This presentation discusses what Pew Internet data contributes to the discussion of how best to carry out the “Broadband Data Improvement Act.” A provision in the bill requires that the U.S. government develop a publicly available map of broadband infrastructure nationwide. For this session, I cover a few points about consumers’ knowledge gaps with respect to broadband — gaps which broadband mapping could help fill.

Consumers face knowledge gaps with respect to:

  • Availability — 14% of non-broadband users say it’s not available in our surveys, but such self-reporting can be subject to error.
  • Speed — 83% of broadband users can’t say what their home connection speed is, even though 1/3 pay extra for more speed.
  • Providers — 22% of broadband subscribers (in 2004) said they didn’t know how many providers were available in their area.