Intel just published a brief whitepaper titled “Investing in Sustainable Broadband Adoption”: Investing in Sustainable Broadband Adoption_FINAL.pdfThe paper discusses the significant broadband adoption gap in America: 96% of U.S. households have a broadband network available to them, but only 63% of those households have opted to subscribe to broadband service. Clearly, a big adoption gap.
A disproportionate number of non-adopters are low-income households and those living in rural areas. The main reasons that these Americans cite for non-adoption are the perceived lack of relevance and awareness of broadband, and the cost of acquiring broadband equipment (PCs) and broadband service. The paper explores a proposed public-private solution to close this vast adoption gap by utilizing stimulus funds for a PC-broadband bundle program targeted to low-income and other unconnected households.
The proposed program focuses on first-time residential broadband users by reducing the cost of both elements of a connected PC: the upfront equipment cost (of a full featured notebook or desktop) and the initial subscription cost for broadband service — supported by community-based digital literacy training. Intel believes that this type of strategic public-private partnership, supported by local community involvement, will help bridge the digital divide in the U.S. and, consequently, help boost our nation’s economy and competitiveness over the long-term.