Ways to Encourage Internet Adoption
Many people who do not have home internet access question its relevance. Through messaging and partnerships, the cable industry is helping families understand the impact broadband can have on their lives and communities. A 2014 survey of homes participating in broadband adoption programs found that 98% of families chose to sign up for the adoption program because their kids need the internet for school. A majority, 62%, said they need internet services to look for or apply for jobs, and 68% said a reason for getting broadband access at home was to get health and medical information online.
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 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.
Costs associated with internet access and computers can serve as barriers to adoption for many families. The cable industry has invested more than $300 million 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. These programs have connected more than 2 million families to the internet.