With phones that can push email, Twitter and Facebook notifications to your home screen, it seems like we're living in a world that’s constantly connected. Between web-connected TVs and consoles, phones, laptops, and PCs, it's hard for most of us to imagine not getting at least some of our news, entertainment and information from the Web. However, a recent study by Pew shows that 21 percent of American adults aren't connected to the internet.
This figure isn't just based on broadband, it includes dial-up users too, and one fifth of Americans just aren't online. Of that 21 percent, 34 percent of users have access (or live with people who have access) to the internet, but either don't think it's relevant to their lives, are uncomfortable with computers, or just plain not interested in the idea. One in ten non-users said they'd be interested in getting online at some point in the future.
Pew's research also revealed that just over 10 percent of those surveyed feel that expanding affordable high-speed internet access to everyone in the country should be a top priority for the federal government.
Americans were asked: “Do you think that expanding affordable high-speed internet access to everyone in the country should be a top priority for the federal government, important but a lower priority, not too important, or should it not be done?” The majority chose the last two options:
- 26% of Americans say that expansion of affordable broadband access should not be attempted by government.
- 27% said it was “not too important” a priority
- 30% said it was an important priority.
- 11% said it should be a top priority.
Pew's survey was conducted via phone (landline and cell phone) in April and May of 2010, and involved 2,252 adults aged 18 and older.