Connected Nation: Libraries key to rural broadband access

Connected Nation is trying to show the importance of anchor institutions to broadband expansion in rural areas. The organization, which has partnered with many states in for significant amounts of broadband stimulus money, conducted surveys in Tennessee and Ohio and filed the results with the FCC.

Some of the findings:

  • Significant percentages of those who normally don't subscribe to broadband – specifically single parents, minorities and low-income residents – are relying on the local library as their sole or primary Internet resource: 25 percent of single parents, 25 percent of minorities, 18 percent of low income residents, and 11 percent of people with disabilities depend on libraries for Internet connections.
  • More than one-half of library Internet users (51 percent) have children at home, suggesting that a significant portion of library Internet users are children. Of this group, 42 percent do not have a broadband connected computer at home.
  • Nearly half of library Internet users (46 percent) search for jobs online, compared to 29 percent of other Internet users.

Here's a video they posted to YouTube to back up their report.