New Data from National 4-H Council, the Harris Poll and the 4-H Tech Changemakers Highlights Urgency for Congress to Close the Broadband Gap
In case you missed it, the National 4-H Council, the Harris Poll and the 4-H Tech Changemakers coalition recently released a survey that found young adults in America believe a lack of broadband internet is continuing to create economic and social inequities in communities across the nation and urgent government action is needed to close the digital divide.
Specifically, the survey found that 74 percent of teens surveyed believe the government has a vital role to play in providing broadband access for all Americans. The current gap in access has a direct impact on a young Americans’ outlook on life and their ability to be successful. According to the survey partners:
The lack of access has significant effects on the lives of young people, with the survey results demonstrating notable differences in confidence levels between teens with and without access to high-speed internet in areas like graduating from high school (92 percent vs 89 percent), having a successful career (88 percent vs 81 percent), having financial success (85 percent vs 80 percent), and life overall (85 percent vs 74 percent). Unreliable internet access also leads to significant gaps in digital skills, despite widespread agreement among teens that “digital skills will be the key to getting the best jobs for my generation” (73 percent agree).
The survey also highlighted how the percent of youths with access to internet actually fell from 2019 to 2021. In 2019, 77 percent of youths had reliable access and in 2021 the number fell to 69 percent, with Black young adults falling 10 percent behind other respondents.
In order to ensure every young American can access the full potential and opportunity of the 21st century digital economy and classroom, lawmakers must act to provide affordable, reliable broadband for every community. Members of the U.S. House can act by swiftly advancing the significant down payment on bridging the digital divide recently passed by the U.S. Senate as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Read more on the urgency for action on that package HERE.
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 Connect Americans Now and the coalition’s mission HERE.
Learn more about solutions to permanently bridge the digital divide HERE.