One in five Connecticut households do not have a computer and nearly one-quarter of the state’s homes lack high-speed internet service, according to a report published by Dalio Education and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.
The report, titled “The Digital Divide in Connecticut,” determined that 12% of Connecticut homes with children under age 18 do not have a computer. Computers were also absent from 27% of Hispanic households, 21% of African-American households, 25% of low-income households – defined as having annual incomes under $50,00 – and 31% of households with residents ages 65 and older.
Approximately 321,000 households in the state lack wireline broadband subscriptions, with 57,000 of those households having children under the age of 18. Slightly more than one-quarter of low-income households lack wireline broadband compared with 11% of all other households. Nearly 40% of households in Connecticut’s largest cities do not have high-speed internet at home, versus to 23% of all homes statewide.
Internet disparities were also found in regard to age – 36% of Connecticut residents age 65 and older do not have wireline broadband at home – and race – 35% of Hispanics and 34% of African Americans are without wireline broadband, compared with 21% of whites. Furthermore, the report noted that 45% of Connecticut residents with a disability do not have wireline broadband.
The report, which was authored by John Horrigan of the Technology Policy Institute, warned that as the Covid-19 pandemic winds down, “digital exclusion will remain a hard reality for many households” amid a lethargic economy. The report concluded that the state needed to create a strategy to bridge the digital disparities.
“Bringing the wireline adoption rate for those households up to the level of homes above the median income would result in 140,000 more households with wireline broadband in Connecticut,” according to the report. “Getting nearly 200,000 more Connecticut households online with wireline broadband within the next two years should be the state’s target.”
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