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Blog // Connected Tennessee

Broadband Adoption Surges Among Connected Tennessee’s Target Groups

By CTN Staff

Last week, Connected Tennessee unveiled the very latest in broadband adoption data with the release of Tennessee’s Technology Trends 2011. Today, 64% of all Tennessee adults have broadband service at home, with broadband adoption among Connected Tennessee’s target groups experiencing an impressive increase since Connected Tennessee’s inception in 2007. Today, 50% of low-income families with children (those with incomes below $25,000) subscribe to broadband, up from just 17% in 2007 - an astonishing growth of 194%.Meanwhile, 55% of rural residents now have broadband at home, compared to just 30% in 2007, growth of 83%. Over the past three years, Connected Tennessee has specifically targeted both groups through its Computers 4 Kids program and eCommunity leadership teams (eCS).

“It is gratifying to know that our hard work over the past three years has made a real impact on Tennessee’s broadband landscape,” says Connected Tennessee Executive Director Michael Ramage. “More Tennesseans than ever before are now able to access all of the benefits afforded by a high-speed Internet connection. What we set out to do was to help better the lives of those citizens who were virtually cut off from the information highway, due to either geography or income levels, and we feel that these statistics prove that we have been able to accomplish that formidable task.”
The Computers 4 Kids (C4K) project deploys computers, academic support programs, and workforce training to two disparate, but especially at-risk, populations: those in the state's foster care system who are "aging out" as they turn 18, and youth who are active in the state’s 76 Boys & Girls Clubs. In 2010, the program was awarded a $2.3 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). BTOP provides grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. With this new phase of the program, C4K will impact the lives of nearly 60,000 youth across the state over a three year period.
Through the eCS process, Connected Tennessee established leadership teams within each of Tennessee’s 95 counties in order to assist the county with developing a Strategic Technology Plan that provides county leaders with tangible goals for achieving an increase in broadband and related technologies. The eCS process placed special emphasis on the state’s rural communities, with state operations managers working to raise awareness about the need for broadband technology and build a demand that wasn’t there before.
Tennessee’s Technology Trends 2011 is a two-part assessment highlighting the use and impact of computers, the Internet, and broadband technology among Tennessee residents and businesses. Between June 30 and August 15, 2011, Connected Tennessee conducted random telephone surveys of approximately 1,200 adults age 18 or older. These surveys were conducted as part of the State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) grant program, funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The SBDD grant program was created by the Broadband Data Improvement Act (BDIA), unanimously passed by Congress in 2008 and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009.
The complete findings of Tennessee Technology Trends 2011 can be downloaded here.



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