Feds Find Digital Divide Persists for People with Disabilities

On Feb. 17, 2011, via a Public Notice, the NTIA and the FCC unveiled the National Broadband Map along with an update to the Digital Nation report. The map depicts availability of higher speed Internet access, or broadband, for residential use, across the U.S. and is searchable by zip code.  The report said: "... Americans with disabilities are dramatically less likely to use broadband at home than the population without disabilities" and noted that 37.5% of people with disabilities did not have broadband at home compared to 68% of people without disabilities. The report noted that the highest rate of adoption, among the categories of people with disabilities, occurred by those who are either deaf or have difficulty hearing. This report used the October 2010 CPS data. See page 15 of the Digital National report for further information.

The map is the result of over 2 years of work and cost the taxpayers $350 million. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and 5 territories provided the NTIA with data. The map brings together 25 million pieces of data to provide consumers, policy makers and business with an accurate picture of broadband deployment and availability. Over 1600 unique internet service providers were identified.

Read Washington Post article by Cecilia Kang.  Read Broadband Breakfast Group article