Surge in Blacks Using Broadband

"Over the last year, the broadband-adoption gap between blacks and whites has been cut nearly in half," according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.


African Americans Showed Year’s Highest Growth Rate

Over the last year, the broadband-adoption gap between blacks and whites has been cut nearly in half,” according to a new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Broadband is generally defined as high-speed Internet access.

“Broadband adoption by African Americans now stands at 56%, up from 46% at a similar point in 2009,” the study said. “That works out to a 22% year-over-year growth rate, well above the national average and by far the highest growth rate of any major demographic group.”

The increase has implications for media targeting African Americans, black-owned and otherwise.

In a piece Friday on, Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Co., owners of Ebony and Jet magazine, told E.R. Shipp,Today, outlets are charged with deciding which form of technology best suits the story. For instance, black consumers can now receive stories via iPads, satellite radio and the Web in addition to traditional print.”

Johnson Rice said her major challenge is “to stay relevant on the newsstands while establishing a timely and engaging presence on the Web.”

Shipp noted that “in that arena, her company faces competition from The Root, the Grio, Black America Web and AOL’s Black Voices, among others” and that “Jet recently rolled out a jazzed-up print edition and a digital version called”

BET Networks has partnered with the National Urban League, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, HealthCentral, Kaplan Ventures,, One Economy Corporation and in a proposal to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration for a grant under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, Ann Brown reported in June for the Network Journal. That effort is a part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, known as the stimulus package.

“Under the proposal, BET wants to increase the adoption of broadband technology amongst African-Americans through its National Sustainable Broadband Adoption Project,” Brown wrote.