Arkansas's web access increases | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 21, 2011

Arkansas's web access increases

Posted By on Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Interesting release from Connect Arkansas. A new survey says 68 percent of Arkansans now have high-speed Internet access at home or work, up from 42 percent in 2007.

Who will be the Ben Hur of the 21st Century — the last Arkansas home to get Internet access? (The Newton County community was the last to receive electricity in Arkansas.) Maybe in Snowball? The day is coming.

And, relative to a subject mentioned the other day, the percentage of homes receiving a dead-tree newspaper will keep dropping no matter what. It's time to put legal notices, ordinances, foreclosures and all the rest on-line and save taxpayers and everybody else a ton of money.

The survey shows about half of Arkansans still view computer access a luxury or unnecessary, but that, too, will change.

NEWS RELEASE

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Twenty-four percent of Arkansans have subscribed to high-speed internet in the last year, and 92% of Arkansans feel that the internet is a valuable source for information and learning, according to the most recent Connect Arkansas survey findings released Friday.

“Truly remarkable advancements in the value of the Internet for education, opportunity for success and life-changing capabilities are becoming available on a daily basis,” Connect Arkansas President C. Sam Walls said. “Especially for our children, for the first time in human history, they have the world at their fingertips.”

Connect Arkansas was founded in 2007 to foster broadband education, use and access throughout the state, and in doing so, to help improve the personal lives and economic prospects of all Arkansans. That year, Connect conducted a survey of 608 registered voters and found that only 42 percent of Arkansans said they had high-speed internet access in their home or workplace.

The latest survey found that 68 percent of Arkansans now have high-speed internet access in their home or workplace.

By comparison, a survey completed last summer by the Federal Communications Commission showed that 67 percent of Americans nationwide have access to high-speed internet in their home or workplace.
The results, Walls said, shows that the state has made progress toward better connectivity in the past four years, and that while Connect is helping, “move the needle in the right direction,” the overall results show that Arkansas still has a long way to go toward full connectivity.

“It is important we realize we are in a race to compete with the world in using this tool wisely and to our greatest advantage,” Walls said. “This is a race Arkansas cannot afford to lose.”
Among other findings, the survey data indicates that:
· 56 percent of Arkansans view high-speed internet as a luxury in relation to other utilities;
· 55 percent of Arkansans, who are not current subscribers to high-speed internet, when asked why they do not subscribe to high-speed internet, responded they “do not need it;”
· 30 percent of Arkansans use their cell phones or other mobile devices to access the Internet; for 14 percent of Arkansans, a mobile device is their only means of Internet access.
“This study shows that Arkansas has made significant progress since 2007 in high-speed internet adoption,” Walls said. “In order to maintain this growth, however, Arkansans must embrace the idea that high-speed internet is a necessity to compete in the 21st Century economy.”

Connect Arkansas will launch this spring several new initiatives aimed at showing Arkansans how high-speed internet is relevant to their lives, including the Computers for Kids program in partnership with the Little Rock School District, and has already launched YES for Arkansas 2.0, a high school business plan competition which aims to drive entrepreneurship. Additionally, Connect will announce several major initiatives in the near future.

For additional information about Connect Arkansas, go to www.connect-arkansas.org. To see
if broadband is available where you live, go to http://maps.connect-arkansas.org/.

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