NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

Connecting More Americans to the Internet

Connecting More Americans to the Internet

internet adoption

While the majority of Americans are fortunate to enjoy all of the benefits that the internet offers, a digital divide still exists in the U.S. for people who live without an internet connection. But the good news is that ISPs are reaching more people than ever before. A recent survey from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration revealed that 78 percent of Americans used the Internet in 2017, up from 75 percent in 2015. This means that an additional 13.5 million—including low-income families, seniors, African Americans, and Hispanics—are now going online. Pew Research Center estimates that internet adoption in the U.S. is even higher, at approximately 80-82 percent of households.

broadband adoption

ISPs have been actively closing the gap through various measures that include discount programs to help families with costs, and outreach and education campaigns that inform families of the endless possibilities that will open up to them through a home internet connection. As a direct result of these efforts and an investment of over $300 million in broadband adoption programs, more than one million families now get to experience internet connectivity in their homes, at local schools and community centers. 

Ensuring that people have the instruction and information they need to navigate online safety, computer basics, and even homework help for kids has gone a long way towards encouraging more eligible families to sign up for the low-cost internet services that ISPs are making available to them. Programs like Comcast's Internet Essentials and Cox's Digital Academy are also putting an array of resources in front of families to empower parents to take control of their's and their children's online experiences.

digital divide facts

And the work continues. Learn more about how ISPs are helping families overcome barriers to internet access by visiting our page on Closing the Digital Divide.