Measuring the Gap
What’s the right approach to exploring why some Americans do not subscribe to broadband?

Digital inclusion has emerged as a policy priority for policymakers at all levels of government. From a research perspective, the task is to explore the reasons behind non-broadband adoption and discover the relative importance of them. Today there is disagreement on this issue. One school of thought has it that, for the most part, people without broadband do not find it relevant to their lives. Another school of thought places greater weight on the cost of access devices and monthly fees. 

This brief tries to shed light on what drives these differences and resolve them. A close analysis of the debate leads to two conclusions:

  • There are multiple reasons for non-adoption 
  • Cost is the chief reason for not having broadband