The Connected Nation Blog: New Study Shows Internet Use Lower Among Hispanics

Friday, February 25, 2011

New Study Shows Internet Use Lower Among Hispanics

By Chris McGovern, Manager, Research Development, Connected Nation

A new
survey conducted by the Washington Post, The Kaiser Foundation, and Harvard University finds that Hispanics are less likely to use the Internet and express less confidence in their ability to use technology in the workplace. This echoes Connected Nation research that shows fewer Hispanic adults use the Internet. In fact, according to Connected Nation’s Residential Technology Assessments, Hispanic respondents were less likely to own a computer, subscribe to broadband service at home, or use the Internet altogether (whether from home or from someplace else).

At the same time, Hispanic respondents were just as likely as Caucasians to access mobile broadband, while African Americans were more likely than either group to do so.

This suggests that the rate of mobile broadband adoption is growing faster than “fixed” broadband among certain demographics, which raises several questions. For example, what are the main factors that lead some people to rely on mobile broadband as their only access to the Internet? Are mobile broadband users getting as much value from the Internet as those who go online from a computer? Will the growing demand for mobile broadband service complement or compete with fixed broadband? Will some people soon have “smart phones” but still be left on the wrong side of a new “Application Divide" because they cannot use their phone to fill out a job application or run a home business? How does growing dependence on mobile broadband affect the types of applications that businesses should make accessible to mobile users? Connected Nation intends to explore all of these issues through its residential and business research in the upcoming year.