Roberto Gallardo

Who is using the internet at faster speeds?

Recent research found that as the share of White non-Hispanics increases, average download and upload speeds decreases. To delve deeper into this finding and better understand the factors affecting internet speeds, this research conducted spatial error regression models looking at different groups across two points in time (2019 and 2022). Results indicate that rural, older, and poorer groups continue to be associated with slower speeds and that by 2022, these relationships became stronger, widening the divide.

An unexpected digital divide? A look at internet speeds and socioeconomic groups

As societies and economies continue to digitize, the need to understand the digital divide beyond binary availability or adoption metrics is increasing. Understanding the quality and performance of home internet—measured by internet speeds—among different socioeconomic groups contributes to the complex digital equity landscape at a time when all U.S. states and territories are completing digital equity plans.

A Closer Look at Indiana’s Digital Equity: Mobile-Only

In Indiana, 9.1 percent of survey respondents only had smartphone devices, compared to 86.4 percent with smartphones and at least one other device. Less than 5 percent of respondents either did not have devices or had devices other than smartphones.

Why Are Indiana Residents Not Paying for Home Internet?

Over 12% of Indiana survey respondents did not pay for home internet in the previous 12 months. The biggest reasons were related to affordability and not only about home internet service but devices too. Lacking a desktop or laptop was the main reason why 7% of survey respondents did not use the internet daily. Additionally, survey respondents believed a home internet service was not necessary since their smartphones let them do everything they needed to do online.

A “Reverse” Digital Divide in Indiana?

The Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) partnered with the Indiana University Center for Survey Research (IU-CSR) to gather data on Indiana residents on several digital equity indicators. A surprising finding was that the difference between Whites and racial/ethnic minorities was not statistically significant but more importantly, they were “reversed” to what was expected.

The Impact of Remote Work

Working from home became necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a survey done by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research during May of 2020, 42% of all US workers worked from home and accounted for two-thirds of the nation’s gross domestic product. Therefore, work from home has become a feasible economic development strategy at the onset of COVID-19. This study gauges the contribution of workers from home in Indiana in 2021 by using the Regional Economic Modeling, Inc. (REMI) general equilibrium model.

The Need for Speed: Rural Users Tend to Have Slower Internet Connections

As the federal government, along with states, gets ready to make a once-in-a-lifetime investment in broadband infrastructure, the concept of the digital divide remains somewhat the same as it was back in the mid-1990s, when the term was coined.

Bridging the Digital Divide in Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Communities in the South

The Southern Rural Development Center in partnership with the Purdue Center for Regional Development received funding from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to document digital exclusion among disadvantaged groups in the South, gauge the digital inclusion capacity of Cooperative Extension personnel, and design and implement programs and resources to tackle digital exclusion. As part of this effort, a survey was conducted to better understand the depth and breadth of digital exclusion among disadvantaged groups in the South.

Do ‘dig once’ and permitting policies improve fiber availability?

State and local governments have enacted different types of legislation aimed at improving broadband availability. Two unstudied policies of interest are: (1) “dig-once” policies requiring state-funded construction projects to notify local internet providers about the opportunity to bury conduit for easier wire installation in the future, and (2) permitting policies requiring an expeditious response from local jurisdictions regarding the installation of broadband equipment.

Rural Counties with More Broadband Tended to Do Better in 2020 Census, Study Shows

Although most of the nation’s rural counties lost population from 2010 to 2020, new Census data shows that rural counties with better broadband access tended to do better with population change than counties that lacked access. As more residents had access to broadband as defined by the Federal Communications Commission in 2011, the county population increased nine years later. Most counties did improve their broadband situation as the 2010s continued. Broadband access grew as the decade progressed for both kinds of counties – those that lost population and those that gained.  But the impor