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Recent News // News Release: Connected Tennessee Research Suggests Smartphones Might be Key in Bridging Digital Divide

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Connected Tennessee’s Study on Smartphone Use among Minorities Yields Surprising Results

Nashville, TN – A new report released today by Connected Tennessee reveals that advances in mobile broadband technology are making Internet access more affordable and relevant to Tennessee’s minority population.

Smartphone Use among Tennessee’s Minorities: Digital Bridge or New Divide? shows that while minorities in Tennessee are significantly less likely to own a computer or subscribe to home broadband service, advances in mobile broadband technology are making Internet access more affordable and relevant to Tennessee’s minority population. Today, 44% of Tennessee’s minority population use smartphones to access the Internet, compared to 39% of Caucasians. Minority adults are also twice as likely to substitute smartphone Internet access for home broadband service, and are more likely to use a mobile Internet service for a variety of reasons, including online banking, searching or applying for jobs, and taking online classes or conducting research for school.

  • More than two-fifths of minority smartphone owners (41%) report using their mobile broadband service to conduct online banking or to pay bills, compared to 29% of Caucasians

  • More than one-quarter of minority smartphone owners (26%) report searching or applying for jobs via their mobile broadband service, compared to 12% of Caucasians

  • 16% report taking online classes or conducting research for schoolwork, compared to 9% of Caucasians

 

“Broadband opens the door for Tennessee’s minority populations to attain new levels of economic prosperity by connecting them to an incredible amount of educational and employment-related resources,” says Connected Tennessee Executive Director Corey Johns. “While we are aware that mobile broadband use does not equal full digital inclusion, we are encouraged that it is helping to bridge the gap for the nearly 1.8 million Tennessee adults currently without a home broadband connection.”

Access the full report by clicking here.

Download the Press Release