The MBI is currently managing two programs to help encourage and teach non-users from across the Commonwealth how to use the Internet effectively and help them cross the digital divide:
The programs are funded by the federal State Broadband Initiative program administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Broadband adoption is the term used to describe the decision by an individual to access and use the Internet. In the 2010 National Broadband Plan, the FCC estimated that 35% of Americans have access to the Internet, but choose not to subscribe to an Internet Service Provider or use the Internet.
Research indicates that several segments of the population are less likely to use the Internet than others. Those less likely to use the Internet include senior citizens, people with low-income and low-education levels and people who do not think the Internet will be useful to them. The cost of obtaining a computer and the monthly subscription fee are often cited as major reasons for not using the Internet.
One significant study on broadband adoption was produced by the Pew Foundation and can be found on the Pew website.
Broadband Adoption strategies and programs have been developed to specifically address the concerns of these and other non-users. The benefits and services accessible on-line are well documented and can make an important contribution to increasing the quality of life and save time and money. Those who cannot or chose not to use the Internet can find themselves at a significant disadvantage often referred to as the digital divide.