Digital Haves and Have-Nots: Internet and Broadband Usage in Canada and the United States
32 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2013 Last revised: 19 Sep 2013
Date Written: August 15, 2013
This paper builds on the 2012 TPRC paper by the same authors, on broadband adoption and use in Canada and the United States [McConnaughey et al, 2012]. Although very different in their population densities, the two countries have many similarities in terms of geography, demographic patterns, socio-economic factors, and challenges hindering universal broadband Internet adoption. The paper focuses on a comparison and evaluation of broadband adoption and usage results from major national surveys: the Statistics Canada’s Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS) and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) Computer and Internet Use Supplement. Broadband Internet availability data and subscription rates come from the CRTC’s annual Communications Monitoring Report as well as the NTIA’s National Broadband Map and the FCC’s Internet Use Services (FCC Form 477) reports. The CPS results used in this paper are taken from the Digital Nation series of reports published by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In our analysis, we examine online activities in some detail. We explore policy ramifications in light of our findings regarding online activity patterns, drawing comparisons and contrasts between the United States and Canada where appropriate. Detailed breakouts by socio-demographic factors and geography give information on which to base targeted demand side policies. Such policies can both address adoption and usage gaps and can complement the more common supply side policies used to address availability shortfalls.
Keywords: broadband, adoption, usage, mobile, digital divide
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