Tennessee Broadband Adoption Rate Is Increasing

Friday, March 8, 2013

New data released by Connected Tennessee shows that broadband adoption in Tennessee is increasing, with 68% of residents now subscribing to broadband service, up from 58% in 2010. Still, nearly 1.6 million adults in Tennessee are without home broadband connections, including approximately 776,000 who do not use the Internet at all. 

The data is available via an interactive widget on the Connected Tennessee website.

Among the key findings of the residential survey are:

  • More than 366,000 Tennessee adults say they don’t subscribe to broadband because the cost of getting connected is too expensive, and an additional 251,000 say they don’t have the digital literacy skills to do so.
  • Mobile broadband usage is skyrocketing in Tennessee – nearly one-half of Tennessee adults go online using their cell phones. This includes over 369,000 Tennessee adults who rely on their cell phones instead of subscribing to home broadband service.
  • Over one-quarter of rural adults in Tennessee are without a computer at home.
  • An estimated 350,000 Tennessee children do not have broadband service at home, limiting their ability to do homework or conduct research online.
  • More than 1.4 million Tennesseans report using the Internet at their jobs; while nearly one in six employed adults work at home instead of commuting.
  • While desktop computer ownership declined slightly, the number of tablet computer owners has more than doubled since 2011.

This survey is conducted in support of Connected Tennessee’s efforts to close Tennessee’s digital divide and explores the barriers to high-speed Internet adoption, rates of broadband adoption among various demographics, and the types of activities broadband subscribers conduct online, among other findings.

“The double-digit gains we’ve seen in Tennessee broadband adoption are an inspiring step in the right direction,” said Connected Tennessee Executive Director Corey Johns. “More and more Tennesseans are recognizing the job and quality of life opportunities made possible through high-speed Internet – both at home and on the go. Grades and homework are being submitted online, business transactions are taking place wirelessly, and as broadband technology continues to transform the way we live, learn, work, and play, this exciting new research affirms and underscores the importance of efforts to increase broadband access, adoption and use across Tennessee.” 

To address this digital divide, Connected Tennessee offers the Every Community Online program providing access to free digital literacy training and low-cost computers and Internet access, as well as the Computers 4 Kids program which has donated over 4,000 computers to the 76 Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee and to youth aging out of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services program.

Connected Tennessee’s 2012 residential survey was conducted in late 2012 and includes responses from 1,202 residents. The survey was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and by the American Recovery and Reinvestment of 2009.


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