Pew: Minorities more likely to use mobile Web

Eighty-seven percent of minority respondents own a cell phone as opposed to 80 percent of whites. In total, 64 percent of African-Americans use some form of mobile Internet via their cell phone or laptop, while only 59 percent of all adults do so. Smith said the findings show groups targeting minority communities should be aware their websites are likely being viewed on a mobile device.

“Organizations and businesses that are interested in reaching minority populations … need to consider the fact that for many of these individuals, they not going to be accessing services on 14-inch screen desktop computer with a broadband connection,” Smith said.

The findings also mean carriers’ recent shift away from unlimited data plans may disproportionately impact minorities, who often rely on their phones as their only connection to the Web. The Obama administration recently unveiled a plan to free up 500 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband use over the next decade in recognition of the growing public appetite for mobile Internet access.

“The mobile population is growing very quickly, both cell phones and laptops,” Smith said. “The administration’s efforts to increase spectrum are in line with our findings that this is an area that’s growing in relevance and importance to a lot of different groups. Groups that weren’t necessarily at the forefront of home broadband adoption.”


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