Competing Statistics: Pew on Broadband Penetration

Data on broadband penetration from the Pew Internet & American Life Project  is not as optimistic as that from Park Associates. Last week, Park Associates said 42% of US households have broadband access. Pew says that 39% of urban and suburban adults (not households) have broadband at home, compared with 24% of rural adults, for a total of 36% of all adults.

"Non-Internet users" accounted for 38% of the rural Americans interviewed and 30% of the suburban/urban adults. In rural areas, 29% connected to the Internet with dialup, compared with 21% of suburban/urban adults.

The report also says that cable and DSL "split" the broadband market share. However, access to broadband is limited in rural areas. However, the difference between rural and urban/suburban areas is not as great in the workplace as it is in the home.

Rural Internet users are less likely to make a reservation, bank online, peruse online classified ads or read a blog than their non-rural counterparts. However, rural adults  are more likely to take an online class for credit.

Methodology: "[R]espondents are categorized as ‘rural’ if they reside
in a non-metropolitan statistical area (MSA) county. Respondents are
categorized as ‘suburban’ if they reside in any portion
of an MSA county that is not in a central city. Respondents are
categorized as ‘urban’ if
they reside within a central city of an MSA."

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