Connect South Carolina Releases State’s First Residential Technology Assessment

Survey of South Carolina Households Demonstrates Need to Improve Adoption and Use of Broadband among Minority, Low-Income, and Rural Populations

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This statewide survey on broadband is the first of its kind in South Carolina – and it shows that a lot of work needs to be done to improve adoption and use of broadband and information technology in the state

Columbia, SC (Vocus) November 9, 2010

Connect South Carolina has released the South Carolina 2010 Residential Technology Assessment, which presents the results of a survey of South Carolina households on their use of broadband and information technology. The survey shows that in many areas, South Carolinians trail the nation in terms of broadband adoption and use of information technology.

This report, which is now available at http://bit.ly/9NHFgG, is the first in a series of reports that Connect South Carolina will be issuing over the next four years to benchmark and track the state’s advancement in technology. The assessment, in which 1,200 South Carolina residents were surveyed, measures technology adoption and the awareness of available broadband service - tracking trends and various uses of technology among key demographics and population groups across the state.

“This statewide survey on broadband is the first of its kind in South Carolina – and it shows that a lot of work needs to be done to improve adoption and use of broadband and information technology in the state,” said Brian Mefford, CEO of Connect South Carolina’s nonprofit parent organization, Connected Nation. “Expanding the use and adoption of broadband will benefit South Carolina’s economy, education, and health of its citizens, and this survey is an important step forward in building awareness of these benefits.”

Here are some of the top benchmarks and findings:

  •     Across South Carolina, 62% of adults subscribe to home broadband service. By comparison, a recent survey conducted by the FCC found that 67% of all American households subscribe to broadband.
  •     In South Carolina, 42% of African Americans subscribe to broadband. This compares to a national average of 56% of African Americans subscribing to broadband in 2010 according to Pew.
  •     Only 46% of rural households subscribe to broadband service at home, significantly trailing the statewide average of 62%.
  •     Despite the benefits of home broadband adoption, there is still a marked awareness gap in South Carolina. While nearly eight of ten South Carolinians own a home computer, of those adults that do not subscribe to broadband, 42% believe they do not need it, and 8% of all South Carolina households have not even investigated whether broadband service is available where they live.
  •     Mobile broadband service (either via a laptop computer or cell phone/mobile device) is utilized by 29% of adults in South Carolina.

Connect South Carolina is a public-private partnership uniting local governments, businesses, and citizens in the goal of increasing broadband service in the state’s unserved and underserved areas.

As the state’s designee under the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) Grant Program, Connect South Carolina has been awarded approximately $4 million in Recovery Act funding to support the increase of the availability and use of high-speed Internet service in the state. The funding enables the state to collect data, promote broadband capacity, provider analysis and technical support for a period of five years.

Residents are encouraged to visit the website http://www.connectsc.org and take advantage of the resources available to provide feedback on their broadband needs, test their connectivity, and shop for local providers.

Visit our Twitter feed: http://www.twitter.com/connectednation

About Connect South Carolina: As a public-private partnership, Connect South Carolina partners with technology-minded businesses, government entities, and universities to accelerate technology in the state. The work of Connect South Carolina is made possible by support from the South Carolina Governor’s Office. For more information about what Connect South Carolina is doing to accelerate technology in South Carolina’s communities, visit http://www.connectsc.org.

About Connected Nation: Connected Nation is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that expands access to and use of broadband Internet and the related technologies that are enabled when individuals and communities have the opportunity and desire to connect. Connected Nation effectively raises the awareness of the value of broadband and related technologies by developing coalitions of influencers and enablers for improving technology availability and use. Connected Nation works with consumers, community leaders, states, technology providers and foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered around a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. http://www.connectednation.org.

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