For the most part, America's internet usage trends can be summed up in a few phrases. The Internet is now so common as to be a commodity; the rich have better Internet than the poor; more whites have Internet than people of color; and compared to low-income minorities, affluent whites are more likely to have fixed, wired Internet connections to their homes.
This above scenario is common in New Zealand and around the world and is one of the major reasons Aorere College has given free Wi-Fi to all our students. Tamaki College years ago made the social justice and edtech decsion to open up their Wi-Fi to students. As part of the Pt. English community, this school among others have gone even further with free Wi-Fi now accessible to many homes in the community as well.
In fact, Americans as a whole are growing less likely than before to have residential broadband, the figures show. In plain English, they're abandoning their wired Internet for a mobile-data-only diet — and if the trend continues, it could reflect a huge shift in the way we experience the Web.
The study, which was conducted for the Commerce Department by the U.S. Census Bureau, partly upholds what we already knew. Low-income Americans are still one of the biggest demographics to rely solely on their phones to get online.
Today nearly a third of households earning less than $25,000 a year exclusively use mobile Internet to browse the Web. That's up from 16 percent of households falling in that category in 2013.
This is a rather unique situation where the affluent "fixed-liners" are following the less well-off. Remember even Google's taken note of the flight to mobile, penalising websites that are mobile-effective. For me personally, it doesn't bother me how any individuals in society are accessing the internet, the key is they can and are. What is key is that we have a degree of internet access for all citizens. The last thing we need is a digital divide that has massive social divide implications as well.
What is awesome about Web 2.0 and beyond is that any person can consume or produce via mobile or fixed platforms. Publishing options such as Weebly can be done via a phone only if preferred and there are now people all over the world making a living off their phones and Wi-Fi. For me, the move to Wi-Fi is not surprising whether people have their own plan or otherwise. In New Zealand, virtually every shopping mall, fast-food outlet and library provides free Wi-Fi. I think this trend is only going to grow. Yes of course the retailer and providers and obviously the phone companies benefit but the real beneficiaries are those who could not afford net access on their own but through such mobile developments are not left out in the cold.
To be connected to mobile and/or fixed internet ensures that that these individuals are connected to society now and in the future.