Updating the “Digital Divide” In California is a summary report of our 2014 survey that tracks the progress of broadband deployment and adoption throughout California. The poll found that home broadband adoption rates have stagnated over the past few years, leaving the hardest-to-reach Californians without an essential tool to access the educational, employment and civic engagement opportunities that lead to self-sufficiency. The statewide goal is to achieve 80% home adoption by 2017, with no single demographic group or region below 70%.

According to the Field Poll, demographic groups with home broadband adoption rates that fall more than 10 percentage points below the 2014 state home broadband adoption* average of 75% include:

32% of households with no high school diploma subscribe to broadband
47% of seniors (65+) subscribe to broadband
59% of People with Disabilities subscribe to broadband
46% of Spanish-speaking households subscribe to broadband
63% of Latino households subscribe to broadband
53% of households earning less than $20,000 subscribe to broadband
60% of Non-Citizen households subscribe to broadband

“These findings are a sobering reminder that while we live in a state renowned for technology and innovation, the Digital Divide is real and impacting millions of Californians. Fully one-quarter of California households do not have high-speed Internet at home. This is not acceptable,” said Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund.

“On the brighter side, 6 in 10 of those who do not use the Internet at home suggested they might be interested if they had access to affordable broadband and equipment and the skills to use it. This should serve as a wake-up call to the Federal Communications Commission and elected leaders that the nation needs an affordable broadband rate and sustainable programs to address the literacy needs of low-income residents if we want our country to be competitive,” McPeak said.

The CETF Annual Survey
, this year in collaboration with the 2014 Field Poll, has been conducted since 2008. Please see the CETF Press Release and the Field Poll Press Release issued on July 8, 2014.

We welcome your comments on the survey results and your suggestions on questions or demographic information that should be included in future surveys. Your assistance to better understanding how broadband and digital technologies can improve the economic productivity and quality of life for all Californians is appreciated. Please contact us maryanne.ostrom@cetfund.org if you have any questions.