Connected and In Touch: Broadband Adoption Surges Among Connected Tennessee’s Target Groups
Connected Tennessee recently revealed the very latest in broadband adoption data with the release of its Tennessee’s Technology Trends survey. The survey finds that since Connected Tennessee’s inception in 2007, Tennessee has experienced a 35% increase in broadband adoption. Today more than one-half (58%) of all Tennessee adults have broadband service at home, which translates into more than 2.7 million Tennesseans. Particularly noteworthy: broadband adoption has grown fastest among Tennessee’s low-income residents (those with incomes below $25,000), minorities and rural residents; all groups specifically targeted by Connected Tennessee’s eCommunity Leadership Teams (eCS) and the Computers 4 Kids (C4K) program.
“It is gratifying to know that our hard work over the past three years has made a real impact on Tennessee’s broadband landscape,” says Connected Tennessee’s Executive Director, Michael Ramage. “More Tennesseans than ever before are now able to access all of the benefits afforded by a high-speed Internet connection. What we set out to do was to help better the lives of those citizens who were virtually cut off from the Information Highway, due to either geography or income levels, and we feel that these statistics prove that we have been able to accomplish that formidable task.”
Through the eCS process, Connected Tennessee has established Leadership Teams within each ofTennessee’s 95 counties in order to assist the county with developing a Strategic Technology Plan that provides county leaders with tangible goals for achieving an increase in broadband and related technologies. The eCS process placed special emphasis on the state’s rural communities, with State Operations Managers working to raise awareness about the need for broadband technology and build a demand that wasn’t there before.
Computers 4 Kids is an innovative initiative designed to positively impact the future of citizens in need in Tennessee by awarding computers to kids and families facing economic challenges, in the foster care system or struggling with behavioral disorders and other issues. In August 2010, Connected Tennessee's Computers 4 Kids program was awarded $2.3 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding in an effort to increase sustainable broadband adoption and provide computers and training to over 60,000 disadvantaged youth across the state.
The "Preparing Tennessee's Next Generation for Success"
project will deploy laptops, academic support programs, and workforce training to two disparate, but especially at-risk, populations: those in the state's foster care system that are "aging out" as they turn 18, and youth that are active in the state's 76 Boys & Girls Clubs.
Tennessee’s Technology Trends is a two-part assessment highlighting the use and impact of computers, the Internet and broadband technology among Tennessee residents and businesses. The comprehensive survey involved more than 1,200 Tennessee households and more than 800 businesses representing each ofTennessee’s 95 counties.
The complete findings of Tennessee Technology Trends
can be downloaded from Connected Tennessee’s website at www.connectedtn.org