NCTA — The Internet & Television Association
Expanding Access and Opportunity

Digital Divide

Today, an internet connection is a must-have for school assignments, healthcare, communicating with friends, finding a job, and starting a business. While broadband service is now available to most Americans, too many families remain unconnected to this important network. The cable industry is committed to closing this digital divide by promoting the benefits of broadband, encouraging families to connect, and by offering programs that help families overcome barriers they may face.

Committed to Getting Everyone Connected

See how a low-cost internet program transformed this family's life.

Americans have access to low-income broadband programs
people connected through low-cost broadband adoption programs
U.S. homes where cable ISPs offer low-cost programs
dollars invested in digital literacy since 2011

Ways to Encourage Internet Adoption

Encouraging people to get broadband service at home is about more than just availability. There are barriers for families to adopt broadband, so a comprehensive approach is needed to get more people online.

Make It Relevant

Many people who do not have home Internet access question its relevance. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2017 Current Population Survey, 64% cite lack of need or interest and fear of the internet as a reason they don't subscribe. Through public information campaigns and partnerships, the cable industry is helping families understand the impact broadband can have on their lives and communities. 

Digital Literacy Training

One of the primary barriers to broadband adoption is the absence of digital literacy skills. Many people are intimidated by new, unfamiliar technologies and don’t know how to use the internet to find information or connect with friends. To help families overcome these challenges, the cable industry partners with a wide variety of national organizations and local community groups to offer digital literacy classes that explore the benefits of being online and teach skills to safely use the Internet.

Low-Cost Programs

The cost of internet access and buying a computer can be a barrier to adoption for some families. The cable industry has invested millions in broadband adoption programs, such as Internet Essentials and partnerships with Connect2Compete, to provide discounted Internet services as well as computers and hardware to qualifying families. 

Connecting More Americans to the Internet

Every year, more and more families are discovering the importance of an internet connection at home. Through awareness, education, broadband adoption programs, and an ever-growing network, more people are connected to the Internet than ever before.

Percentage of Households with Access to Broadband
Source: NCTA estimate based on industry data