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The U.S. Commerce Department has released a report exploring broadband adoption in the U.S. Rich and educated people have broadband in greater percentage than those who are poorer and have less than a high school degree.
Younger folks have more broadband than older folks. Asians have the highest broadband penetration. And married couples with children have more broadband than single parents.
And urban residents have more broadband than people in rural communities. Rural creates wider divides across all demographic characteristics. “Only about 28 percent of rural dwellers with incomes less than $25,000 had broadband internet at home, compared to 38 percent of their urban counterparts and 86 percent of their high-income rural counterparts,” the report finds. “A similar pattern holds for demographic groups defined by race, ethnicity, and education.”
As with differences in ethnicity, the report says, the rural/urban gap gets mixed up with economic and educational factors: “For instance, income and education are likely to be higher in urban areas if employment opportunities requiring high levels of skills and specialization are disproportionately located in urban areas. As a result, it is not clear from the tabulations we have seen so far how much of the urban-rural gap in adoption is driven by differences in income and education between urban and rural residents. The same issue applies for race and ethnicity, that is, looking at average adoption levels by race and ethnicity does not tell us how much of the adoption gap associated with race and ethnicity is explained by differences in socio-economic factors.”
• PNC Bank, the largest banking company in Kentucky, will no longer finance mountaintop removal coal strip mining projects. The company has decided it will no longer “provide credit to coal producers whose primary extraction method” is mountaintop removal.
• The New York Times reports that wind power projects are losing deals because their power costs too much.
The paper finds: “Even as many politicians, environmentalists and consumers want renewable energy and reduced dependence on fossil fuels, a growing number of projects are being canceled or delayed because governments are unwilling to add even small amounts to consumers’ electricity bills.”