Online and on Point: Broadband Usage in Canada and the United States

35 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2012 Last revised: 3 Sep 2012

See all articles by Prabir K. Neogi

Prabir K. Neogi

Carleton University

Josie Brocca

Government of Canada - Industry Canada

James W. McConnaughey

U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Rafi M. Goldberg

Government of the United States of America - National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

Date Written: August 31, 2012

Abstract

Despite the pervasiveness of the Internet, more than one in five Canadian and American households did not go online by 2010. Furthermore, demographic and geographic disparities in Internet use, known as the “digital divide,” led to lower adoption rates among rural, low-income, less-educated, and older individuals from both countries. While the magnitude of these disparities has recently decreased, policymakers seek to eliminate such gaps in an economically sustainable and politically acceptable fashion.

This paper examines the patterns of broadband Internet adoption and usage in Canada and the United States. Data used in this report were collected through the Statistics Canada Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS) and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) Computer and Internet Use Supplement, as well as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission’s (CRTC) annual Communications Monitoring Report, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) periodic collections of broadband data, and U.S. National Broadband Map. We examine the characteristics of those Canadians and Americans who are not online, assessing in particular their stated reasons for not using the Internet, and discuss the implications of their reasons. Contemplated policy responses will necessarily differ based on these varying underlying reasons. For example, the inability to access the Internet based on the unavailability or high cost of broadband requires a different policy response than that required to address the reluctance to use it due to lack of perceived utility, lack of digital skills, or fear of technology [Neogi and Brocca, 2011].

Keywords: Broadband, Internet, Adoption and Use

Suggested Citation

Neogi, Prabir K. and Brocca, Josie and McConnaughey, James W. and Goldberg, Rafi M., Online and on Point: Broadband Usage in Canada and the United States (August 31, 2012). 2012 TRPC, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2031655 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2031655

Prabir K. Neogi

Carleton University ( email )

1869 Stonehenge Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K1B4N7
Canada
6137462329 (Phone)

Josie Brocca

Government of Canada - Industry Canada ( email )

Canada

James W. McConnaughey (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration ( email )

1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20230
United States
202-482-1880 (Phone)
202-482-6173 (Fax)

Rafi M. Goldberg

Government of the United States of America - National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) ( email )

1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20230
United States

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