labor Force

47.1

49.7

21.1

  Age 50 +

38.3

44.8

15.9

    In Labor Force

58.0

64.4

22.6

    Not in Labor Force

22.2

27.6

10.1

Location of the Person's Household

 

 

  Rural

54.1

57.2

 

  Urban

55.5

59.2

 

    Urban Not Central City

58.8

62.5

 

    Urban Central City

50.3

54.0

 

Household Type In Which the Individual Lives h

 

  Married Couple w/Children <18 Years Old

63.5

65.3

29.3

  Male Householder w/Children <18 Years Old

46.8

50.3

19.4

  Female Householder w/Children <18 Years Old

46.6

51.4

14.8

  Households without Children

51.8

56.7

20.7

  Non-Family Household

48.3

53.1

17.3

Location of Internet Use

 

 

 

  Only At Home

19.0

19.0

 

  Only Outside the Home

11.8

11.6

 

 

 

 

 

Disability Status

 

 

 

  Between 25 and 60 and In the Labor Force

 

         Multiple Disabilities

54.8

58.9

14.2

         Blind or Severe Vision Impairment

56.2

63.7

21.6

         Deaf or Severe Hearing Impairment

59.6

72.1

25.8

         Difficulty Walking

60.5

64.2

22.4

         Difficulty Typing

62.8

64.4

26.0

         Difficulty Leaving Home

73.2

67.8

20.8

         None of these Disabilities

67.0

71.0

27.4

  Between 25 and 60 and Not In the Labor Force

 

         Multiple Disabilities

25.5

27.9

10.9

         Blind or Severe Vision Impairment

40.3

40.0

14.4

         Deaf or Severe Hearing Impairment

30.9

47.9

25.6

         Difficulty Walking

26.3

33.1

11.9

         Difficulty Typing

28.8

34.3

8.9

         Difficulty Leaving Home

24.0

26.1

12.0

         None of these Disabilities

47.0

52.5

23.4

  Over Age 60

 

         Multiple Disabilities

6.7

8.3

5.9

         Blind or Severe Vision Impairment

9.6

23.0

11.0

         Deaf or Severe Hearing Impairment

18.7

23.6

6.2

         Difficulty Walking

17.3

20.7

6.6

         Difficulty Typing

13.5

26.1

9.6

         Difficulty Leaving Home

7.5

10.5

6.3

         None of these Disabilities

26.4

34.2

10.9

 

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey supplements, September 2001, and October 2003.                                                               

 

Notes:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

n/a = Not Available                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

a In 2003 respondents were able to choose multiple racial categories.  Thus, 2003 race data are not strictly comparable with data from previous surveys.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

b For 2003, "White, should be read as “White alone or in combination with other racial categories, non-Hispanic.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

c For 2003, "Black" should be read as “Black alone or in combination with other racial categories, non-Hispanic.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

d For 2003, "Asian Amer. & Pac. Isl." should be read as “Asian American and Pacific Islanders alone or in combination with other racial categories, non-Hispanic.”                                                                                                                                           

e  Age 16 and Older. NLF=Not in the labor force.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

f The October 2003 Current Population Survey had income categories above $75,000 that were not previously available.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

g Age 25 and older.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

h The male and female categories refer to family households where a spouse is not present.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

 

Appendix Table 2: Non-Internet Use from Any Location by Individuals Age 3 and Older, September 2001 and October 2003

 

Non-Internet Users

(Percent)

 

Sept. 2001

Oct. 2003

TOTAL POPULATION

44.9

41.3

Gender

 

 

  Male

44.8

41.8

  Female

45.0

40.8

Race/ Ethnicity a

 

 

  White b

38.7

34.9

    White Alone

n/a

34.9

  Black c

58.9

54.4

    Black Alone

n/a

54.8

  Asian Amer. & Pac. Isl. d

37.5

36.9

    Asian Amer. & Pac. Isl. Alone

n/a

37.0

  Hispanic (of any race)

66.6

62.8

Employment Status

 

 

  Employed e

33.4

29.3

  Not Employed (unemployed or NLF) e

62.0

57.2

Family Income

 

 

  Less than $15,000

74.1

68.8

  $15,000 - $24,999

65.6

62.0

  $25,000 - $34,999

54.7

51.1

  $35,000 - $49,999

41.7

37.9

  $50,000 - $74,999

31.1

28.2

  $75,000 & above

19.6

17.1

    $75,000 - $99,999 f

n/a

20.2

    $100,000 - $149,999 f

n/a

14.9

    $150,000 & above f

n/a

13.9

Educational Attainment g

n/a

 

  Less Than High School

86.3

84.5

  High School Diploma / GED

58.9

55.5

  Some College

36.5

31.4

  Bachelor's Degree

17.8

15.1

  Beyond Bachelor's Degree

15.0

12.0

Age Group

 

 

  Age 3 – 4

82.4

80.1

  Age 5 – 9

59.0

58.0

  Age 10 – 13

33.3

32.7

  Age 14 – 17

23.6

21.2

  Age 18 - 24

33.4

29.4

    In School

14.6

13.3

    Not In School

46.0

41.8

  Age 25 – 49

35.0

32.0

    In Labor Force

31.6

28.3

    Not in Labor Force

52.9

50.3

  Age 50 +

61.7

55.2

    In Labor Force

42.0

35.6

    Not in Labor Force

77.8

72.4

Location of the Person's Household

 

 

  Rural

45.9

42.8

  Urban

44.5

40.8

    Urban Not Central City

41.2

37.5

    Urban Central City

49.7

46.0

Household Type In Which the Individual Lives h

 

  Married Couple w/Children <18 Years Old

36.5

34.7

  Male Householder w/Children <18 Years Old

53.2

49.7

  Female Householder w/Children <18 Years Old

53.4

48.6

  Households without Children

48.2

43.3

  Non-Family Household

51.7

46.9

Disability Status

 

 

   Between 25 and 60 and In the Labor force

 

 

         Multiple Disabilities

45.2

41.1

         Blind or Severe Vision Impairment

43.8

36.3

         Deaf or Severe Hearing Impairment

40.4

27.9

         Difficulty Walking

39.5

35.8

         Difficulty Typing

37.2

35.6

         Difficulty Leaving Home

26.8

32.2

         None of these Disabilities

33.0

29.0

   Between 25 and 60 and Not In the Labor   Force

 

 

         Multiple Disabilities

74.5

72.1

         Blind or Severe Vision Impairment

59.7

60.0

         Deaf or Severe Hearing Impairment

69.1

52.1

         Difficulty Walking

73.8

66.9

         Difficulty Typing

71.2

65.7

         Difficulty Leaving Home

76.0

73.9

         None of these Disabilities

53.0

47.5

  Over Age 60

 

 

         Multiple Disabilities

93.3

91.7

         Blind or Severe Vision Impairment

90.4

77.0

         Deaf or Severe Hearing Impairment

81.3

76.4

         Difficulty Walking

82.8

79.3

         Difficulty Typing

86.5

73.9

         Difficulty Leaving Home

92.5

89.6

         None of these Disabilities

73.6

65.8

 

 

 

         

 

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey supplements, September 2001, and October 2003.                                                               

 

 

 

Notes:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

n/a = Not Available                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

a In 2003 respondents were able to choose multiple racial categories.  Thus, 2003 race data are not strictly comparable with data from previous surveys.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

b For 2003, "White, should be read as “White alone or in combination with other racial categories, non-Hispanic.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

c For 2003, "Black" should be read as “Black alone or in combination with other racial categories, non-Hispanic.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

d For 2003, "Asian Amer. & Pac. Isl." should be read as “Asian American and Pacific Islanders alone or in combination with other racial categories, non-Hispanic.”                                                                                                                                           

e  Age 16 and Older. NLF=Not in the labor force.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

f The October 2003 Current Population Survey had income categories above $75,000 that were not previously available.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

g Age 25 and older.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

h The male and female categories refer to family households where a spouse is not present.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

 

Appendix Table 3: Internet Use by Percent of State Population, Age 3 and Older, October 2003

 

 

90% Confidence Interval 

State

Total Population

Lower Bound

Upper Bound

Alabama

4,435,532

50.5

55.8

Alaska

634,207

69.3

73.8

Arizona

5,382,335

61.0

66.2

Arkansas

2,670,197

47.1

52.7

California

35,490,299

55.6

57.9

Colorado

4,489,372

63.0

67.2

Connecticut

3,441,856

64.7

69.0

Delaware

576,188

56.7

61.4

Florida

16,352,570

56.2

59.2

Georgia

8,435,441

53.7

58.8

Hawaii

1,215,507

53.4

58.7

Idaho

1,327,338

59.5

64.9

Illinois

12,697,160

56.7

60.0

Indiana

6,135,518

56.6

61.0

Iowa

2,923,456

61.2

65.8

Kansas

2,696,591

61.4

66.1

Kentucky

4,027,467

54.0

59.2

Louisiana

4,424,416

47.1

52.8

Maine

1,270,136

62.2

66.7

Maryland

5,408,755

62.8

67.3

Massachusetts

6,454,814

60.3

64.6

Michigan

10,047,160

57.1

60.7

Minnesota

5,017,883

66.8

71.1

Mississippi

2,825,852

39.7

45.5

Missouri

5,592,374

58.1

62.8

Montana

896,273

57.1

62.8

Nebraska

1,725,102

62.3

67.2

Nevada

2,126,219

53.2

57.9

New Hampshire

1,261,524

68.2

72.6

New Jersey

8,646,566

60.8

64.4

New Mexico

1,848,212

48.9

54.7

New York

19,379,829

55.5

58.0

North Carolina

8,163,417

53.0

57.2

North Dakota

628,358

62.0

67.0

Ohio

11,372,776

56.8

60.4

Oklahoma

3,427,054

52.7

57.9

Oregon

3,491,795

59.7

64.6

Pennsylvania

12,175,267

58.0

61.3

Rhode Island

1,055,249

55.6

60.0

South Carolina

4,022,423

49.8

55.0

South Dakota

752,836

61.8

66.4

Tennessee

5,715,727

53.0

58.6

Texas

21,697,942

53.2

56.0

Utah

2,360,737

67.2

71.9

Vermont

611,658

63.6

68.2

Virginia

7,111,123

61.2

66.0

Washington, DC

793,708

57.6

63.9

Washington

6,030,976

65.7

70.3

West Virginia

1,769,062

49.0

54.0

Wisconsin

5,401,673

61.9

66.2

Wyoming

490,644

66.0

70.8

 

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey supplements, September 2001, and October 2003.                                                               

 

 

 

Appendix Table 4: Household’s Internet Connection Type, October 2003

 

Total Internet Households

(thousands)

Dial-Up Telephone

Cable
 Modem

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

Mobile, Phone, PDA, Pager

Satellite

Fixed Wireless (MMDS)

Other

 

 

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

     No.

 %

     No.

%

     No.

%

     No.

%

 

61,481

38,593

62.8%

12,638

20.6%

9,335

15.2%

138

0.2%

195

0.3%

252

0.4%

329

0.5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than 15,000

3,681

2,555

69.4%

584

15.9%

477

13.0%

9

0.2%

10

0.3%

12

0.3%

32

0.9%

15,000-24,999

3,839

2,786

72.6%

600

15.6%

418

10.9%

1

0.0%

10

0.3%

9

0.2%

15

0.4%

25,000-34,999

5,855

4,137

70.7%

921

15.7%

694

11.9%

21

0.4%

11

0.2%

27

0.5%

43

0.7%

35,000-49,999

8,867

6,213

70.1%

1,391

15.7%

1,138

12.8%

25

0.3%

25

0.3%

38

0.4%

37

0.4%

50,000-74,999

12,429

7,918

63.7%

2,531

20.4%

1,814

14.6%

24

0.2%

33

0.3%

43

0.3%

65

0.5%

75,000-99,999

7,774

4,440

57.1%

1,919

24.7%

1,321

17.0%

7

0.1%

26

0.3%

28

0.4%

33

0.4%

100,000-149,999

5,811

2,726

46.9%

1,771

30.5%

1,207

20.8%

16

0.3%

43

0.7%

28

0.5%

21

0.4%

150,000+

3,753

1,482

39.5%

1,242

33.1%

961

25.6%

14

0.4%

22

0.6%

18

0.5%

15

0.4%

Not reported

9,472

6,335

66.9%

1,680

17.7%

1,305

13.8%

21

0.2%

14

0.1%

47

0.5%

70

0.7%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Household Type

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar Couple a/ Child<18

19,934

11,914

59.8%

4,574

22.9%

3,205

16.1%

25

0.1%

67

0.3%

82

0.4%

67

0.3%

Male Hhldr w/ Child<18

1,229

751

61.1%

258

21.0%

204

16.6%

1

0.1%

5

0.4%

3

0.3%

7

0.6%

Female Hhldr w/Child<18

4,181

2,833

67.8%

702

16.8%

606

14.5%

12

0.3%

9

0.2%

7

0.2%

12

0.3%

Family Hhldr w/Child<18

21,852

14,323

65.5%

4,152

19.0%

3,023

13.8%

57

0.3%

83

0.4%

97

0.4%

119

0.5%

Non-Family Households

14,284

8,772

61.4%

2,952

20.7%

2,297

16.1%

43

0.3%

32

0.2%

63

0.4%

125

0.9%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Region

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast

12,113

7,065

58.3%

3,339

27.6%

1,565

12.9%

27

0.2%

25

0.2%

24

0.2%

68

0.6%

Midwest

13,953

9,168

65.7%

2,752

19.7%

1,790

12.8%

31

0.2%

27

0.2%

70

0.5%

116

0.8%

South

20,927

13,782

65.9%

3,820

18.3%

3,013

14.4%

33

0.2%

74

0.4%

99

0.5%

106

0.5%

West

14,487

8,578

59.2%

2,727

18.8%

2,966

20.5%

48

0.3%

70

0.5%

59

0.4%

40

0.3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                           

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey supplements, September 2001, and October 2003. 

 

 

1 See Remarks by President Bush on Homeownership, Expo New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 26, 2004, available at  http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/03/20040326-9.html.

 

[2] Remarks of President Bush on Innovation, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C., June 24, 2004, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/06/20040624-7.html  .

[3] This report focuses primarily on broadband usage.  Tables covering a variety of demographic breakdowns of overall computer and Internet use for September 2001 and October 2003, such as income, education, race/ethnicity, disability, and age, are provided in the Appendix and on the web at www.esa.doc.gov and www.ntia.doc.gov.

 

[4] The 2001 CPS supplement included an “other” category for Internet access devices, which would have included some broadband access such as satellite and MMDS mixed in with other non-dial-up, low bandwidth technologies such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile telephones.  Because it is not possible to identify the broadband technologies in this category, all of the “other” category are excluded for the 2001 estimates.

[5] The survey did not distinguish between e-mail and instant messaging.

[6] Because states can have very different confidence intervals, states were assigned to a category based on whether the upper confidence bound includes the break point.  For example, a state with a point estimate of 59.0 percent would be included in the 60 percent to 70 percent range because the confidence range of the estimate is 57.2 percent to 62.0 percent.  See Appendix, Table 3 for the individual state and the District of Columbia confidence intervals.

[7] The “urban” category includes those areas classified as having a population density of at least 1,000 persons per square mile and a total population of at least 50,000, as well as cities, villages, boroughs (except in Alaska and New York) towns (except in the six New England states, New York, and Wisconsin), and other designated census areas having 2,500 or more persons.  A “central city” is the largest city within a “metropolitan” area as defined by the Census Bureau.  Additional cities within the metropolitan area can also be classified as central cities if they meet certain employment, population, and employment/residence ratio requirement.  All areas not classified by the Census Bureau as urban are defined as rural and generally include communities of less than 2,500 persons.

[8] Each geographic designation has a minimal number of additional broadband households with satellite and fixed wireless (MMDS), but the samples for these technologies are too small to be statistically reliable.                                                                                                           

[9] Advanced Telecommunications in Rural America: The Challenge of Bringing Broadband Service to All Americans, pp. 17, 23 (April 2000) (available at www.ntia.doc.gov/reports/ruralbb42600.pdf).  The report noted that other types of technologies, including satellite, third generation (3G) wireless, and MMDS have the capability to provide broadband service to rural areas and may provide promising alternatives in the years to come.  In addition to these technologies, the Federal Communications Commission is currently reviewing the potential for broadband to be delivered over electrical powerlines, which now extend to almost every home.