Internet Gap: Detroit Ranks High on Lists of Unconnected Homes

November 05, 2014, 8:29 PM

Detroit is atop one category of a new national list that's not a good place to be.

The list shows 176 cities in terms of on household computer ownership and Internet access, based on new Census data examined by a group called Connect Your Community.

Detroit was the #1 worst-connected city on the list for fixed broadband access, and the second-worst (behind Laredo, Texas) for home Internet access of any kind.

The Census found that 57% of Detroit households lacked any kind of fixed broadband Internet account (DSL, cable, etc.) in 2013.

Rankings of cities with more than 65,000 people reflect a digital divide affecting student performance, employability, commerce, health care, political awareness, social networking and other areas.

Here's what the findings about Detroit's 255,322 households show::

  • Home broadband: Detroit is worst with 56.9 percent of households lacking a physical broadband subscription. This category covers residences without any Internet access, homes that have Internet access without a subscription, homes with mobile broadband only and homes with dial-up access only. The median figure among the 176 cities is 31.9 percent without broadband cable, phone or satellite service.
  • Home Internet access: Forty percent of Detroit households have no Internet access via desktop, laptop or mobile devices. The Census report's national median is 21.1 percent. 

No other Michigan cities rank in the top 25.

Connect Your Community, a national digital literacy and access advocate, is a follow-up to a federal Connect Your Community Program of 2010-12, which provided provided broadband training, equipment and support for low-income households in Detroit and six other communities. The current venture has local partnerships with the Community Telecommunications Network, Focus:HOPE, Matrix Human Services and Wayne State's Center for Urban Studies.

-- Alan Stamm

Read more:  Connect Your Community

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