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After several consecutive years of modest but consistent growth, broadband adoption slowed dramatically in 2010, according to [pdf] the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Two-thirds of American adults (66%) currently use a high-speed internet connection at home, a figure that is not statistically different from what the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found at a similar point in 2009, when 63% of Americans were broadband adopters.

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African-Americans Close Broadband Gap
The lack of growth in broadband adoption at the national level was mirrored across a range of demographic groups, with African-Americans being a major exception. Broadband adoption by African-Americans now stands at 56%, up from 46% at a similar point in 2009.

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That works out to a 22% year-over-year growth rate, well above the national average and by far the highest growth rate of any major demographic group.

During the last year, the broadband adoption gap between blacks and whites has been cut
nearly in half. In 2009, 65% of whites and 46% of African-Americans were broadband users (a 19-point gap). In 2010, 67% of whites and 56% of African-Americans are broadband users (an 11-point gap).

Less than Half of US Adults See Lack of Broadband as Major Issue
There is no major issue on which a majority of Americans think that lack of broadband access is a major disadvantage. Following are statistics on how Americans think lack of broadband access affects internet users in regard to several major issues.

  • Job opportunities and career skills: 43% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to finding out about job opportunities or gaining new career skills. Some 23% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 28% think it is “not a disadvantage.”
  • Health information: 34% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to getting health information. Some 28% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 35% think it is “not a disadvantage.”
  • Learning new things to improve and enrich life: 31% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to learning new things that might enrich or improve their lives. Some 31% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 32% think it is “not a disadvantage.”
  • Government services: 29% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to using government services. Some 27% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 37% think it is “not a disadvantage.”
  • Keeping up with news and information: 23% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to keeping up with news and information. Some 27% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 47% think it is “not a disadvantage.”
  • Keeping up with what is happening in their communities: 19% of Americans believe that lack of broadband is a “major disadvantage” when it comes to finding out about their local community. Some 32% think lack of access is a “minor disadvantage” and 45% think it is “not a disadvantage.”

It is also worth noting that 21% of US adults do not use the internet, although one-third of those still have some connection to the web either through family members with access or having used the internet in the past.

Half of Adults Consume Online Video
Fifty-two percent of US adults, and 69% of US adult internet users, have used the internet to watch or download video, according to other recent data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Eight percent of online video consumers (5% of all adult internet users) have connected their computer to their TV so they can watch online video on a TV screen.

In addition, 10% of online video consumers (7% of all adult internet users) have paid to watch or download a video, while 14% of adult internet users have uploaded a video to the internet so others can watch or download it. Women are as likely as men to upload and share videos.

About the Data: The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between April 29 and May 30, 2010, among a sample of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older.

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