Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How many people use the internet in the US? It’s a lot. 

Originally published by Rita Handrich.

internet_usage_statisticsWe work in venues from major metropolitan centers to counties with less than 20,000 people. Rural areas used to be where internet access and use was almost nonexistent in the past, but that is rarely the case any more. We’ve written about the reaction of our high-tech clients as they hear what rural mock jurors have to say about them, but we also think it’s important to remain aware of just how omnipresent the internet is among Americans. In truth, any case that may be influenced by internet issues needs to be examined carefully if the trial is set in rural America. The data on internet penetration and usage is changing so quickly that the profile changes dramatically from one year to the next.

“As part of the 2008 Broadband Data Improvement Act, the U.S. Census Bureau began asking about computer and Internet use in the 2013 American Community Survey (ACS). Federal agencies use these statistics to measure and monitor the nationwide development of broadband networks and to allocate resources intended to increase access to broadband technologies, particularly among groups with traditionally low levels of access. State and local governments can use these statistics for similar purposes.”

According to multiple sources (based on data that is at least a couple of years old), current computer ownership in the US is at 88.4% of all households. Internet use is at 78.1% across the US. They included this graphic in their report to illustrate the frequency of internet use by demographics.

Figure 2 internet use

Here are some narrative highlights from the most recent Census Bureau report on internet use in the US:

In 2013, 83.8 percent of U.S. households reported computer ownership, with 78.5 percent of all households having a desktop or laptop computer, and 63.6 percent having a handheld computer.

In 2013, 74.4 percent of all households reported Internet use, with 73.4 percent reporting a high-speed connection.

Household computer ownership and Internet use were most common in homes with relatively young householders, in households with Asian or White householders, in households with high incomes, in metropolitan areas, and in homes where house- holders reported relatively high levels of educational attainment.

Patterns for individuals were similar to those observed for households with computer ownership and Internet use tending to be highest among the young, Whites or Asians, the affluent, and the highly educated.

The Census Bureau report contains multiple facts and graphics on internet use and computer ownership across the country. This summary covers most of them but if you want additional information, look at the report itself.

Note:  The glaring omission in this study is cellular data. It is based on household computer use. For those under 30 (especially), smart phones and gaming consoles are major points of access for the internet. Some cable and satellite “television” providers are more accurately viewed as data streaming services, and offer direct access to the internet through their streaming platform.

From a litigation advocacy perspective, we think it’s important to always be aware of how different life (and the perspective of those living that life) is when the internet is not a daily part of your existence.

For attorneys presenting in those areas, the examples and analogies they use have to resonate with the lives of their audience and when you are an attorney representing a high-tech client—you don’t want to find out just how different those lives are when you are actually in the courtroom at trial.

Most of the time though, you will likely be presenting cases in venues where the internet ranges from commonplace to ubiquitous. Access to the internet is so widespread in the vast majority of trial venues that the question of internet access is often more a question of economics (with relatively poor people not having as much access to smart phones or computers) than age, gender, or race. Use this report to maintain awareness of how the internet is used differently by different people at different times.

Do not assume that all younger people are internet savvy or that all older people are not internet savvy. It is highly dependent on the individual (as well as their income and education) although, as seen in this report, the vast majority of Americans are internet users.



Related posts:

  1. Pew Research says 15% of Americans don’t use the internet and  asks “who are they”?
  2. More than half of your potential jurors have  smartphones now
  3. Oh the places you’ll go!

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

from Texas Bar Today
via Abogado Aly Website

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