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BRIDGING THE GAP: What Affordable, Uncapped Internet Means for Digital Inclusion

Voiced by Amazon Polly

Mobile Beacon’s internet service is highly-valued and utilized among Bridging the Gap subscribers. These users are individuals and families below the 200% line. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of users never had a home internet connection before enrolling in Bridging the Gap, which made it more difficult for them to complete homework, apply for jobs, and communicate with others. Now, 94% are daily internet users. Our findings also indicate that data caps make it more difficult for low-income families to engage in certain online activities (60% reported having difficulty completing homework or an online class due to data caps), and 24% only enrolled in a daily or weekly online class after switching to Bridging the Gap’s unlimited internet service. The value of affordable, unlimited internet access is clear, and as this research shows, is measurable. We encourage digital inclusion advocates and practitioners to elevate the need for “whole family” broadband adoption as a digital inclusion standard. Digital equity demands that lowincome users have the ability to use the internet for the same things their wealthier peers can. It is critical to provide low-income Americans with robust connectivity so they can compete and fully participate in today’s world.

Research Brief

https://www.mobilebeacon.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/MobileBeacon_ResearchPaper_Brief_WEB-1.pdf

Detailed Report

https://www.mobilebeacon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/MB_ResearchPaper_FINAL_WEB.pdf