Friday, June 19, 2015

CETF 2015 Annual Survey of California Digital Divide

The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) is pleased to share with you the results of the
2015 Annual Survey on broadband adoption in California that was released yesterday. The Annual Survey is sponsored by CETF and conducted by the Field Research Corporation in 6 languages with a sample size in excess of 1,600 randomly-selected households (50% by cell phone and a margin of error + 2.6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level). The results show that progress is being made in closing the Digital Divide with 79% of all California households now having high-speed connections at home to the Internet (8% by smart phone only), but there is still much work to be done because unacceptable percentages of disadvantaged populations remain offline—35% of low-income households (below $20,000 annual income); 30% of Latino families (37% Spanish-speaking); and 41% of people with disabilities. It is important to keep in mind that the Digital Divide is just another manifestation of the Opportunity Divide and Economic Divide, and that those who are stuck on the wrong side of the Digital Divide—urban low-income neighborhoods and remote rural communities—are faced with a multitude of challenges in daily life that CETF calls the “wall of poverty” that must be tackled with strategic interventions to improve education coupled with workforce preparation and economic development.

The Annual Survey information is very timely as the Federal Communications Commission takes up tomorrow the issue of a Broadband Lifeline Program, State policymakers continue to explore how best to tackle poverty, and local governments continue to struggle to balance budgets and generate jobs. The data underscores the need to incorporate Digital Inclusion into all major initiatives to promote economic prosperity and quality of life in California.

Please feel free to distribute the results of the 2015 Annual Survey, post it on your own website and/or link to the CETF website, and reference the data as you find useful. We look forward to continuing to work together to close the Digital Divide in California. Thank you for your commitment and leadership.

Sunne Wright McPeak
President and CEO
California Emerging Technology Fund

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