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Washington Calling

Internet stats ...
Scripps Howard News Service


December 29, 2009

The proportion of U.S. homes able to go online has mushroomed from 18 percent with Internet access in 1997 to 62 percent in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Of those in 2007, the most recent year for which data was available, 82 percent said they used a high-speed connection.

Other insights: The states with the highest Internet use were Alaska and New Hampshire; the lowest were Mississippi and West Virginia. Only about 35 percent of senior citizens were online, compared with 73 percent of those 18-34 years old. By race, about 73 percent of Asians had Internet access at home, while 69 percent of whites, 51 percent of African-Americans and 48 percent of Hispanics did.

However, a new survey shows that the United States is so far behind in the average speed of Internet downloading that it will take 15 years to catch up with South Korea, which boasts the fastest download time.

The study by the Communications Workers of America union also found that where you live in the country makes a major difference in how fast your online access is. The fastest states are Delaware, with an average of 9.9 megabits per second (mbps); Rhode Island, 9.8 mbps; New Jersey, 8.9 mbps; Massachusetts, 8.6 mbps; and New York, 8.4 mbps.

The slowest: Mississippi, 3.7 mbps; South Carolina, 3.6 mbps; Arkansas, 3.1 mbps; Idaho, 2.6 mbps; and Alaska, 2.3 mbps.

About $7.2 billion in economic stimulus money has been earmarked for bringing broadband Internet access to rural communities and other underserved areas.



Contact Lisa Hoffman at hoffmanl(at)
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