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Michigan Residential Broadband Adoption Tops National Average

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Fiber optic cables. Wikimedia Commons photo from Sandia National Laboratories

Fiber optic cables. Wikimedia Commons photo from Sandia National Laboratories

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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LANSING (WWJ) – The broadband advocacy organization Connect Michigan Tuesday released new data showing that broadband adoption in Michigan is now above the national average, with 79 percent of households subscribing to broadband service in 2013, up from 67 percent in 2010.

According to the Pew Research Center, the national broadband adoption rate in 2013 was 70 percent, which marks a 4 percentage point increase since 2012.

“The ever-increasing adoption of broadband by Michigan residents is encouraging,” said Connect Michigan State Program Manager Eric Frederick. “Continuing to increase adoption across all demographic groups and geographies contributes to a technologically savvy workforce, making the Great Lakes State more competitive in the global economy.”

The data are available via an interactive widget on the Connect Michigan website where viewers can compare adoption rates since 2010, track the growth in mobile adoption during that time, and examine barriers to adoption.

Among other key findings of the 2013 residential survey:
* More than 271,000 school-age children in Michigan still do not have broadband access at home.
* More than 2 million working-age adults in Michigan would need assistance with tasks that are often required by employers, such as creating a spreadsheet, going online from a mobile device, using a word processor, or sending an e-mail.
* Nearly three out of four non-adopters in Michigan (73 percent) say that it would be easier for them to shop, seek out healthcare information, or interact with government offices if they had Internet access at home.

This survey is conducted in support of Connect Michigan’s efforts to close Michigan’s digital gap and explores the barriers to adoption, rates of broadband adoption among various demographics, and the types of activities broadband subscribers conduct online, among other issues.

Connect Michigan’s 2013 Residential Technology Assessment was conducted in late 2013 and includes responses from 1,200 residents. Connect Michigan conducted this residential survey as part of the State Broadband Initiative grant program, funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The SBI grant program was created by the Broadband Data Improvement Act, unanimously passed by Congress in 2008 and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the federal stimulus, in 2009.

As the designated entity for broadband mapping and planning in the state of Michigan, Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation to work with local governments, businesses, and citizens in the goal of increasing broadband service in the state’s underserved areas. For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan’s communities, visit http://www.connectmi.org.

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