Residential Broadband Adoption in South Carolina Surpasses National Average

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Connect South Carolina research shows adoption in South Carolina up by 14 percentage points since 2010.

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A 14% point increase in home broadband adoption statewide is phenomenal and we will continue educating residents on the importance and the benefits of broadband adoption.

Connect South Carolina today released new data showing that broadband adoption in South Carolina surpasses the national average, with 76% of households subscribing to broadband service in 2013, up from 62% in 2010; a 14 percentage point increase.

According to the Pew Research Center, the national broadband adoption rate in 2013 was 70%, which marks a 4-percentage point increase since 2010.

“A 14% point increase in home broadband adoption statewide is phenomenal and we will continue educating residents on the importance and the benefits of broadband adoption,” said Connect South Carolina Community Technology Advisor Lindsay Conrad. “With more than three out of four non-adopters in South Carolina (78%) explaining that it would be easier for them to shop, seek out healthcare information, or interact with government offices if they had Internet access at home, however, our work is far from complete as we aim to expand adoption even further this year as adoption is one of the key issues being addressed by our broadband advisory council.”

The data are available via an interactive widget on the Connect South Carolina website where viewers can compare adoption rates since 2010, track the growth in mobile adoption during that time, and examine barriers to adoption.

Among other key findings of the 2013 residential survey are:

  •     Nearly three out of five South Carolina adults (59%) use mobile broadband service, up from 29% in 2010 when Connect South Carolina began measuring this trend.
  •     More than 424,000 households still do not subscribe to home broadband service.
  •     Although the state average is 76%, the rate of broadband adoption across economic and demographics lines falls below that mark: 59% adoption by adults with disabilities; 64% adoption by African Americans; 63% by those age 65 or older; 67% adoption by Hispanics; 49% adoption by households with lower incomes; and 67% adoption by rural households.
  •     More than 124,000 school-age children in South Carolina still do not have broadband access at home.
  •     Approximately 967,000 working-age adults in South Carolina would need assistance with tasks that are often required by employers, such as creating a spreadsheet, going online from a mobile device, using a word processor, or sending an e-mail.

This survey is conducted in support of Connect South Carolina’s efforts to close South Carolina’s digital gap and explores the barriers to adoption, rates of broadband adoption among various demographics, and the types of activities broadband subscribers conduct online, among other issues.

Connect South Carolina’s 2013 Residential Technology Assessment was conducted in late 2013 and includes responses from 1,204 adult residents. Connect South Carolina conducted this residential survey as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program, funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The SBI grant program was created by the Broadband Data Improvement Act, unanimously passed by Congress in 2008 and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.

This data, as well as the latest developments in hardware, software, infrastructure, and processes across a variety of industries will be explored June 11 at Connections 2014. This annual technology and broadband summit, hosted by IT-oLogy in partnership with Connect South Carolina, will take place at IT-oLogy Theater in Columbia from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CST. If you would like to attend or would like more information on presentations and/or sponsorships, please contact Jim Stritzinger at jim.stritzinger(at)it-ology(dot)org or Lindsay Conrad at lconrad(at)connectsc(dot)org.

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About Connect South Carolina: As the State Broadband Initiative, Connect South Carolina is leading the effort to increase high-speed Internet access, adoption, and use to ensure South Carolina’s competitiveness in the connected global economy of the twenty-first century. Connect South Carolina is a public-private partnership designated by the state to work with all broadband providers to create South Carolina’s first interactive map of broadband coverage. This work serves as a foundation for addressing remaining service gaps while also engaging state, regional, and local leaders in workforce development activities designed to bridge South Carolina’s digital divide. For maps, research, or to get involved with efforts in your community, please visit:

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