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Data Central

Welcome to Data Central, home to NTIA data and analysis on computer and Internet use in the United States. NTIA first commissioned the U.S. Census Bureau to collect data on Americans’ use of computers in November 1994. Since that time, NTIA has periodically sponsored data collections on Internet use and the devices Americans use to go online as a supplement to the Census Bureau’s annual Current Population Survey (CPS); analyzed the data; and reported the findings. In recent years, NTIA has also linked to the raw datasets on the Census Bureau website.

To facilitate the public’s access to the CPS Internet use data, NTIA is now making these data available here, and has developed an important tool to help site visitors find information quickly. Our Data Explorer tool enables users to select from dozens of metrics tracked over time, as well as a number of demographic characteristics, and charts the requested data. NTIA invites your feedback at data@ntia.doc.gov as we continually improve Data Central.

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New Analysis Shows Offline Households Are Willing to Pay $10-a-Month on Average for Home Internet Service, Though Three in Four Say Any Cost is Too Much

October 6, 2022

Affordability is a core part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. We know that access to an Internet connection isn’t true access unless everyone can afford that connection.

During Digital Inclusion Week, we are analyzing NTIA’s Internet Use Survey data that highlight disparities in Internet adoption. Our previous blog discussed some of the barriers facing the 24 million households that do not use the Internet at home.

Our analysis shows affordability as a driving factor around why some households continue to remain offline, confirming that cost of service is an essential part of increasing Internet adoption.

To dig into this issue more, NTIA added a new question to the 2021 NTIA Internet Use Survey. We asked households not using the Internet from home: “At what monthly price, if any, would your household buy home Internet service?” This new survey question was a result of suggestions received from the public in response to our Request for Comment published in 2020, along with the results of two rounds of cognitive testing conducted by experts at the U.S. Census Bureau.

Among other improvements, this process also resulted in a change to how we ask offline households for their reasons for non-use of the Internet at home, with interviewers now reading all answer choices rather than simply marking down choices that most closely resemble stated reasons.

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Switched Off: Why Are One in Five U.S. Households Not Online?

October 5, 2022

Internet access means access to education, healthcare, jobs, and entertainment. It’s essential to full participation in our modern economy. Still, NTIA data show that about one in five U.S. households are not connected to the Internet at home.

President Biden’s Internet for All initiative is working to connect everyone in America to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet. With NTIA spearheading the initiative, we know it’s important to make data-driven solutions and assess who is not online and what barriers are keeping them unconnected.

This week is Digital Inclusion Week, and we are analyzing NTIA’s Internet Use Survey data on the disparities around Internet adoption, including why households are offline, the cost households are willing to pay to get connected, and what we’re doing to address the digital divide.

While a majority – 58% – of the 24 million offline households express no interest or need to be online, there is also a large proportion who say they can’t afford home Internet service (18%). Regardless of their stated reasons for non-use, offline households have significantly lower incomes than their online counterparts. This suggests that even after overcoming other barriers, cost may be an additional challenge for many offline households.

Understanding Barriers to Home Internet Use

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Nearly Three-Fourths of Online Households Continue to Have Digital Privacy and Security Concerns

December 13, 2021

The security and privacy landscape has continued to evolve since NTIA first asked about it in our 2015 Internet Use Survey. High-profile data breaches and debates about the role of technology in people’s lives have kept concerns about privacy and security in the forefront. The spread of emerging technologies such as smart home devices and always-on voice assistants, as well as business models predicated on the collection, use, and sale of personal information, means these concerns have taken on increased urgency.

As NTIA will be exploring in our listening sessions this week, these concerns are especially acute for those in marginalized or underserved communities. These communities can sometimes face higher risks of harm from the loss of privacy or misuse of data.

In 2019, most Internet-using households in America expressed concerns regarding digital privacy, according to data from the NTIA Internet Use Survey. While fewer households had concerns about digital privacy and security and deterred online activities in 2015 vs. 2017, rates have held steady from 2017 to 2019. In 2019, 73 percent of Internet-using households in 2019 had significant concerns about online privacy and security risks, and 35 percent said such worries led them to hold back from some online activities (see Figure 1).

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