CAN Poll: Voters Say Broadband Essential to Realizing the American Dream, Support Congressional Action to Eliminate the Digital Divide

Majorities Say Broadband, Devices and Digital Skills Are Vital to Daily Life and Success in the 21st Century Classroom and Economy — Support Solutions to Advance Digital Equity

Press Release
November 4, 2021
Contact: Jon Conradi
[email protected]

Washington, D.C. – Connect Americans Now (CAN) released the findings of a national voter survey Thursday. The poll, conducted by Moore Information Group and David Binder Research, found broad majorities of American voters agree broadband internet, digital devices and digital skills are essential to success in the 21st Century, support the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and back additional solutions to permanently eliminate the digital divide in every American community.

“Voters overwhelmingly agree that access to an affordable, reliable broadband connection and the digital devices and skills necessary to unlock the full potential of technology are critical to safeguarding the promise of the American Dream in the 21st Century,” said CAN executive director Richard T. Cullen. “More than ever, creating good jobs, lifting wages, reducing poverty, improving health outcomes and strengthening education depend on affordable, reliable broadband connectivity in every American community.”

“The bipartisan infrastructure package would mark a critical down payment toward bridging the digital divide and enjoys strong support from voters, across party lines,” Cullen continued. “Congress must pass this package into law and advance additional solutions to boost digital equity and permanently eliminate the digital divide that enjoy broad-based support from voters.”

The live interview survey of 800 representative voters nationwide was conducted by Moore Information Group and David Binder Research from October 20-24, 2021.

Key takeaways from the survey include:

Voters Agree Broadband, Digital Devices and Digital Skills are Vital for Daily Life and Success in the 21st Century Economy and Classroom

  • More than four-in-five (84 percent) voters say broadband internet is “essential” or “important” to their daily lives, including a 54 percent majority who say broadband service is “essential.” Another 71 percent agree with the statement that“access to broadband internet is essential to protecting and realizing the American Dream in the 21st Century economy and classroom.” That includes more than nine-in-ten (91 percent) African-American voters.
  • Nearly nine-in-ten (89 percent) voters say a device, like a tablet, laptop or desktop computer, is “essential” or “important” for success in the modern economy and classroom, including more than 60 percent that say such devices are “essential.”
  • More than four-in-five (81 percent) voters agree with a statement thatthe 21st Century economy is becoming increasingly dependent on digital technology. Americans must have the digital skills necessary to succeed in an evolving workforce if we are going to be able to maintain America’s competitive edge in the global economy.”
  • More than three-in-five voters (62 percent) say the COVID-19 pandemic increased the urgency for every American to have access to an affordable and reliable broadband internet connection.

Americans Support Passage of Bipartisan Infrastructure Package — Broadband Provisions Increase Voter Support

  • In an initial test, 60 percent of voters support the bipartisan infrastructure package, compared with just 28 percent that oppose the legislation.
  • That support increases to two-thirds of voters who say it is “essential” or “important” the U.S. House follow the U.S. Senate in passing the package when told it “will invest $65 billion dollars to expand access to broadband internet by supporting the expansion of broadband networks, making permanent programs to help make broadband service affordable and expand access to programs that teach digital skills.”
  • Support is highest (74 percent essential/important) among those with the lowest income — highlighting the importance of the package for supporting greater digital equity.
  • The package enjoys broad-based political support, with outright majorities of Democratic and independent voters and a plurality of Republican voters saying it is “important” or “essential” the House pass the legislation.

Strong Majorities Support Additional Solutions to Permanently Eliminate the Digital Divide, Support Digital Equity in Every American Community

  • 66 percent of voters support investments in broadband internet infrastructure to reach Americans without access to a broadband internet connection in the most cost-effective and rapid manner possible.
  • 62 percent support funding to provide permanent financial assistance for Americans who cannot afford broadband service or devices, like students in low-income families who need broadband access and tablets or laptops for school. 
  • 66 percent supportfunding for digital training programs to help Americans in every community learn the skills necessary, including the ability to use, work and communicate from computers, for success in the 21st Century economy.

Lawmaker Support for Solutions to Close Broadband Gap Will Impact Voter Decision in Next Election

  • Nearly 60 percent of voters say they will be more likely to support a candidate for Congress who supports “making sure every American can access an affordable and reliable broadband internet connection.”

See the full summary of the CAN survey findings from Moore Information Group and David Binder Research HERE.

Founded in 2017, Connect Americans Now (CAN) is a broad-based coalition of more than 300 companies and organizations representing leading voices in agriculture, education, health care, veterans’ issues, technology and small business — committed to urgent action to completely eliminate the digital divide in every American community.

Learn more about CAN and the coalition’s mission HERE.


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