OpenFiction [Blog]

Pew Digital Divisions Report

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on October 6, 2005

Once again, the invaluable Pew Internet & American Life Project has come out with a report that demonstrates why thinking of OER sharing as a purely digital enterprise will leave significant and–big surprise–already disadvantaged people out of the mix. Here’s an excerpt (and keep in mind, this is data for the US):

One in five American adults (22%) say they have never used the internet or email and do not live in internet-connected households. These truly disconnected adults occupy essentially the same percentage of the population as in 2002, when 23% of American adults said they have never used the internet and do not live with anyone who has access. The percentage of “truly disconnected” has remained stable in the last three years.

Three years and the percentage of adults not accessing the internet has not changed. In internet/dog years, that’s essentially a generation of users. More:

One way to look at internet access in the U.S. is to split adults into three tiers – the truly offline (22% of American adults); those with relatively more modest connections, such as dial-up users, intermittent users, and non-users who live with an internet user (40%); and the highly-wired broadband elite (33%).

So OERs that depend on high-speed internet access could reach at most 1/3 of adults; those that depend on internet connection in general, maybe 2/3.

Wonder what these numbers look like in less affluent parts of the world.


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