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San Francisco, CA Short sections of text not to exceed three paragraphs may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey series provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 99th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 210,000 Californians. This survey is the second in an annual PPIC Statewide Survey series focusing on information technology issues, funded with grants from the California Emerging Technology Fund and from ZeroDivide. The series’ intent is to inform state policymakers, encourage discussion, and raise public awareness about a variety of information technology issues. We draw upon earlier PPIC Statewide Surveys for California trends over time and from recent surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project for national comparisons. Although the use of the Internet and information technology is expanding nationally, with California a leader, past studies show that a number of large and important subgroups in the California population have limited or no access to information technology. Given the role of the Internet in modern society, this survey seeks to inform and improve public policy choices regarding this disjunction between populations who are and are not “connected.” We examine both access and use of information technology as well as the public’s perceptions and attitudes. This survey presents the responses of 2,502 adult residents interviewed in multiple languages and reached by landline and cellular telephone throughout the state, on the following topics: „ Access and use of information technology, including computer ownership, home Internet and broadband connections, and overall use of computers, the Internet, and email. We also ask about a variety of specific activities that are conducted on the Internet, how often residents access the Internet or email, what kind of Internet connection they have at home, and other issues related to home broadband adoption. We ask about mobile devices and access to the Internet, non-Internet users’ interest in the Internet, reasons for not using the Internet or email, and parents’ use of the Internet to connect to their children’s schools. „ Perceptions and attitudes regarding information technology, including the importance of access to the Internet, the importance of broadband access to the Internet, the role of government and federal funding in improving the access and availability of broadband Internet technology, and residents’ comfort with and confidence in technology. We also ask about whether Californians in lower-income and rural areas are less likely to have access to broadband Internet technology and the level of concern regarding these access issues. „ California trends over time and differences between adults nationwide and in California in access, uses, perceptions, and attitudes about information technology. We also examine variations in behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes regarding information technology issues across the five major regions of the state (Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles County, Inland Empire, and Orange/San Diego Counties), among Asians, blacks, Latinos, and non-Hispanic whites, between urban and rual communities, and among socioeconomic and political groups. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org). For questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. View our searchable PPIC Statewide Survey database online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. 1 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 10:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, June 24, 2009. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Californians Expand Use of Computers, Internet, Broadband —But Digital Divide Leaves Many Behind MORE USE WEB FOR NEWS, SOCIAL NETWORKING, GOVERNMENT RESOURCES SAN FRANCISCO, California, June 24, 2009—The percentage of Californians with Internet access and a broadband connection at home has grown since last year despite tough economic times. A survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) finds that broadband adoption increased 7 points from last year (62% today, 55% 2008) and the share of Californians with Internet access at home is up 4 points (67% today, 63% 2008). Overall Internet use rose 6 points (76% today, 70% 2008). Computer ownership is up 3 points (75% today, 72% 2008). Residents have increased their use of social networking sites 11 points from last year (37% today, 26% 2008). They are also more likely to turn to the Internet to get government resources (51% today, 43% 2008) and news (63% today, 55% 2008), go shopping (58% today, 52% 2008), and find information about health (55% today, 50% 2008), their communities (53% today, 47% 2008), and housing (44% today, 40% 2008). The survey was conducted in collaboration with the California Emerging Technology Fund and ZeroDivide. “Californians increasingly see their computers and the Internet as necessities, not luxuries,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “At a time when most economic indicators are going down, these technology indicators are going up.” Although most demographic groups report increases in computer ownership, Internet connectivity, and broadband adoption, a digital divide persists. Just over half of Latinos (52%) say they have home computers, far lower than the percentage of Asians (89%), whites (87%), and blacks (75%) who do. Only 39 percent of Latinos have a home broadband connection, compared to 75 percent of whites, 74 percent of Asians, and 62 percent of blacks. There is no divide when it comes to Californians’ views about the importance of Internet access: Nearly all residents (93%) say it is very (72%) or somewhat (21%) important. Across demographic groups, Californians place a high value on access, with 75 percent of Latinos—the least likely to have an Internet connection—saying it is very important. Most non-Internet users (84%) also say access is important. Asked about the use of federal stimulus dollars to improve access, more than half say it is very (22%) or somewhat important (34%) to use this money to improve the availability of broadband technology and to teach people to use it (25% very important, 31% somewhat important). “Californians perceive that the digital divide is an important and persistent societal trend,” Baldassare says. “And a majority are saying that the government has a role to play in addressing this challenge.” Californians and Information Technology Where does California, known as a technology leader, stand compared to the rest of the nation? State residents are somewhat less likely than their counterparts nationwide to have an Internet connection at home (67% vs. 72%) and just as likely to have broadband at home (62% vs. 63%), according to a 2009 Pew Internet & American Life Project survey. COMPUTER, INTERNET USE INCREASES OVERALL In addition to the 6-point increase in overall Internet use, computer use rose 5 points in the last year (80% today, 75% 2008). There are differences across demographic groups that are similar to the digital divide in computer ownership and home Internet access. Specifically: • The digital divide persists between Latinos and other groups. While Latinos increased their Internet use (53% today, 48% 2008), the growth among whites was greater (88% today, 81% 2008). Whites’ computer use (89% today, 85% 2008) increased by about the same amount as Latinos’ (61% today, 58% 2008). Latinos today are far less likely to use computers and the Internet than Asians (87% computers, 85% Internet) and blacks (89%, 81%). • Nearly all high-income Californians use a computer and the Internet. Ninety-seven percent of Californians with household incomes of $80,000 or more use computers and the same percentage use the Internet. Those with household incomes of less than $40,000 are far less likely to report doing either (65% use computers, 58% use the Internet). • The rural/urban divide has closed, but regional differences persist. Similar percentages of rural (82%) and urban (80%) residents use a computer, in contrast to last year’s findings (66% rural, 76% urban). The gap has also closed between rural (77%) and urban (76%) residents who use the Internet (63% rural, 70% urban in 2008). Computer and Internet use grew in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange/San Diego Counties, and the Inland Empire. But computer use in the Central Valley is unchanged (74% today, 74% 2008) and Internet use has declined slightly (67% today, 71% 2008). • Younger Californians are far more likely to use computers, the Internet. Although majorities of adults over 55 use computers (71%) and the Internet (68%), residents between 18 and 34 are much more likely to do so (86% computers, 83% Internet). • Residents with disabilities are much less likely to go online. Sixty percent of Californians who report having a disability use the Internet, compared to 79 percent of those without a disability. WHY SOME AREN’T WIRED: COST, LACK OF INTEREST When Californians without computers are asked the open-ended question of why they don’t own one, 45 percent cite cost. Fewer say they are not interested (23%) or don’t know how to use one (16%). Among those who don’t use the Internet, 30 percent say they simply aren’t interested in doing so, 15 percent say they don’t have a computer, and 15 percent say it is too expensive. Residents under age 55 and Latinos are more likely to mention cost, while older residents and whites are more likely to cite lack of interest. Among the 24 percent of Californians who don’t use the Internet, just 21 percent are interested in starting to use it or in using email. Of these non-Internet users, 13 percent say they used it sometime in the past year but stopped for some reason. WHO’S DOING THE TWEETING? Age, race and ethnicity, income, and region play a role not just in who is going online but what Californians do when they log on. 4 PPIC Statewide Survey Press Release • Relatively few (18%) adults use Twitter, but nearly a third (31%) of those 18–34 years old are tweeting on the micro-blogging service. Californians in this age group are also more likely (63%) to use a social networking site than others (31% ages 35–54, 16% age 55 or older) or to work on their own blogs (24%) than others (11% ages 35–54, 7% age 55 or older). • Blacks are more likely (53%) than others (44% Asians, 39% whites, 28% Latinos) to use a social networking site. Asians are most likely (22%) to blog (14% whites, 13% blacks, 11% Latinos). • San Francisco Bay Area residents are among the most likely to go online to visit a government website, access government resources, use a social networking site, use Twitter, or blog. Residents of Orange County/San Diego Counties are among the most likely to contact an elected official online. THE CELL PHONE CONNECTION Californians with cell phones (84%) are more likely than last year to use them for sending and receiving text messages, accessing the Internet, and getting email. Among cell phone owners, 65 percent are using the mobile devices to text (up 7 points from last year), 30 percent are accessing the Internet (up 5 points), and 29 percent are getting email (up 3 points). Although residents across all income groups are more likely than last year to use their mobile phones for these activities, upper-income Californians have shown sizeable increases (an increase of 12 points for email, 10 points for Internet access). As a result, the gap has widened between lower- and upper-income mobile phone owners. MORE KEY FINDINGS ƒ How Californians stay connected—page 14 More than half of California Internet users (56%) use a laptop and wireless connection to go online. Fewer use a cell phone or other handheld device such as an iPhone or Blackberry (32%), or a computer at a public library (22%). Lower-income adults are less likely (50%) than more affluent Californians to access the Internet through a laptop and handheld device but more likely (33%) to use a computer at a public library. ƒ More parents use school websites—page 16 Parents of high school students are more likely than last year to use the school website (61% today, 53% 2008). Parents of elementary school students (24% today, 18% 2008) and middle school students (36% today, 28% 2008) are more likely to get their children’s homework assignments from email or the Internet. ƒ Is government doing enough to ensure access?—page 19 Half (50%) believe the government is doing just enough (39%) or more than enough (11%) to improve the availability of broadband. Just under a third (29%) believe the government is not doing enough. ƒ Most perceive digital divide—pages 22, 23 Majorities of residents think that Californians in lower-income and rural areas have less access to broadband than others, and at least half are very or somewhat concerned about it. ƒ Californians’ mood about the state of their state—page 27 Strong majorities of residents say California is going in the wrong direction (70% vs. 19% right direction, 11% don’t know) and expect the next year to bring bad times financially (69% vs. 24% good times, 7% don’t know). These levels of pessimism are similar to Californians’ views in May about the direction of the state (68% wrong direction, 24% right direction, 8% don’t know) and expectations for the year ahead (67% bad times, 25% good times, 8% don’t know). ### June 2009 5 ACCESS AND USE KEY FINDINGS „ The percentage of Californians with Internet and broadband access at home has increased since last year; computer and Internet use have also increased. Although the urban/rural digital divide has narrowed, other demographic disparities persist. (pages 8, 9) „ Over half of Californians use the Internet to get news, shop, get medical information, get information about their communities, visit a government website, and access government resources. There are sizable differences across racial/ethnic, income, and regional groups. Younger Californians are more likely to blog or use Twitter or social networking sites. (pages 10, 11) „ Half of Californians are connected to the Internet via a DSL-enabled phone line or a cable modem; 5 percent of Californians have a dial-up connection, down 8 points since March 2007. (pages 12, 13) „ Many cell phone users, including nearly all under age 35, are sending and receiving text messages. About three in 10 use their cell phones to access the Internet or email. More than half of Internet users in California access the Internet using a laptop through a wireless connection, while fewer do so using their cell phones or a computer at a public library. (pages 13, 14) „ Among non-Internet users in California, only one in five are interested in starting to use the Internet. A plurality say the main reason they do not use the Internet is because they are simply not interested. (page 15) „ Six in 10 California parents with school-age children visit their children’s school websites and one in three get their children’s homework assignments via the Internet or by email. (page 16) Californians with Internet Access and Broadband at Home 100 2008 2009 80 67 63 60 62 55 Percent all adults 40 20 0 Have Internet Have broadband Californians with Broadband at Home 100 Percent all adults 80 74 60 62 75 39 40 20 0 Asian Black Latino White Californians' Overall Computer and Internet Use 100 2008 2009 80 80 75 60 76 70 Percent all adults 40 20 0 Use a computer Use the Internet 7 Californians and Information Technology COMPUTER AND INTERNET ACCESS AT HOME Large majorities of Californians today report that they have a computer (75%) and an Internet connection in their home (67%). Californians are somewhat more likely to have an Internet connection this year than last year (63% to 67%). Californians are somewhat less likely than residents nationwide to have an Internet connection in their home (67% to 72%), according to a 2009 Pew Internet & American Life Project survey. Californians are similar to adults nationwide in broadband adoption (62% to 63%) and have experienced similar increases in the past year (U.S., 8 points; California, 7 points). (Broadband users are defined as having a DSL, cable, wireless, T-1, or fiber-optic Internet connection.) A digital divide is apparent today when rates of home computer ownership, Internet connectivity, and broadband adoption are compared across demographic groups, despite the fact that most groups, except blacks, experienced increases from last year. About half of Latinos (52%) report having a computer at home compared with at least three in four Asians (89%), whites (87%), and blacks (75%). The same trends hold for Internet connections and broadband adoption. Lower-income residents are far less likely to have computer and Internet access at home, while nearly all adults with a household income over $80,000 have such access. Still, the digital divide between lower- and upper-income residents has narrowed somewhat since last year. Differences exist across regions, but the urban/rural divide has closed for computer ownership (2008: 65% rural, 73% urban) and Internet connectivity (2008: 58% rural, 63% urban), and narrowed for broadband adoption (2008: 51% rural, 56% urban). What is the main reason Californians do not have a computer at home? Forty-five percent of those without a computer point to cost, while fewer say they are not interested (23%) or that they do not know how to use one (16%). Percent saying yes All Adults Age Household Income Race/Ethnicity Region Community “Do you have…” … any type of personal computer, including laptops, in your home? 75% 18–34 72 35–54 78 55 and over 74 Under $40,000 55 $40,000 to $79,999 87 $80,000 or more 96 Asian 89 Black 75 Latino 52 White 87 Central Valley 69 San Francisco Bay Area 84 Los Angeles 73 Orange/San Diego 78 Inland Empire 71 Rural 76 Urban 75 8 PPIC Statewide Survey …. an Internet connection at home? 67% 70 69 63 46 81 93 81 69 43 80 57 80 62 75 66 67 68 …a broadband connection at home? 62% 65 64 57 40 74 89 74 62 39 75 51 73 58 70 60 59 63 Access and Use OVERALL COMPUTER AND INTERNET USAGE Eight in 10 Californians report using a computer at home, work, or school (80%) and 76 percent access the Internet. Computer use has increased 5 points since last year (75% to 80%) and Internet use has increased 6 points (70% to 76%). According to the Pew survey, Californians and adults nationwide today are similar in their computer and Internet use. Nationally, residents increased computer use (74% 2008 to 78% today) and Internet use (73% 2008 to 79% today). Like the divide in computer ownership and Internet access at home, a gap in overall computer and Internet use is evident across demographic groups. Latinos are the least likely racial/ethnic group to use a computer (61%) or the Internet (53%). Computer use and Internet use is high among the other racial/ethnic groups: Asians (87% and 85% respectively), blacks (89%, 81%), and whites (89%, 88%). While Latinos experienced growth in Internet use since last year, whites experienced more growth— slightly widening the divide between the two groups. Nearly all residents with household incomes of $80,000 or more report using a computer or the Internet (97% each), while those making less than $40,000 are far less likely (65% computer, 58% Internet). There are also differences across age groups, with younger Californians much more likely to report computer (86%) or Internet use (83%) than those age 55 and older (71% computer, 68% Internet). Californians who report having a disability are far less likely to use the Internet than those without a disability (60% to 79%). Since last year, computer and Internet use rose in all regions except the Central Valley. The rural/urban divide is closing: Urban computer and Internet use were well ahead of rural use in 2008 (10 points, 7 points), but in 2009, rural and urban computer and Internet use are about the same. Percent saying yes All Adults Age Household Income Race/Ethnicity Region Community 18–34 35–54 55 and over Under $40,000 $40,000 to $79,999 $80,000 or more Asian Black Latino White Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/San Diego Inland Empire Rural Urban Computer Use Do you ever use a computer at home, at work, or at school? 80% 86 81 71 65 89 97 87 89 61 89 74 87 75 84 82 82 80 Internet Use Do you ever go online to access the Internet or worldwide web or send or receive email? or Do you send or receive email, at least occasionally? 76% 83 75 68 58 87 97 85 81 53 88 67 86 71 81 76 77 76 June 2009 9 Californians and Information Technology SPECIFIC INTERNET ACTIVITIES Californians overall are going online for a variety of reasons, including everyday activities, accessing government, and social networking. A majority of Californians go online to get news on current events (63%), to buy goods and services (58%), to get health or medical information (55%), and to get information about activities or events in their communities (53%). Fewer Californians go online to look for information about a job (45%) or to get housing or real estate information (44%). Compared to last year, Californians are more likely to report going online to get news (55% 2008, 63% today), to shop (52% 2008, 58% today), to get health information (50% 2008, 55% today), to get community information (47% 2008, 53% today), or to get housing information (40% 2008, 44% today). Following the trends in their overall internet usage, Latinos are the least likely racial/ethnic group to do any of these specific activities online. Across regions, residents in the San Francisco Bay Area are the most likely to do so, while those in the Central Valley are the least likely, and less affluent Californians are less likely than more affluent residents to report using the Internet for these activities. When looking at Internet users only, those nationwide (in the Pew survey) are less likely than California’s Internet users to go online for these activities. Eighty-three percent of California Internet users go online for news on current events, compared to 72 percent nationwide. The pattern is similar with employmentrelated searches (60% of California Internet users to 52% national users). “Please tell me if you ever use the Internet to do any of the following things: How about going online …” Percent saying yes …to get news on current events? …to purchase goods and services? …to get health or medical information? …to get information about your community? …to look for information about a job? All Adults 63% 58% 55% 53% 45% …to get housing or real estate information? 44% 18–34 68 59 55 56 66 47 Age 35–54 65 63 57 57 46 51 55 and over 54 52 52 44 21 33 Under $40,000 43 36 37 34 42 29 Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 69 70 65 64 48 47 $80,000 or more 90 87 77 76 52 69 Asian 73 65 60 58 56 53 Black Race/Ethnicity Latino 70 56 53 51 63 53 40 33 36 35 35 27 White 74 74 66 64 47 52 Central Valley 52 47 41 41 37 35 San Francisco Bay Area 75 71 67 69 53 54 Region Los Angeles 57 54 52 46 42 39 Orange/ San Diego 72 65 63 64 47 51 Inland Empire 62 58 52 47 49 48 Community Rural Urban 65 58 55 50 38 44 63 59 55 54 46 45 Internet Users 83 77 73 70 60 59 10 PPIC Statewide Survey Access and Use SPECIFIC INTERNET ACTIVITIES When it comes to connecting to their government, about half of Californians go online to visit a government website (53%) or to access government resources (51%), while fewer contact an elected official (28%). Regarding social activities, 37 percent of Californians use a social networking site, but fewer report going online to use Twitter (18%) or to create or work on their own blog (14%). Compared to last year, Californians are about as likely to report going online to visit a government website (50% 2008, 53% today), but more likely to report going online to access government resources (43% 2008, 51% today), or to use a social networking site (26% 2008, 37% today). Once again, Latinos are one of the least likely groups to participate in such activities. Black respondents are more likely than others to use a social networking site, while Asians are most likely to blog or use Twitter. Across regions, Central Valley residents are the least likely group to do any of these things. Less affluent Californians are less likely than others to report going online to do any of these activities and younger Californians are the most likely to go online to use a social networking site, work on their own blog, or use Twitter. When looking again at Internet users only, those nationwide (46% in Pew’s survey) are about as likely as California’s Internet users (49%) to report going online to use a social networking site. California Internet users are much more likely than those nationwide to go online to use Twitter (24% to 11%). “Please tell me if you ever use the Internet to do any of the following things: How about going online …” Percent saying yes …to visit a government website? …to access government resources? …to contact an elected official? …to use a social networking site? …to use Twitter? All Adults 53% 51% 28% 37% 18% 18–34 55 53 22 63 31 Age 35–54 57 55 29 31 18 55 and over 47 42 32 16 6 Under $40,000 36 32 16 34 16 Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 61 59 28 36 20 $80,000 or more 79 78 46 45 23 Asian 62 56 24 44 29 Black Race/Ethnicity Latino 59 52 16 53 16 31 32 17 28 12 White 65 61 36 39 21 Region Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire 44 39 20 30 16 69 63 34 46 22 46 45 25 33 18 59 60 37 39 17 53 50 23 39 18 Community Rural Urban 54 49 34 33 14 54 51 27 37 19 Internet Users 71 67 36 49 24 …to work on your own blog? 14% 24 11 7 13 16 15 22 13 11 14 10 16 12 15 14 22 13 18 June 2009 11 Californians and Information Technology FREQUENCY OF INTERNET USAGE Internet users in California are active: Everyday, two in three use the Internet or email from home (21% once a day, 44% several times a day) and half do so from work (8% once a day, 42% several times a day). They less frequently use the Internet from some place other than home or work (4% once a day, 11% several times a day), and 42 percent say they never use the Internet outside of home or work. The frequency of Internet use in California was similar last year. Internet users nationwide are somewhat less likely than those in California to use the Internet from home (59% U.S., 65% California) or work (44% U.S., 50% California) on a daily basis, according to the 2009 Pew survey. San Francisco Bay Area Internet users are the most likely to log on daily from home or work, while Central Valley Internet users are the least likely. Whites use the Internet from home or work more frequently than Latinos, and Latino Internet users are more likely to say they never use the Internet at work. Internet users with lower incomes and less education are also less likely than others to use the Internet at home or at work. Internet users only Several times a day About once a day 3-5 days a week 1-2 days a week Every few weeks Less often Never “About how often do you use the Internet or email from…” …home? …work? … some place other than home or work? 44% 42% 11% 21 8 4 13 4 5 948 219 3 3 21 8 38 42 Three in four Internet users in California have been using the Internet for more than 5 years (75%), and 32 percent for more than 10 years. Latinos are more likely than whites (36% to 14%) to have started using the Internet in the last 5 years. Those with lower incomes (35% under $40,000) and less education (45% high school or less) are far more likely than those with higher incomes (9% $80,000 or more) and a college education (11% college graduates) to have started using the Internet in the last 5 years. INTERNET CONNECTION AT HOME Sixty-two percent of California adults have a broadband Internet connection at home, including 28 percent with DSL, 20 percent cable modem, 11 percent wireless, and 3 percent fiber optic or T-1; just 5 percent have dial-up. In the Pew survey, a similar 63 percent of adults nationwide report having a broadband connection, but a plurality have cable modems, while a plurality in California have DSL. San Francisco Bay Area residents (80%) are the most connected at home; 34 percent have DSL and 27 percent cable. By comparison, Central Valley residents are the least connected at home (57%) with 29 percent using DSL and 13 percent cable. Socioeconomic differences continue to be present: Those with incomes of $80,000 or more are more than twice as likely as those making less than $40,000 to have DSL (40% to 17%) or cable modems (30% to 13%). These gaps were similar last year. Latinos are far less likely than others to be connected at home and fewer than one in five have either DSL (18%) or cable (12%). Rural and urban residents report having Internet connections at similar rates. The gap in those with cable modems last year (15% rural; 20% urban) has closed this year (21% rural; 20% urban). Two in three Californians (66%) without Internet access at home or without DSL, cable, FiOS, or T-1 say that high-speed Internet service is available in their neighborhood from a telephone or cable company. The same percentage nationwide say high-speed is available in their neighborhood, according to Pew. 12 PPIC Statewide Survey Access and Use INTERNET CONNECTION AT HOME (CONTINUED) “What kind of Internet connection do you have at home? Do you use a dial-up telephone line, or do you have some other type of connection, such as a DSL-enabled phone line, a cable TV modem, a wireless connection, a fiber optic connection such as FiOS, or a T-1?” DSL-enabled phone line All Adults 28% Under $40,000 17% Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 37% $80,000 or More 40% Community Rural Urban 27% 29% Cable modem 20 13 23 30 21 20 Wireless connection 11 9 11 13 8 11 Dial-up telephone line 5 5 8 3 8 5 Fiber optic or T-1 32 3 7 2 4 No home access, connect via cell phone (volunteered) 1 2 1 1 4 1 No Internet/computer at home 29 50 14 4 24 28 Don’t know 32 3 2 6 2 MOBILE DEVICES Most Californians have a cell phone (84%); of these, 65 percent say they use it to send or receive text messages (up 7 points since last year), 30 percent to access the Internet (up 5 points), and 29 percent to send or receive email (up 3 points). Compared to nationwide cell users in the Pew survey, Californians are just as likely to use their phones for text messaging (65% each) and somewhat more likely to use their phones to access the Internet (30% California, 25% U.S.) and for email (29% California, 25% U.S.). Californians with lower incomes are less likely than higher-income residents to have a cell phone. They are also less likely to use their phones for email or to connect to the Internet. Despite growth in cell phone use across income groups for these activities, in each case, the gap between lower- and upperincome cell users widened since last year because the growth in lower-income cell phone users did not match large increases (12 points for email and 10 points for Internet) among upper-income cell users. Cell phone users only Percent saying yes All Cell Phone Users Age Household Income Race/Ethnicity Region “Do you ever use your cell phone to…” …send or receive text messages? …to access the Internet ? 65% 30% 18–34 89 47 35–54 68 31 55 and over 34 11 Under $40,000 65 25 $40,000 to $79,999 61 28 $80,000 or more 73 40 Latino 68 28 White 62 29 Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area 59 64 27 35 Los Angeles Orange/San Diego Inland Empire 65 32 69 28 …send or receive email? 29% 36 33 15 22 24 42 29 27 26 31 31 30 June 2009 13 Californians and Information Technology MOBILE DEVICES (CONTINUED) Some cell phone users in California do not have an Internet connection at home but do use their phones to go online (15% 2008, 12% today). Of those who do not have broadband at home, 16 percent go online with their phones (12% 2008, 16% today). Although Californians aged 35–54 are as likely as those aged 18–34 to have a cell phone (86% each), the younger group is far more likely to use their phones for text messaging and going on the Internet. Eighty-one percent of residents age 55 and older have a cell phone, but far fewer use them for text messaging (34%), for email (15%), or for accessing the Internet (11%). Still, the gap between younger and older cell users narrowed 9 points since last year for text messaging and 7 points for sending and receiving email and it widened 4 points for accessing the Internet. Latinos are less likely than whites to have cell phones (74% to 90%) but 6 points more likely to use them for texting (68% to 62%). The texting gap was 9 points last year (63% Latinos, 54% whites). Although Latinos were more likely than whites last year to report using their phones for email or going online, use among these groups is similar this year. INTERNET ACCESS POINTS More than half of Internet users in California report going online using a laptop through a wireless connection (56%). Fewer access the Internet through a cell phone or handheld device such as an iPhone or Blackberry (32%) or use a computer at a public library (22%). Younger Internet users are more likely than those age 35 and older to report using the Internet through any of these alternative access points. Lower-income Internet users are less likely to access the Internet through a laptop or handheld device, but more likely to use a computer at a public library. While Latinos and whites are equally likely to use laptops with wireless connections (54% each), Latinos are more likely than whites to access the Internet with a handheld device or at the library. Central Valley residents are less likely than others to use these access points. When compared to the group of adults who were asked the question last year (those who accessed the Internet outside of home or work at least every few weeks), laptop use increased 10 points (60% 2008, 70% today), cell phone use increased 11 points (42% 2008, 53% today), and use at a library is similar (37% 2008, 36% today). “Now please think about some of the ways you might access the Internet. Do you access the Internet …” Internet users only Percent saying yes …using a laptop through a wireless connection? …using a cell phone or handheld device such as an iPhone or Blackberry? …using a computer at a public library? All Internet Users 56% 32% 22% 18–34 66 43 33 Age 35–54 59 35 19 55 and over 39 13 12 Under $40,000 50 29 33 Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 51 27 22 $80,000 or more 67 41 12 Race/Ethnicity Latino White 54 35 54 29 25 18 Central Valley 49 29 18 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/San Diego Inland Empire 58 55 60 35 34 31 25 21 20 14 PPIC Statewide Survey Access and Use INTERNET ACCESS POINTS (CONTINUED) In the past year, 55 percent of Internet users who say they accessed the Internet using a laptop through wireless connection report having used WiFi or other wireless services in public places such as airports, coffee shops, or restaurants. When using WiFi in public places, more than half (55%) mostly use free WiFi, while only 11 percent mostly pay to use WiFi and 33 percent use a mix of free and paid WiFi. NON-INTERNET USERS Among the 24 percent of Californians who do not currently use the Internet, 13 percent say that they used it at some point in the past year but stopped for some reason. This includes 12 percent of Latino and 18 percent of white non-Internet users. Among non-Internet users, 16 percent of those age 18 to 54 stopped using the Internet in the past year compared to 9 percent of those 55 and older who stopped. Among Californians who currently do not use the Internet (including those who stopped in the past year), only one in five (21%) are interested in starting to use the Internet or email. Interest is higher among those under 55 (27%) than those 55 or older (12%) and Latinos are more interested in starting to use the Internet than whites (26% to 15%). In Pew’s survey, just 11 percent of non-Internet users nationwide are interested in starting to use the Internet. “Would you like to start using the Internet or email (again), or isn’t that something you’re interested in?” All Adults 18–54 Age 55 and Older Race/Ethnicity Latino White Yes 21% 27% 12% 26% 15% No 77 72 84 72 82 Don’t know 21 4 2 3 When asked why they do not use the Internet, 30 percent say they are simply not interested, while 15 percent do not have a computer and 15 percent say it is too expensive. Residents under 55 and Latinos are more likely to cite the cost, while older residents and whites are more likely to cite a lack of interest. In the Pew survey, 22 percent of non-Internet users nationwide cite a lack of interest, 16 percent do not have access, and 10 percent cite cost. “And, what is the main reason you don't use the Internet or email?” All Adults 18–54 Age 55 and Older Race/Ethnicity Latino White Not interested 30% 28% 34% 27% 39% Don’t have a computer 15 17 13 17 11 Cost/too expensive 15 18 10 18 10 It’s too difficult/frustrating 12 9 17 12 9 Too busy/don't have the time 9 11 7 9 7 Don't have access 5 6 4 74 It's a waste of time/don’t need it 2 3 1 23 Worried about computer viruses/spyware/adware/spam 2 – 4 –4 Other 8 6 8 5 10 Don’t know 2 2 2 33 June 2009 15 Californians and Information Technology CHILDREN, SCHOOLS, AND THE INTERNET Parents of school-age children are using the Internet to access information about their child’s schooling. At least half of elementary school parents (55%), middle school parents (51%), and high school parents (61%) report that they visit the website of their child’s school often or sometimes. Since last year, more high school parents report accessing their child’s school website (53% to 61%). Findings among elementary school parents (51% to 55%) and middle school parents (49% to 51%) are similar. Yes, often Yes, sometimes No “Do you ever visit the website of this child’s school?” Elementary School Parents Middle School Parents 22% 28% 33 23 45 49 High School Parents 27% 34 39 Sixty-one percent of parents with children in school report visiting their child’s school website, a 5-point increase from last year. Parents with incomes of $60,000 or more (86%) are twice as likely as parents with annual incomes less than $60,000 (43%) to say they visit their child’s school website. White parents (77%) are far more likely than Latino parents (45%) to say they visit their child’s school website. “Do you ever visit the website of this child’s school?” Parents Household Income Under $60,000 $60,000 or More Race/Ethnicity Latino White Yes 61% 43% 86% 45% 77% No 39 57 14 55 23 Parents’ use of the Internet for homework assignments increases with their child’s age. More high school parents (37%) and middle school parents (36%) say they receive their child’s homework via the Internet or email compared to elementary school parents (24%). More parents of elementary (18% 2008 to 24% today) or middle school children (28% 2008 to 36% today) receive their child’s assignments online today than last year, while the findings among high school parents are similar (35% 2008 to 37% today). “Do you ever receive this child’s homework assignments via the Internet or email?” Elementary School Parents Middle School Parents High School Parents Yes, often 11% 19% 16% Yes, sometimes 13 17 21 No 76 64 63 Thirty-four percent of parents receive their child’s assignments online. White parents are twice as likely as Latino parents (44% to 22%) to report they receive their child’s assignments online; parents with incomes of $60,000 or more are nearly three times as likely as parents with incomes below $60,000 to do the same (54% to 19%). More parents today report receiving their child’s homework assignments online than last year (28% 2008 to 34% today), white parents (34% to 44%) more than Latino parents (20% to 22%). “Do you ever receive this child’s homework assignments via the Internet or email?” Parents Household Income Under $60,000 $60,000 or More Race/Ethnicity Latino White Yes 34% 19% 54% 22% 44% No 66 81 46 78 56 16 PPIC Statewide Survey PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES KEY FINDINGS „ Vast majorities of Californians consider access to the Internet and to broadband Internet to be at least somewhat important for the state’s residents, but are far more likely to view Internet access as very important. (page 18) „ More than half of California’s laptop or cell phone users say that using these devices to stay in touch with other people and easily access information online are very important. Far fewer feel this way about using these devices to share or post content online. (page 19) „ About half of all Californians and likely voters think that the government is doing just enough or more than enough to improve the access and availability of broadband Internet technology. More than half also think it is at least somewhat important to use federal stimulus funds for this purpose or for training programs that teach Californians how to use broadband Internet technology. (pages 19, 20) „ More than 80 percent of Californians say they are at least somewhat comfortable using the tools of modern technology, and 71 percent of computer owners or Internet users are at least somewhat confident they can protect their home computers from things such as computer viruses, spyware, and adware. (page 21) „ Majorities of residents think that Californians in lower-income and rural areas have less access to broadband Internet technology than others, and at least half of Californians are also very or somewhat concerned about this. (pages 22, 23) Perceived Importance of Californians Having Access to the Internet 100 Percent saying very important 80 79 75 71 63 60 Percent all adults 40 20 0 Asian Black Latino White Perceived Importance of Californians Having Access to High-Speed Broadband Internet 4 8 5 52 31 All adults Very important Somewhat important Not too important Not at all important Don't know Perceived Access to Internet in Lowerincome and Rural Areas 100 Less likely to have access Not less likely 80 70 60 61 Percent all adults 40 23 20 27 0 Lower-income areas Rural areas 17 Californians and Information Technology IMPORTANCE OF ACCESS TO THE INTERNET Nearly all Californians (93%)—including 84 percent of those who do not use the Internet—consider access to the Internet to be very (72%) or somewhat (21%) important. These findings are similar to last year’s (69% very important, 21% somewhat important). A large majority of Californians (83%) also believe access to high-speed broadband is very (52%) or somewhat (31%) important, including 76 percent without broadband themselves. The level of importance Californians place on access to the Internet is high across all demographic groups. The percentage who say access is very important increases with education and income and declines with age: The highest percentages are seen among those aged 18 to 34 (75%), college graduates (75%), and those with incomes of $80,000 or more (78%). Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks are the most likely to say Internet access is very important (79%), but 75 percent of Latinos also hold this view, despite having the lowest rates of Internet connectivity. Across regions, residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (78%) are the most likely to say Internet access is very important, and residents of the Inland Empire (68%) and Central Valley (67%) are the least likely. Rural (70%) and urban (72%) residents place similar levels of importance on Internet access, while those who report having a disability (63%) are less likely than those without a disability (74%) to consider access very important. All Adults “How important do you think it is for Californians to have access to the Internet?” Very Important Somewhat Important Not too Important Not at all Important Don't Know 72% 21% 3% 3% 1% 18–34 75 21 2 – 2 Age 35–54 74 21 2 3 – 55 and older 66 22 5 4 3 High school 69 22 3 2 4 Education Some college 71 22 2 3 2 College graduate 75 19 2 2 2 Under $40,000 70 22 3 2 3 Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 73 22 2 2 1 $80,000 or more 78 17 3 2 – Asian 63 25 7 2 3 Black Race/Ethnicity Latino 79 16 1 2 2 75 20 1 2 2 White 71 22 3 2 2 Central Valley 67 25 3 3 2 San Francisco Bay Area 78 16 3 2 1 Region Los Angeles 72 21 2 3 2 Orange/San Diego 72 21 3 2 2 Inland Empire 68 25 4 2 1 Community Rural Urban 70 21 3 5 1 72 21 3 2 2 Disability Yes No 63 23 74 21 5 2 6 2 3 1 Use Internet Yes No 76 19 2 1 2 58 26 4 6 6 18 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions and Attitudes IMPORTANCE OF LAPTOP AND CELL PHONE COMMUNICATION More than half of Californians (58%) report that they access the Internet outside of their home or work, and more than eight in 10 (84%) own cell phones. What is it that appeals to laptop and cell phone users about being connected while away from home and work? For most (84%), staying in touch easily with other people is very (55%) or somewhat (29%) important, and three in four residents (76%) say having easy access to information online is at least somewhat important. Californians are similar to adults nationwide in this regard, according to Pew’s recent survey. However, Californians are somewhat less interested in using mobile devices for sharing and posting content: only 36 percent think that sharing or posting content online is very (13%) or somewhat (23%) important, compared to 41 percent of adults nationwide. More than one-third of Californians (35%) said that sharing content is not at all important, compared to 29 percent nationwide. In California, ratings of importance in all three cases— staying in touch easily, having easy access to information, and sharing or posting content—decline with increasing age. “Thinking now about how you get information and communicate with others using a laptop or cell phone when you are away from home and work, please tell me if each of the following is very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important. How about …” Cell phone or laptop users … staying in touch easily with other people? … having easy access to information online? … sharing or posting content online? Very important 55% 52% 13% Somewhat important 29 24 23 Not too important 8 11 27 Not at all important 7 11 35 Don’t know 122 ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN ACCESS AND ADOPTION A strong majority of Californians believe that access to the Internet, including high-speed broadband, is important, but opinions are divided about the responsibility or role of government. Three in 10 (29%) believe the government is not doing enough to improve the access and availability of broadband technology, while half (50%) believe the government is doing either just enough (39%) or more than enough (11%) and one in five remain undecided. These results are similar to our findings last year. Across parties, Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to believe that the government is doing more than enough to improve broadband access (20% to 7%). Thirty-seven percent of Democrats believe the government is not doing enough, compared to 26 percent of independents and 23 percent of Republicans. Men are somewhat more likely than women to say that the government is not doing enough to improve access (32% to 25%); across racial/ethnic groups, Asians (37%) and blacks (39%) are more likely than Latinos or whites (27% each) to think the government is not doing enough to improve the availability of broadband technology. “Overall, thinking about the government’s role in improving the access and availability of broadband Internet technology, do you think the government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Internet Likely Ind Users Voters More than enough 11% 7% 20% 9% 11% 13% Just enough 39 35 35 43 39 35 Not enough 29 37 23 26 29 30 Don’t know 21 21 22 22 21 22 June 2009 19 Californians and Information Technology ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN ACCESS AND ADOPTION (CONTINUED) The federal stimulus package passed by Congress in February 2009 provides funds for state governments and other organizations to invest in improvements in fields such as infrastructure, health care, science and technology, education, and job training. Given the importance Californians place on access to the Internet and high-speed broadband, how do Californians feel about spending federal stimulus funds on increasing broadband access and training? More than half of the residents in the state (56%) believe it is very (22%) or somewhat (34%) important to use stimulus funds to improve the access and availability of broadband; support is somewhat lower among likely voters (51%). Across parties, Democrats (63%) are more likely than Republicans (41%) to say that it is very or somewhat important to use the federal funds to increase the availability of broadband. Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (61%), Asians (69%), and Latinos (70%) are much more likely than whites (46%) to support this idea, and foreign-born residents (72%) are more likely than U.S.-born residents (50%) to say that it is at least somewhat important to use the stimulus funds to promote greater access to broadband technology. “How important to you is it that federal stimulus funds are spent on improving the access and availability of broadband Internet technology in California?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Internet Ind Users Very important 22% 28% 12% 19% 21% Somewhat important 34 35 29 38 35 Not too important 18 19 19 18 18 Not at all important 21 14 37 23 22 Don’t know 5 4 32 4 Likely Voters 17% 34 20 25 4 Californians feel much the same way about using stimulus funds to teach people how to use broadband technology. Over half (56%) believe it is very (25%) or somewhat (31%) important, although, again support is somewhat lower among likely voters (47%). Across parties, Democrats (61%) are more likely than Republicans (38%) or independents (48%) to support using the stimulus funds for training programs. Residents born outside the U.S. (74%) and those with children under age 18 (60%) express strong support for this idea. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (76%), Asians (62%), and blacks (57%) are much more likely than whites (42%) to believe that it is very or somewhat important to spend stimulus funds on training programs that teach Californians how to use Internet technology. Support for the use of federal stimulus funds for either of these purposes—increasing access or funding training programs—declines with increasing age, income, and education. “How important to you is it that federal stimulus funds are spent on training programs that teach Californians how to use broadband Internet technology?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Internet Likely Ind Users Voters Very important 25% 26% 13% 18% 21% 17% Somewhat important 31 35 25 30 31 30 Not too important 20 24 20 23 22 23 Not at all important 21 13 39 26 24 27 Don’t know 3 2 33 2 3 20 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions and Attitudes COMFORT AND CONFIDENCE WITH TECHNOLOGY With nearly all Californians (93%) saying it is important that Californians have access to the Internet, most (84%) also say they are very (50%) or somewhat (34%) comfortable using the tools of modern information technology. Although the number of Internet users has grown over the past year, the overall number reporting that they are very comfortable using the tools of modern information technology has declined by 6 points (62% 2008, 56% today). Nonetheless, among Californians today, higher percentages of residents 18 to 34 years old (64%), as well as residents with some college (55%) or a college degree (58%), say they are very comfortable using modern information technology. Across racial/ethnic groups, six in 10 blacks (61%) report they are very comfortable using information technology, followed by nearly half of Latinos (49%), whites (49%), and Asians (47%). Across regions, San Francisco Bay Area residents (53%) are the most likely to report being very comfortable using modern technology, followed by residents in Los Angeles (51%), Orange/San Diego Counties (51%), the Inland Empire (48%), and the Central Valley (44%). Men are somewhat more likely than women (53% to 46%), and parents with children ages 18 or younger are somewhat more likely than residents without young children (54% to 48%), to say they are very comfortable with technology. Broadband users are far more likely than those without broadband (59% to 34%) to say they are very comfortable with modern information technology. “Overall, how comfortable are you using the tools of modern information technology?” Very comfortable All Adults 50% High School 40% Education Some College 55% College Graduate 58% 18–34 64% Age 35–54 52% 55 and Older 32% Somewhat comfortable 34 36 32 33 29 35 38 Not too comfortable 798 5 3 6 14 Not at all comfortable 7 10 4 3 3 5 12 Don’t know 251 1 1 2 4 Although 71 percent of residents who have a home computer and/or use the Internet are at least somewhat confident that they can protect their home computers from viruses, spyware, and adware, only 30 percent claim to be very confident. Levels of confidence are similar across age groups but are higher among those with at least some college. Men are somewhat more likely than women (33% to 27%), and broadband users are more likely than those without high-speed access (33% to 20%), to say they are very confident. Findings among internet users only are similar to last year (31% very, 42% somewhat). “Overall, how confident are you that you can keep things like computer viruses, spyware, and adware off your home computer when you want to?” Computer owners or Internet users only All Computer Owners or Internet Users High School Education Some College College Graduate 18–34 Age 35–54 Very confident 30% 24% 33% 32% 31% 28% Somewhat confident 41 36 40 44 42 41 Not too confident 17 19 17 15 17 18 Not at all confident 10 14 8 8 6 10 Don’t know 27 2 1 4 3 55 and Older 30% 38 15 14 3 June 2009 21 Californians and Information Technology INTERNET ADOPTION IN LOWER-INCOME AREAS Seven in 10 Californians (70%), including majorities across political, regional, and demographic groups, believe that residents in lower-income areas of the state are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology, while 23 percent disagree. Californians today (70%) are somewhat more likely than they were last year (65%) to say residents in lower-income areas are less likely to have access to broadband technology. Across income groups, as well as rural and urban communities, a similar seven in 10 believe that lowerincome areas of the state are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology. Among racial/ethnic groups, majorities of Latinos (73%), blacks (72%), whites (71%), and Asians (61%) say that residents in lower-income areas are less likely than other areas to have broadband access. Majorities across regions agree (75% Inland Empire, 72% San Francisco Bay Area, 68% Los Angeles, 68% Orange/San Diego Counties, 65% Central Valley). Broadband users (72%) and those without broadband (66%) think that Californians in lower-income areas are less likely than others to have broadband access. “Do you think that Californians in lower-income areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology, or not?” Yes, less likely All Adults 70% Under $40,000 69% Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 $80,000 or More 71% 71% Community Rural Urban 71% 70% No, not less likely 23 23 24 24 21 24 Don’t know 785586 Six in 10 Californians are at least somewhat concerned about the fact that Californians in lower-income areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband technology, and 22 percent say they are very concerned. These percentages are similar to those in our survey last year (23% very, 39% somewhat concerned). Across parties, Democrats (31%) are more likely than independents (22%) or Republicans (11%) to say they are very concerned. Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (38%) are the most likely to say they are very concerned, while whites (16%) are the least likely. Concern is similar among urban and rural residents. Among the 70 percent of residents who believe that Californians in lower-income areas have less access than others to broadband technology, two-thirds say they are very (26%) or somewhat concerned (42%). “How concerned are you that Californians in lower-income areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology?” Party Community All Adults Dem Rep Ind Rural Urban Very concerned 22% 31% 11% 22% 19% 22% Somewhat concerned 38 42 29 36 40 38 Not too concerned 19 16 25 19 14 19 Not at all concerned 19 9 33 21 23 19 Don’t know 222242 22 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions and Attitudes INTERNET ADOPTION IN RURAL AREAS A strong majority of Californians (61%) think that residents in rural areas are less likely to have access to broadband Internet technology, while 27 percent don’t believe this is the case. Residents today are somewhat more likely than they were last year to believe that rural Californians have less access to broadband Internet technology (61% today, 55% 2008). About six in 10 residents living in rural and urban communities and across income groups believe that residents in rural areas have less access. Majorities of Latinos (63%), whites (62%), and blacks (62%) think Californians in rural areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband technology, while only 47 percent of Asians agree. Men are somewhat more likely than women (64% to 57%) to say that rural areas have less broadband access. This belief increases with higher education and declines with older age. Yes, less likely No, not less likely Don’t know “Do you think that Californians in rural areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology, or not?” All Adults 61% Under $40,000 59% Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 $80,000 or More 63% 63% Community Rural Urban 60% 61% 27 28 28 26 23 27 12 13 9 11 17 12 Half of Californians (50%) are at least somewhat concerned that rural residents are less likely than others to have access to broadband technology, and 15 percent say they are very concerned. These findings are nearly identical to those in last year’s survey (14% very, 37% somewhat concerned). Across political parties, Democrats (19%) are more likely than independents (15%) or Republicans (10%) to say they are very concerned. Only 15 percent of both rural and urban residents are very concerned about broadband access in rural areas. Blacks (32%) are far more likely than Asians (18%), Latinos (17%), and whites (11%) to say they are very concerned about access among rural residents. Concern among men and women is similar. Foreign-born residents are more likely than U.S.-born residents to say they are at least somewhat concerned about rural residents’ broadband access (58% to 47%). Among the 61 percent of residents who think rural Californians are less likely to have broadband access, six in 10 say they are very (19%) or somewhat (41%) concerned. “How concerned are you that Californians in rural areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology?” Party Community All Adults Dem Rep Ind Rural Urban Very concerned 15% 19% 10% 15% 15% 15% Somewhat concerned 35 39 27 31 41 35 Not too concerned 25 25 29 25 19 26 Not at all concerned 21 13 31 25 22 21 Don’t know 443433 June 2009 23 REGIONAL MAP 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research support from Dean Bonner, project manager for this survey, survey research associates Jennifer Paluch and Sonja Petek, and survey intern Frances Zlotnick. This is the second in a series of surveys conducted with funding from the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) and ZeroDivide1 as part of an annual project on public opinion and information technology issues. We benefited from discussions with the CETF leadership and other experts, and from consultation with researchers at the Pew Internet & American Life Project and PPIC; however, the survey methods, questions, and content of the report were determined solely by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. Findings in this report are based on a telephone survey of 2,502 California adult residents, including 2,252 interviewed on landline telephones and 250 interviewed on cell phones. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days from June 2–16, 2009. Interviews took an average of 15 minutes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phone interviews were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement for their time to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interviewing was conducted in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), Vietnamese, and Korean, according to respondents’ preferences. We chose these languages because Spanish is the dominant language among non-English speaking adults in California, followed in prevalence by the three Asian languages. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI Inc. translated the survey into Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean, and conducted all interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI, we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2007 and 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 2005–2007 American Community Survey for California, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it 1 This research was made possible by a grant from the Community Partnership Committee through its Applied Research Initiative on access to telecommunications services in California’s underserved communities, with support from ZeroDivide. The Community Partnership Committee was formed by eight coalitions of 134 community-based organizations and SBC (now AT&T), to serve underserved communities throughout California after the SBC/Pacific Telesis merger in 1997. 25 against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,502 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1,911 registered voters, it is ±2.2 percent; for the 1,419 likely voters, it is ±2.5 percent, for the 1,889 Internet users, it is ±2.3 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to five geographic regions that account for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately in tables and text. In this survey, we also asked for the zip code of the residence in order to compare the responses of those living in rural areas to those living in urban areas as defined by the U.S. Census. The U.S. Census defines urban areas as generally consisting of a large central place and adjacent densely settled census blocks that together have a total population of at least 2,500 for urban clusters, or at least 50,000 for urbanized areas. Rural areas are defined as any territory not classified as urban. We present specific results for respondents in four self-identified racial/ethnic groups: Asian, black, Latino, and non-Hispanic white. We also compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (i.e., those registered as “decline to state”). We also analyze the responses of likely voters—those who are the most likely to participate in the state’s elections. In addition, we present the responses of Internet users, who are defined, consistent with national surveys, as those who answered yes to one or both questions: “Do you ever go online to access the Internet or send or receive email?” or “Do you send or receive email, at least occasionally?” We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in recent national surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY June 2–16, 2009 2,502 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese MARGIN OF ERROR ± 2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. First, do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 19% right direction 70 wrong direction 11 don’t know 2. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 24% good times 69 bad times 7 don’t know 3a. Changing topics, do you have any type of personal computer, including laptops, in your home? 75% yes [ask q3b] 25 no [skip to q3c] 3b. [computer owners only] And did you happen to acquire a computer in the last year? 36% yes 64 no [skip to q3d] 3c. [non-computer owners only] And, what is the main reason you don’t have a computer at home? [code, don’t read] 45% cost/too expensive 23 not interested 16 don’t know how to use it 4 don’t really know about computers 2 concern about children’s access 2 sufficient access elsewhere 7 other 1 don’t know 3d. Do you yourself ever use a computer at home, at work, at school, or anywhere else? (if yes: Do you use a computer often or only sometimes?) 63% yes, often 16 yes, sometimes 20 no 1 don’t know 3e. Now thinking about your telephone use, do you have a working cell phone? 84% yes, have cell phone [includes those who completed interview on cell phone] 16 no, do not 4/4a. Do you ever go online to access the Internet or send or receive email? [or] Do you send or receive email, at least occasionally? 76% yes [skip to q5] 24 no/don’t use a computer [ask q4b] 27 Californians and Information Technology [q4b–q4d asked only of non-Internet users] 4b. [non-Internet users only] Did you ever at some point in the last year use the Internet or email, but have since stopped for some reason? 13% yes 86 no 1 don’t know 4c. [non-Internet users only] Would you like to start using the Internet or email (if q4b=yes: again), or isn’t that something you’re interested in? 21% yes, interested 77 no, not interested 2 don’t know 4d. [non-Internet users only] And, what is the main reason you don’t use the Internet or email? [code, don’t read] 30% not interested 15 don’t have a computer 15 cost/too expensive 12 it is too difficult/frustrating 9 too busy/don’t have the time 5 don’t have access 2 it’s a waste of time/don’t need it 2 worried about computer viruses, spyware, adware, spam 8 other 2 don’t know 5. [Internet users only] Did you happen to use the Internet yesterday? 79% yes 20 no 1 don’t know 6. [Internet users only] About how many years have you been an Internet user? 2% less than 1 year 20 1–5 years 43 6–10 years 22 11–15 years 10 more than 15 years 3 don’t know 7. [Internet users only] About how often do you use the Internet or email from home? 44% several times a day 21 about once a day 13 3–5 days a week 9 1–2 days a week 2 every few weeks 3 less often 8 never 8. [Internet users only] About how often do you use the Internet or email from work? 42% several times a day 8 about once a day 4 3–5 days a week 4 1–2 days a week 1 every few weeks 3 less often 25 never 12 don’t work/retired (volunteered) 1 don’t know 9. [Internet users only] About how often do you use the Internet or email from someplace other than home or work? 11% several times a day 4 about once a day 5 3–5 days a week 8 1–2 days a week 9 every few weeks 21 less often 41 never 1 don’t know Now please think about some of the ways you might access the Internet. 10.[Internet users only] Do you access the Internet using a laptop through a wireless connection? 56% yes 43 no 1 don’t know 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 11.[Internet users only] Do you access the Internet using a cell phone or handheld device such as an iPhone or Blackberry? 32% yes 68 no 12.[Internet users only] Do you access the Internet using a computer at a public library? 22% yes 78 no 13.[wireless laptop users only] In the past year, have you ever used WiFi or other wireless Internet services in public places, such as airports, coffee shops, or restaurants? 55% yes [ask q13a] 45 no [skip to q14] 13a.[if q13=yes] Do you mostly use free WiFi services in public areas, do you mostly use WiFi you have to pay for, or do you use a mixture of free and paid services? 55% mostly free 11 mostly pay 33 a mix 1 do not use WiFi/use other services (volunteered) Thinking now about how you get information and communicate with others using a laptop or cell phone when you are away from home and work, please tell me if each of the following is very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important. [rotate q14–q16] 14.[cell phone or laptop users only] How about staying in touch easily with other people? 55% very important 29 somewhat important 8 not too important 7 not at all important 1 don’t know Questionnaire and Results 15.[cell phone or laptop users only] How about having easy access to information online? 52% very important 24 somewhat important 11 not too important 11 not at all important 2 don’t know 16.[cell phone or laptop users only] How about sharing or posting content online? 13% very important 23 somewhat important 27 not too important 35 not at all important 2 don’t know Next, please tell me if you ever use the Internet to do any of the following things. [q17–q28 reported for all adults] [rotate q17–q28] 17.How about going online to use Twitter or another service to share updates about yourself or to see updates about others? 18% yes 81 no/don’t use computers or Internet 1 don’t know 18.How about going online to look for information about a job? 45% yes 55 no/don’t use computers or Internet 19.How about going online to purchase goods and services? 58% yes 41 no/don’t use computers or Internet 1 don’t know 20.How about going online to get news and information on current events, public issues, or politics? 63% yes 37 no/don’t use computers or Internet June 2009 29 Californians and Information Technology 21.How about going online to use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook, or LinkedIn.com? 37% yes 63 no/don’t use computers or Internet 22.How about going online to send an email to or initiate contact with an elected official or their staff? 28% yes 72 no/don’t use computers or Internet 23.How about going online to get health or medical information? 55% yes 45 no/don’t use computers or Internet 24.How about going online to create or work on your own online journal or blog? 14% yes 86 no/don’t use computers or Internet 25.How about going online to visit a local, state, or federal government website? 53% yes 47 no/don’t use computers or Internet 26.How about going online to access government resources, such as obtaining forms, making payments, or registering to vote? 51% yes 49 no/don’t use computers or Internet 27.How about going online to get housing or real estate information? 44% yes 56 no/don’t use computers or Internet 28.How about going online to get information about activities or events in your community? 53% yes 47 no/don’t use computers or Internet 29.What kind of Internet connection do you have at home? Do you use a dial-up telephone line, or do you have some other type of connection, such as a DSL-enabled phone line, a cable TV modem, a wireless connection, a fiber optic connection such as FiOS, or a T-1? [q29 reported for all adults] 28% DSL-enabled phone line [skip to q33] 20 cable modem [skip to q33] 11 wireless connection (either land- based or satellite) [ask q30] 5 dial-up telephone line [ask q30] 3 fiber optic or T-1 [skip to q33] 1 no home service, connect to Internet via a cell phone (volunteered) [ask q30] 29 do not have Internet access/ computer at home [ask q30] 3 don’t know [ask q30] 30.[non-Internet users or non-broadband users only] Do you happen to know whether high-speed Internet service is available in your neighborhood from a telephone company, a cable company or any other company? 66% yes 18 no 16 don’t know [q31 and q32 not asked] 33.[all adults] Changing topics, overall, how comfortable are you using the tools of modern information technology? 50% very comfortable 34 somewhat comfortable 7 not too comfortable 7 not at all comfortable 2 don’t know 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 34.[computer owners or Internet users only] Overall, how confident are you that you can keep things like computer viruses, spyware and adware off your home computer when you want to? 30% very confident 41 somewhat confident 17 not too confident 10 not at all confident 2 don’t know [q35 to q43 asked of all adults] 35.How important do you think it is for Californians to have access to the Internet? 72% very important 21 somewhat important 3 not too important 3 not at all important 1 don’t know 36.How important do you think it is for Californians to have high-speed broadband access to the Internet? 52% very important 31 somewhat important 8 not too important 4 not at all important 5 don’t know 37.Overall, thinking about the government’s role in improving the access and availability of broadband Internet technology, do you think the government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough? 11% more than enough 39 just enough 29 not enough 21 don’t know [rotate q38 and q39] Questionnaire and Results 38.How important to you is it that federal stimulus funds are spent on improving the access and availability of broadband Internet technology in California? 22% very important 34 somewhat important 18 not too important 21 not at all important 5 don’t know 39. How important to you is it that federal stimulus funds are spent on training programs that teach Californians how to use broadband Internet technology? 25% very important 31 somewhat important 20 not too important 21 not at all important 3 don’t know [rotate blocks: q40–q41 and q42–q43] 40. Do you think that Californians in lowerincome areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology, or not? 70% yes, less likely to have access 23 no, not less likely to have access 7 don’t know 41. How concerned are you that Californians in lower-income areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology? 22% very concerned 38 somewhat concerned 19 not too concerned 19 not at all concerned 2 don’t know 42.Do you think that Californians in rural areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology, or not? 61% yes, less likely to have access 27 no, not less likely to have access 12 don’t know June 2009 31 Californians and Information Technology 43.How concerned are you that Californians in rural areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology? 15% very concerned 35 somewhat concerned 25 not too concerned 21 not at all concerned 4 don’t know 44.[cell phone users only] Changing topics, do you ever use your cell phone to send or receive text messages? 65% yes 35 no 45.[cell phone users only] Do you ever use your cell phone to send or receive email messages? 29% yes 71 no 46.[cell phone users only] Do you ever use your cell phone to access the Internet? 30% yes 70 no 47.[cell phone Internet users only] About how often do you access the Internet using your cell phone? 30% several times a day 12 about once a day 10 3–5 days a week 12 1–2 days a week 9 every few weeks 14 less often 12 never 1 don’t know 48.Next, do you happen to have a game console like Xbox or PlayStation in your home? [if yes: Do you ever access the Internet or email using your game console?] 10% yes, and access the Internet 23 yes, but do not access the Internet 65 no, do not have console 2 don’t know 49.On another topic, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 77% yes [ask q49a] 23 no [skip to q50] 49a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 45% Democrat [skip to q51] 32 Republican [skip to q51] 3 another party [specify] [skip to q51] 20 independent [ask q50] 50.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 19% Republican Party 43 Democratic Party 30 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know 51.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 33% great deal 33 fair amount 23 only a little 10 none 1 don’t know 52.Would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate top to bottom] 11% very liberal 19 somewhat liberal 27 middle-of-the-road 24 somewhat conservative 14 very conservative 5 don’t know [d1–d4: demographic questions] d5. [parents with children 18 or under only] Are any of your children in elementary school? 60% yes [ask d5a] 40 no [skip to d5c] 32 PPIC Statewide Survey d5a. [parents with children in elementary school only] Do you ever visit the website of this child’s school? (if yes: Do you do this often or only sometimes?) 22% yes, often 33 yes, sometimes 45 no d5b. [parents with children in elementary school only] Do you ever receive this child’s homework assignments via the Internet or email? (if yes: Do you do receive these often or only sometimes?) 11% yes, often 13 yes, sometimes 76 no d5c. [parents with children 18 or under only] Are any of your children in middle school? 35% yes [ask d5d] 65 no [skip to d5f] d5d. [parents with children in middle school only] Do you ever visit the website of this child’s school? (if yes: Do you do this often or only sometimes?) 28% yes, often 23 yes, sometimes 49 no Questionnaire and Results d5e. [parents with children in middle school only] Do you ever receive this child’s homework assignments via the Internet or email? (if yes: Do you do receive these often or only sometimes?) 19% yes, often 17 yes, sometimes 64 no d5f. [parents with children 18 or under only] Are any of your children in high school? 38% yes [ask d5g] 62 no [skip to d6] d5g. [parents with children in high school only] Do you ever visit the website of this child’s school? (if yes: Do you do this often or only sometimes?) 27% yes, often 34 yes, sometimes 39 no d5h. [parents with children in high school only] Do you ever receive this child’s homework assignments via the Internet or email? (if yes: Do you do receive these often or only sometimes?) 16% yes, often 21 yes, sometimes 63 no [d6–d20: demographic questions] June 2009 33 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX-TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison International Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(114) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-information-technology-june-2009/s_609mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8722) ["ID"]=> int(8722) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:40:10" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4018) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 609MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_609mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_609MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "367260" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["_edit_lock"]=> string(12) "1495527758:1" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(86620) "PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY JUNE 2009 &Californians information technology Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Jennifer Paluch Sonja Petek CONTENTS About the Survey Press Release Access and Use Perceptions and Attitudes Regional Map Methodology Questionnaire and Results in collaboration with California Emerging Technology Fund and ZeroDivide 1 3 7 17 24 25 27 Copyright © 2009 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA Short sections of text not to exceed three paragraphs may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey series provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 99th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 210,000 Californians. This survey is the second in an annual PPIC Statewide Survey series focusing on information technology issues, funded with grants from the California Emerging Technology Fund and from ZeroDivide. The series’ intent is to inform state policymakers, encourage discussion, and raise public awareness about a variety of information technology issues. We draw upon earlier PPIC Statewide Surveys for California trends over time and from recent surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project for national comparisons. Although the use of the Internet and information technology is expanding nationally, with California a leader, past studies show that a number of large and important subgroups in the California population have limited or no access to information technology. Given the role of the Internet in modern society, this survey seeks to inform and improve public policy choices regarding this disjunction between populations who are and are not “connected.” We examine both access and use of information technology as well as the public’s perceptions and attitudes. This survey presents the responses of 2,502 adult residents interviewed in multiple languages and reached by landline and cellular telephone throughout the state, on the following topics: „ Access and use of information technology, including computer ownership, home Internet and broadband connections, and overall use of computers, the Internet, and email. We also ask about a variety of specific activities that are conducted on the Internet, how often residents access the Internet or email, what kind of Internet connection they have at home, and other issues related to home broadband adoption. We ask about mobile devices and access to the Internet, non-Internet users’ interest in the Internet, reasons for not using the Internet or email, and parents’ use of the Internet to connect to their children’s schools. „ Perceptions and attitudes regarding information technology, including the importance of access to the Internet, the importance of broadband access to the Internet, the role of government and federal funding in improving the access and availability of broadband Internet technology, and residents’ comfort with and confidence in technology. We also ask about whether Californians in lower-income and rural areas are less likely to have access to broadband Internet technology and the level of concern regarding these access issues. „ California trends over time and differences between adults nationwide and in California in access, uses, perceptions, and attitudes about information technology. We also examine variations in behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes regarding information technology issues across the five major regions of the state (Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles County, Inland Empire, and Orange/San Diego Counties), among Asians, blacks, Latinos, and non-Hispanic whites, between urban and rual communities, and among socioeconomic and political groups. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org). For questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. View our searchable PPIC Statewide Survey database online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. 1 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 10:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, June 24, 2009. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Californians Expand Use of Computers, Internet, Broadband —But Digital Divide Leaves Many Behind MORE USE WEB FOR NEWS, SOCIAL NETWORKING, GOVERNMENT RESOURCES SAN FRANCISCO, California, June 24, 2009—The percentage of Californians with Internet access and a broadband connection at home has grown since last year despite tough economic times. A survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) finds that broadband adoption increased 7 points from last year (62% today, 55% 2008) and the share of Californians with Internet access at home is up 4 points (67% today, 63% 2008). Overall Internet use rose 6 points (76% today, 70% 2008). Computer ownership is up 3 points (75% today, 72% 2008). Residents have increased their use of social networking sites 11 points from last year (37% today, 26% 2008). They are also more likely to turn to the Internet to get government resources (51% today, 43% 2008) and news (63% today, 55% 2008), go shopping (58% today, 52% 2008), and find information about health (55% today, 50% 2008), their communities (53% today, 47% 2008), and housing (44% today, 40% 2008). The survey was conducted in collaboration with the California Emerging Technology Fund and ZeroDivide. “Californians increasingly see their computers and the Internet as necessities, not luxuries,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “At a time when most economic indicators are going down, these technology indicators are going up.” Although most demographic groups report increases in computer ownership, Internet connectivity, and broadband adoption, a digital divide persists. Just over half of Latinos (52%) say they have home computers, far lower than the percentage of Asians (89%), whites (87%), and blacks (75%) who do. Only 39 percent of Latinos have a home broadband connection, compared to 75 percent of whites, 74 percent of Asians, and 62 percent of blacks. There is no divide when it comes to Californians’ views about the importance of Internet access: Nearly all residents (93%) say it is very (72%) or somewhat (21%) important. Across demographic groups, Californians place a high value on access, with 75 percent of Latinos—the least likely to have an Internet connection—saying it is very important. Most non-Internet users (84%) also say access is important. Asked about the use of federal stimulus dollars to improve access, more than half say it is very (22%) or somewhat important (34%) to use this money to improve the availability of broadband technology and to teach people to use it (25% very important, 31% somewhat important). “Californians perceive that the digital divide is an important and persistent societal trend,” Baldassare says. “And a majority are saying that the government has a role to play in addressing this challenge.” Californians and Information Technology Where does California, known as a technology leader, stand compared to the rest of the nation? State residents are somewhat less likely than their counterparts nationwide to have an Internet connection at home (67% vs. 72%) and just as likely to have broadband at home (62% vs. 63%), according to a 2009 Pew Internet & American Life Project survey. COMPUTER, INTERNET USE INCREASES OVERALL In addition to the 6-point increase in overall Internet use, computer use rose 5 points in the last year (80% today, 75% 2008). There are differences across demographic groups that are similar to the digital divide in computer ownership and home Internet access. Specifically: • The digital divide persists between Latinos and other groups. While Latinos increased their Internet use (53% today, 48% 2008), the growth among whites was greater (88% today, 81% 2008). Whites’ computer use (89% today, 85% 2008) increased by about the same amount as Latinos’ (61% today, 58% 2008). Latinos today are far less likely to use computers and the Internet than Asians (87% computers, 85% Internet) and blacks (89%, 81%). • Nearly all high-income Californians use a computer and the Internet. Ninety-seven percent of Californians with household incomes of $80,000 or more use computers and the same percentage use the Internet. Those with household incomes of less than $40,000 are far less likely to report doing either (65% use computers, 58% use the Internet). • The rural/urban divide has closed, but regional differences persist. Similar percentages of rural (82%) and urban (80%) residents use a computer, in contrast to last year’s findings (66% rural, 76% urban). The gap has also closed between rural (77%) and urban (76%) residents who use the Internet (63% rural, 70% urban in 2008). Computer and Internet use grew in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange/San Diego Counties, and the Inland Empire. But computer use in the Central Valley is unchanged (74% today, 74% 2008) and Internet use has declined slightly (67% today, 71% 2008). • Younger Californians are far more likely to use computers, the Internet. Although majorities of adults over 55 use computers (71%) and the Internet (68%), residents between 18 and 34 are much more likely to do so (86% computers, 83% Internet). • Residents with disabilities are much less likely to go online. Sixty percent of Californians who report having a disability use the Internet, compared to 79 percent of those without a disability. WHY SOME AREN’T WIRED: COST, LACK OF INTEREST When Californians without computers are asked the open-ended question of why they don’t own one, 45 percent cite cost. Fewer say they are not interested (23%) or don’t know how to use one (16%). Among those who don’t use the Internet, 30 percent say they simply aren’t interested in doing so, 15 percent say they don’t have a computer, and 15 percent say it is too expensive. Residents under age 55 and Latinos are more likely to mention cost, while older residents and whites are more likely to cite lack of interest. Among the 24 percent of Californians who don’t use the Internet, just 21 percent are interested in starting to use it or in using email. Of these non-Internet users, 13 percent say they used it sometime in the past year but stopped for some reason. WHO’S DOING THE TWEETING? Age, race and ethnicity, income, and region play a role not just in who is going online but what Californians do when they log on. 4 PPIC Statewide Survey Press Release • Relatively few (18%) adults use Twitter, but nearly a third (31%) of those 18–34 years old are tweeting on the micro-blogging service. Californians in this age group are also more likely (63%) to use a social networking site than others (31% ages 35–54, 16% age 55 or older) or to work on their own blogs (24%) than others (11% ages 35–54, 7% age 55 or older). • Blacks are more likely (53%) than others (44% Asians, 39% whites, 28% Latinos) to use a social networking site. Asians are most likely (22%) to blog (14% whites, 13% blacks, 11% Latinos). • San Francisco Bay Area residents are among the most likely to go online to visit a government website, access government resources, use a social networking site, use Twitter, or blog. Residents of Orange County/San Diego Counties are among the most likely to contact an elected official online. THE CELL PHONE CONNECTION Californians with cell phones (84%) are more likely than last year to use them for sending and receiving text messages, accessing the Internet, and getting email. Among cell phone owners, 65 percent are using the mobile devices to text (up 7 points from last year), 30 percent are accessing the Internet (up 5 points), and 29 percent are getting email (up 3 points). Although residents across all income groups are more likely than last year to use their mobile phones for these activities, upper-income Californians have shown sizeable increases (an increase of 12 points for email, 10 points for Internet access). As a result, the gap has widened between lower- and upper-income mobile phone owners. MORE KEY FINDINGS ƒ How Californians stay connected—page 14 More than half of California Internet users (56%) use a laptop and wireless connection to go online. Fewer use a cell phone or other handheld device such as an iPhone or Blackberry (32%), or a computer at a public library (22%). Lower-income adults are less likely (50%) than more affluent Californians to access the Internet through a laptop and handheld device but more likely (33%) to use a computer at a public library. ƒ More parents use school websites—page 16 Parents of high school students are more likely than last year to use the school website (61% today, 53% 2008). Parents of elementary school students (24% today, 18% 2008) and middle school students (36% today, 28% 2008) are more likely to get their children’s homework assignments from email or the Internet. ƒ Is government doing enough to ensure access?—page 19 Half (50%) believe the government is doing just enough (39%) or more than enough (11%) to improve the availability of broadband. Just under a third (29%) believe the government is not doing enough. ƒ Most perceive digital divide—pages 22, 23 Majorities of residents think that Californians in lower-income and rural areas have less access to broadband than others, and at least half are very or somewhat concerned about it. ƒ Californians’ mood about the state of their state—page 27 Strong majorities of residents say California is going in the wrong direction (70% vs. 19% right direction, 11% don’t know) and expect the next year to bring bad times financially (69% vs. 24% good times, 7% don’t know). These levels of pessimism are similar to Californians’ views in May about the direction of the state (68% wrong direction, 24% right direction, 8% don’t know) and expectations for the year ahead (67% bad times, 25% good times, 8% don’t know). ### June 2009 5 ACCESS AND USE KEY FINDINGS „ The percentage of Californians with Internet and broadband access at home has increased since last year; computer and Internet use have also increased. Although the urban/rural digital divide has narrowed, other demographic disparities persist. (pages 8, 9) „ Over half of Californians use the Internet to get news, shop, get medical information, get information about their communities, visit a government website, and access government resources. There are sizable differences across racial/ethnic, income, and regional groups. Younger Californians are more likely to blog or use Twitter or social networking sites. (pages 10, 11) „ Half of Californians are connected to the Internet via a DSL-enabled phone line or a cable modem; 5 percent of Californians have a dial-up connection, down 8 points since March 2007. (pages 12, 13) „ Many cell phone users, including nearly all under age 35, are sending and receiving text messages. About three in 10 use their cell phones to access the Internet or email. More than half of Internet users in California access the Internet using a laptop through a wireless connection, while fewer do so using their cell phones or a computer at a public library. (pages 13, 14) „ Among non-Internet users in California, only one in five are interested in starting to use the Internet. A plurality say the main reason they do not use the Internet is because they are simply not interested. (page 15) „ Six in 10 California parents with school-age children visit their children’s school websites and one in three get their children’s homework assignments via the Internet or by email. (page 16) Californians with Internet Access and Broadband at Home 100 2008 2009 80 67 63 60 62 55 Percent all adults 40 20 0 Have Internet Have broadband Californians with Broadband at Home 100 Percent all adults 80 74 60 62 75 39 40 20 0 Asian Black Latino White Californians' Overall Computer and Internet Use 100 2008 2009 80 80 75 60 76 70 Percent all adults 40 20 0 Use a computer Use the Internet 7 Californians and Information Technology COMPUTER AND INTERNET ACCESS AT HOME Large majorities of Californians today report that they have a computer (75%) and an Internet connection in their home (67%). Californians are somewhat more likely to have an Internet connection this year than last year (63% to 67%). Californians are somewhat less likely than residents nationwide to have an Internet connection in their home (67% to 72%), according to a 2009 Pew Internet & American Life Project survey. Californians are similar to adults nationwide in broadband adoption (62% to 63%) and have experienced similar increases in the past year (U.S., 8 points; California, 7 points). (Broadband users are defined as having a DSL, cable, wireless, T-1, or fiber-optic Internet connection.) A digital divide is apparent today when rates of home computer ownership, Internet connectivity, and broadband adoption are compared across demographic groups, despite the fact that most groups, except blacks, experienced increases from last year. About half of Latinos (52%) report having a computer at home compared with at least three in four Asians (89%), whites (87%), and blacks (75%). The same trends hold for Internet connections and broadband adoption. Lower-income residents are far less likely to have computer and Internet access at home, while nearly all adults with a household income over $80,000 have such access. Still, the digital divide between lower- and upper-income residents has narrowed somewhat since last year. Differences exist across regions, but the urban/rural divide has closed for computer ownership (2008: 65% rural, 73% urban) and Internet connectivity (2008: 58% rural, 63% urban), and narrowed for broadband adoption (2008: 51% rural, 56% urban). What is the main reason Californians do not have a computer at home? Forty-five percent of those without a computer point to cost, while fewer say they are not interested (23%) or that they do not know how to use one (16%). Percent saying yes All Adults Age Household Income Race/Ethnicity Region Community “Do you have…” … any type of personal computer, including laptops, in your home? 75% 18–34 72 35–54 78 55 and over 74 Under $40,000 55 $40,000 to $79,999 87 $80,000 or more 96 Asian 89 Black 75 Latino 52 White 87 Central Valley 69 San Francisco Bay Area 84 Los Angeles 73 Orange/San Diego 78 Inland Empire 71 Rural 76 Urban 75 8 PPIC Statewide Survey …. an Internet connection at home? 67% 70 69 63 46 81 93 81 69 43 80 57 80 62 75 66 67 68 …a broadband connection at home? 62% 65 64 57 40 74 89 74 62 39 75 51 73 58 70 60 59 63 Access and Use OVERALL COMPUTER AND INTERNET USAGE Eight in 10 Californians report using a computer at home, work, or school (80%) and 76 percent access the Internet. Computer use has increased 5 points since last year (75% to 80%) and Internet use has increased 6 points (70% to 76%). According to the Pew survey, Californians and adults nationwide today are similar in their computer and Internet use. Nationally, residents increased computer use (74% 2008 to 78% today) and Internet use (73% 2008 to 79% today). Like the divide in computer ownership and Internet access at home, a gap in overall computer and Internet use is evident across demographic groups. Latinos are the least likely racial/ethnic group to use a computer (61%) or the Internet (53%). Computer use and Internet use is high among the other racial/ethnic groups: Asians (87% and 85% respectively), blacks (89%, 81%), and whites (89%, 88%). While Latinos experienced growth in Internet use since last year, whites experienced more growth— slightly widening the divide between the two groups. Nearly all residents with household incomes of $80,000 or more report using a computer or the Internet (97% each), while those making less than $40,000 are far less likely (65% computer, 58% Internet). There are also differences across age groups, with younger Californians much more likely to report computer (86%) or Internet use (83%) than those age 55 and older (71% computer, 68% Internet). Californians who report having a disability are far less likely to use the Internet than those without a disability (60% to 79%). Since last year, computer and Internet use rose in all regions except the Central Valley. The rural/urban divide is closing: Urban computer and Internet use were well ahead of rural use in 2008 (10 points, 7 points), but in 2009, rural and urban computer and Internet use are about the same. Percent saying yes All Adults Age Household Income Race/Ethnicity Region Community 18–34 35–54 55 and over Under $40,000 $40,000 to $79,999 $80,000 or more Asian Black Latino White Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/San Diego Inland Empire Rural Urban Computer Use Do you ever use a computer at home, at work, or at school? 80% 86 81 71 65 89 97 87 89 61 89 74 87 75 84 82 82 80 Internet Use Do you ever go online to access the Internet or worldwide web or send or receive email? or Do you send or receive email, at least occasionally? 76% 83 75 68 58 87 97 85 81 53 88 67 86 71 81 76 77 76 June 2009 9 Californians and Information Technology SPECIFIC INTERNET ACTIVITIES Californians overall are going online for a variety of reasons, including everyday activities, accessing government, and social networking. A majority of Californians go online to get news on current events (63%), to buy goods and services (58%), to get health or medical information (55%), and to get information about activities or events in their communities (53%). Fewer Californians go online to look for information about a job (45%) or to get housing or real estate information (44%). Compared to last year, Californians are more likely to report going online to get news (55% 2008, 63% today), to shop (52% 2008, 58% today), to get health information (50% 2008, 55% today), to get community information (47% 2008, 53% today), or to get housing information (40% 2008, 44% today). Following the trends in their overall internet usage, Latinos are the least likely racial/ethnic group to do any of these specific activities online. Across regions, residents in the San Francisco Bay Area are the most likely to do so, while those in the Central Valley are the least likely, and less affluent Californians are less likely than more affluent residents to report using the Internet for these activities. When looking at Internet users only, those nationwide (in the Pew survey) are less likely than California’s Internet users to go online for these activities. Eighty-three percent of California Internet users go online for news on current events, compared to 72 percent nationwide. The pattern is similar with employmentrelated searches (60% of California Internet users to 52% national users). “Please tell me if you ever use the Internet to do any of the following things: How about going online …” Percent saying yes …to get news on current events? …to purchase goods and services? …to get health or medical information? …to get information about your community? …to look for information about a job? All Adults 63% 58% 55% 53% 45% …to get housing or real estate information? 44% 18–34 68 59 55 56 66 47 Age 35–54 65 63 57 57 46 51 55 and over 54 52 52 44 21 33 Under $40,000 43 36 37 34 42 29 Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 69 70 65 64 48 47 $80,000 or more 90 87 77 76 52 69 Asian 73 65 60 58 56 53 Black Race/Ethnicity Latino 70 56 53 51 63 53 40 33 36 35 35 27 White 74 74 66 64 47 52 Central Valley 52 47 41 41 37 35 San Francisco Bay Area 75 71 67 69 53 54 Region Los Angeles 57 54 52 46 42 39 Orange/ San Diego 72 65 63 64 47 51 Inland Empire 62 58 52 47 49 48 Community Rural Urban 65 58 55 50 38 44 63 59 55 54 46 45 Internet Users 83 77 73 70 60 59 10 PPIC Statewide Survey Access and Use SPECIFIC INTERNET ACTIVITIES When it comes to connecting to their government, about half of Californians go online to visit a government website (53%) or to access government resources (51%), while fewer contact an elected official (28%). Regarding social activities, 37 percent of Californians use a social networking site, but fewer report going online to use Twitter (18%) or to create or work on their own blog (14%). Compared to last year, Californians are about as likely to report going online to visit a government website (50% 2008, 53% today), but more likely to report going online to access government resources (43% 2008, 51% today), or to use a social networking site (26% 2008, 37% today). Once again, Latinos are one of the least likely groups to participate in such activities. Black respondents are more likely than others to use a social networking site, while Asians are most likely to blog or use Twitter. Across regions, Central Valley residents are the least likely group to do any of these things. Less affluent Californians are less likely than others to report going online to do any of these activities and younger Californians are the most likely to go online to use a social networking site, work on their own blog, or use Twitter. When looking again at Internet users only, those nationwide (46% in Pew’s survey) are about as likely as California’s Internet users (49%) to report going online to use a social networking site. California Internet users are much more likely than those nationwide to go online to use Twitter (24% to 11%). “Please tell me if you ever use the Internet to do any of the following things: How about going online …” Percent saying yes …to visit a government website? …to access government resources? …to contact an elected official? …to use a social networking site? …to use Twitter? All Adults 53% 51% 28% 37% 18% 18–34 55 53 22 63 31 Age 35–54 57 55 29 31 18 55 and over 47 42 32 16 6 Under $40,000 36 32 16 34 16 Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 61 59 28 36 20 $80,000 or more 79 78 46 45 23 Asian 62 56 24 44 29 Black Race/Ethnicity Latino 59 52 16 53 16 31 32 17 28 12 White 65 61 36 39 21 Region Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire 44 39 20 30 16 69 63 34 46 22 46 45 25 33 18 59 60 37 39 17 53 50 23 39 18 Community Rural Urban 54 49 34 33 14 54 51 27 37 19 Internet Users 71 67 36 49 24 …to work on your own blog? 14% 24 11 7 13 16 15 22 13 11 14 10 16 12 15 14 22 13 18 June 2009 11 Californians and Information Technology FREQUENCY OF INTERNET USAGE Internet users in California are active: Everyday, two in three use the Internet or email from home (21% once a day, 44% several times a day) and half do so from work (8% once a day, 42% several times a day). They less frequently use the Internet from some place other than home or work (4% once a day, 11% several times a day), and 42 percent say they never use the Internet outside of home or work. The frequency of Internet use in California was similar last year. Internet users nationwide are somewhat less likely than those in California to use the Internet from home (59% U.S., 65% California) or work (44% U.S., 50% California) on a daily basis, according to the 2009 Pew survey. San Francisco Bay Area Internet users are the most likely to log on daily from home or work, while Central Valley Internet users are the least likely. Whites use the Internet from home or work more frequently than Latinos, and Latino Internet users are more likely to say they never use the Internet at work. Internet users with lower incomes and less education are also less likely than others to use the Internet at home or at work. Internet users only Several times a day About once a day 3-5 days a week 1-2 days a week Every few weeks Less often Never “About how often do you use the Internet or email from…” …home? …work? … some place other than home or work? 44% 42% 11% 21 8 4 13 4 5 948 219 3 3 21 8 38 42 Three in four Internet users in California have been using the Internet for more than 5 years (75%), and 32 percent for more than 10 years. Latinos are more likely than whites (36% to 14%) to have started using the Internet in the last 5 years. Those with lower incomes (35% under $40,000) and less education (45% high school or less) are far more likely than those with higher incomes (9% $80,000 or more) and a college education (11% college graduates) to have started using the Internet in the last 5 years. INTERNET CONNECTION AT HOME Sixty-two percent of California adults have a broadband Internet connection at home, including 28 percent with DSL, 20 percent cable modem, 11 percent wireless, and 3 percent fiber optic or T-1; just 5 percent have dial-up. In the Pew survey, a similar 63 percent of adults nationwide report having a broadband connection, but a plurality have cable modems, while a plurality in California have DSL. San Francisco Bay Area residents (80%) are the most connected at home; 34 percent have DSL and 27 percent cable. By comparison, Central Valley residents are the least connected at home (57%) with 29 percent using DSL and 13 percent cable. Socioeconomic differences continue to be present: Those with incomes of $80,000 or more are more than twice as likely as those making less than $40,000 to have DSL (40% to 17%) or cable modems (30% to 13%). These gaps were similar last year. Latinos are far less likely than others to be connected at home and fewer than one in five have either DSL (18%) or cable (12%). Rural and urban residents report having Internet connections at similar rates. The gap in those with cable modems last year (15% rural; 20% urban) has closed this year (21% rural; 20% urban). Two in three Californians (66%) without Internet access at home or without DSL, cable, FiOS, or T-1 say that high-speed Internet service is available in their neighborhood from a telephone or cable company. The same percentage nationwide say high-speed is available in their neighborhood, according to Pew. 12 PPIC Statewide Survey Access and Use INTERNET CONNECTION AT HOME (CONTINUED) “What kind of Internet connection do you have at home? Do you use a dial-up telephone line, or do you have some other type of connection, such as a DSL-enabled phone line, a cable TV modem, a wireless connection, a fiber optic connection such as FiOS, or a T-1?” DSL-enabled phone line All Adults 28% Under $40,000 17% Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 37% $80,000 or More 40% Community Rural Urban 27% 29% Cable modem 20 13 23 30 21 20 Wireless connection 11 9 11 13 8 11 Dial-up telephone line 5 5 8 3 8 5 Fiber optic or T-1 32 3 7 2 4 No home access, connect via cell phone (volunteered) 1 2 1 1 4 1 No Internet/computer at home 29 50 14 4 24 28 Don’t know 32 3 2 6 2 MOBILE DEVICES Most Californians have a cell phone (84%); of these, 65 percent say they use it to send or receive text messages (up 7 points since last year), 30 percent to access the Internet (up 5 points), and 29 percent to send or receive email (up 3 points). Compared to nationwide cell users in the Pew survey, Californians are just as likely to use their phones for text messaging (65% each) and somewhat more likely to use their phones to access the Internet (30% California, 25% U.S.) and for email (29% California, 25% U.S.). Californians with lower incomes are less likely than higher-income residents to have a cell phone. They are also less likely to use their phones for email or to connect to the Internet. Despite growth in cell phone use across income groups for these activities, in each case, the gap between lower- and upperincome cell users widened since last year because the growth in lower-income cell phone users did not match large increases (12 points for email and 10 points for Internet) among upper-income cell users. Cell phone users only Percent saying yes All Cell Phone Users Age Household Income Race/Ethnicity Region “Do you ever use your cell phone to…” …send or receive text messages? …to access the Internet ? 65% 30% 18–34 89 47 35–54 68 31 55 and over 34 11 Under $40,000 65 25 $40,000 to $79,999 61 28 $80,000 or more 73 40 Latino 68 28 White 62 29 Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area 59 64 27 35 Los Angeles Orange/San Diego Inland Empire 65 32 69 28 …send or receive email? 29% 36 33 15 22 24 42 29 27 26 31 31 30 June 2009 13 Californians and Information Technology MOBILE DEVICES (CONTINUED) Some cell phone users in California do not have an Internet connection at home but do use their phones to go online (15% 2008, 12% today). Of those who do not have broadband at home, 16 percent go online with their phones (12% 2008, 16% today). Although Californians aged 35–54 are as likely as those aged 18–34 to have a cell phone (86% each), the younger group is far more likely to use their phones for text messaging and going on the Internet. Eighty-one percent of residents age 55 and older have a cell phone, but far fewer use them for text messaging (34%), for email (15%), or for accessing the Internet (11%). Still, the gap between younger and older cell users narrowed 9 points since last year for text messaging and 7 points for sending and receiving email and it widened 4 points for accessing the Internet. Latinos are less likely than whites to have cell phones (74% to 90%) but 6 points more likely to use them for texting (68% to 62%). The texting gap was 9 points last year (63% Latinos, 54% whites). Although Latinos were more likely than whites last year to report using their phones for email or going online, use among these groups is similar this year. INTERNET ACCESS POINTS More than half of Internet users in California report going online using a laptop through a wireless connection (56%). Fewer access the Internet through a cell phone or handheld device such as an iPhone or Blackberry (32%) or use a computer at a public library (22%). Younger Internet users are more likely than those age 35 and older to report using the Internet through any of these alternative access points. Lower-income Internet users are less likely to access the Internet through a laptop or handheld device, but more likely to use a computer at a public library. While Latinos and whites are equally likely to use laptops with wireless connections (54% each), Latinos are more likely than whites to access the Internet with a handheld device or at the library. Central Valley residents are less likely than others to use these access points. When compared to the group of adults who were asked the question last year (those who accessed the Internet outside of home or work at least every few weeks), laptop use increased 10 points (60% 2008, 70% today), cell phone use increased 11 points (42% 2008, 53% today), and use at a library is similar (37% 2008, 36% today). “Now please think about some of the ways you might access the Internet. Do you access the Internet …” Internet users only Percent saying yes …using a laptop through a wireless connection? …using a cell phone or handheld device such as an iPhone or Blackberry? …using a computer at a public library? All Internet Users 56% 32% 22% 18–34 66 43 33 Age 35–54 59 35 19 55 and over 39 13 12 Under $40,000 50 29 33 Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 51 27 22 $80,000 or more 67 41 12 Race/Ethnicity Latino White 54 35 54 29 25 18 Central Valley 49 29 18 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/San Diego Inland Empire 58 55 60 35 34 31 25 21 20 14 PPIC Statewide Survey Access and Use INTERNET ACCESS POINTS (CONTINUED) In the past year, 55 percent of Internet users who say they accessed the Internet using a laptop through wireless connection report having used WiFi or other wireless services in public places such as airports, coffee shops, or restaurants. When using WiFi in public places, more than half (55%) mostly use free WiFi, while only 11 percent mostly pay to use WiFi and 33 percent use a mix of free and paid WiFi. NON-INTERNET USERS Among the 24 percent of Californians who do not currently use the Internet, 13 percent say that they used it at some point in the past year but stopped for some reason. This includes 12 percent of Latino and 18 percent of white non-Internet users. Among non-Internet users, 16 percent of those age 18 to 54 stopped using the Internet in the past year compared to 9 percent of those 55 and older who stopped. Among Californians who currently do not use the Internet (including those who stopped in the past year), only one in five (21%) are interested in starting to use the Internet or email. Interest is higher among those under 55 (27%) than those 55 or older (12%) and Latinos are more interested in starting to use the Internet than whites (26% to 15%). In Pew’s survey, just 11 percent of non-Internet users nationwide are interested in starting to use the Internet. “Would you like to start using the Internet or email (again), or isn’t that something you’re interested in?” All Adults 18–54 Age 55 and Older Race/Ethnicity Latino White Yes 21% 27% 12% 26% 15% No 77 72 84 72 82 Don’t know 21 4 2 3 When asked why they do not use the Internet, 30 percent say they are simply not interested, while 15 percent do not have a computer and 15 percent say it is too expensive. Residents under 55 and Latinos are more likely to cite the cost, while older residents and whites are more likely to cite a lack of interest. In the Pew survey, 22 percent of non-Internet users nationwide cite a lack of interest, 16 percent do not have access, and 10 percent cite cost. “And, what is the main reason you don't use the Internet or email?” All Adults 18–54 Age 55 and Older Race/Ethnicity Latino White Not interested 30% 28% 34% 27% 39% Don’t have a computer 15 17 13 17 11 Cost/too expensive 15 18 10 18 10 It’s too difficult/frustrating 12 9 17 12 9 Too busy/don't have the time 9 11 7 9 7 Don't have access 5 6 4 74 It's a waste of time/don’t need it 2 3 1 23 Worried about computer viruses/spyware/adware/spam 2 – 4 –4 Other 8 6 8 5 10 Don’t know 2 2 2 33 June 2009 15 Californians and Information Technology CHILDREN, SCHOOLS, AND THE INTERNET Parents of school-age children are using the Internet to access information about their child’s schooling. At least half of elementary school parents (55%), middle school parents (51%), and high school parents (61%) report that they visit the website of their child’s school often or sometimes. Since last year, more high school parents report accessing their child’s school website (53% to 61%). Findings among elementary school parents (51% to 55%) and middle school parents (49% to 51%) are similar. Yes, often Yes, sometimes No “Do you ever visit the website of this child’s school?” Elementary School Parents Middle School Parents 22% 28% 33 23 45 49 High School Parents 27% 34 39 Sixty-one percent of parents with children in school report visiting their child’s school website, a 5-point increase from last year. Parents with incomes of $60,000 or more (86%) are twice as likely as parents with annual incomes less than $60,000 (43%) to say they visit their child’s school website. White parents (77%) are far more likely than Latino parents (45%) to say they visit their child’s school website. “Do you ever visit the website of this child’s school?” Parents Household Income Under $60,000 $60,000 or More Race/Ethnicity Latino White Yes 61% 43% 86% 45% 77% No 39 57 14 55 23 Parents’ use of the Internet for homework assignments increases with their child’s age. More high school parents (37%) and middle school parents (36%) say they receive their child’s homework via the Internet or email compared to elementary school parents (24%). More parents of elementary (18% 2008 to 24% today) or middle school children (28% 2008 to 36% today) receive their child’s assignments online today than last year, while the findings among high school parents are similar (35% 2008 to 37% today). “Do you ever receive this child’s homework assignments via the Internet or email?” Elementary School Parents Middle School Parents High School Parents Yes, often 11% 19% 16% Yes, sometimes 13 17 21 No 76 64 63 Thirty-four percent of parents receive their child’s assignments online. White parents are twice as likely as Latino parents (44% to 22%) to report they receive their child’s assignments online; parents with incomes of $60,000 or more are nearly three times as likely as parents with incomes below $60,000 to do the same (54% to 19%). More parents today report receiving their child’s homework assignments online than last year (28% 2008 to 34% today), white parents (34% to 44%) more than Latino parents (20% to 22%). “Do you ever receive this child’s homework assignments via the Internet or email?” Parents Household Income Under $60,000 $60,000 or More Race/Ethnicity Latino White Yes 34% 19% 54% 22% 44% No 66 81 46 78 56 16 PPIC Statewide Survey PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES KEY FINDINGS „ Vast majorities of Californians consider access to the Internet and to broadband Internet to be at least somewhat important for the state’s residents, but are far more likely to view Internet access as very important. (page 18) „ More than half of California’s laptop or cell phone users say that using these devices to stay in touch with other people and easily access information online are very important. Far fewer feel this way about using these devices to share or post content online. (page 19) „ About half of all Californians and likely voters think that the government is doing just enough or more than enough to improve the access and availability of broadband Internet technology. More than half also think it is at least somewhat important to use federal stimulus funds for this purpose or for training programs that teach Californians how to use broadband Internet technology. (pages 19, 20) „ More than 80 percent of Californians say they are at least somewhat comfortable using the tools of modern technology, and 71 percent of computer owners or Internet users are at least somewhat confident they can protect their home computers from things such as computer viruses, spyware, and adware. (page 21) „ Majorities of residents think that Californians in lower-income and rural areas have less access to broadband Internet technology than others, and at least half of Californians are also very or somewhat concerned about this. (pages 22, 23) Perceived Importance of Californians Having Access to the Internet 100 Percent saying very important 80 79 75 71 63 60 Percent all adults 40 20 0 Asian Black Latino White Perceived Importance of Californians Having Access to High-Speed Broadband Internet 4 8 5 52 31 All adults Very important Somewhat important Not too important Not at all important Don't know Perceived Access to Internet in Lowerincome and Rural Areas 100 Less likely to have access Not less likely 80 70 60 61 Percent all adults 40 23 20 27 0 Lower-income areas Rural areas 17 Californians and Information Technology IMPORTANCE OF ACCESS TO THE INTERNET Nearly all Californians (93%)—including 84 percent of those who do not use the Internet—consider access to the Internet to be very (72%) or somewhat (21%) important. These findings are similar to last year’s (69% very important, 21% somewhat important). A large majority of Californians (83%) also believe access to high-speed broadband is very (52%) or somewhat (31%) important, including 76 percent without broadband themselves. The level of importance Californians place on access to the Internet is high across all demographic groups. The percentage who say access is very important increases with education and income and declines with age: The highest percentages are seen among those aged 18 to 34 (75%), college graduates (75%), and those with incomes of $80,000 or more (78%). Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks are the most likely to say Internet access is very important (79%), but 75 percent of Latinos also hold this view, despite having the lowest rates of Internet connectivity. Across regions, residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (78%) are the most likely to say Internet access is very important, and residents of the Inland Empire (68%) and Central Valley (67%) are the least likely. Rural (70%) and urban (72%) residents place similar levels of importance on Internet access, while those who report having a disability (63%) are less likely than those without a disability (74%) to consider access very important. All Adults “How important do you think it is for Californians to have access to the Internet?” Very Important Somewhat Important Not too Important Not at all Important Don't Know 72% 21% 3% 3% 1% 18–34 75 21 2 – 2 Age 35–54 74 21 2 3 – 55 and older 66 22 5 4 3 High school 69 22 3 2 4 Education Some college 71 22 2 3 2 College graduate 75 19 2 2 2 Under $40,000 70 22 3 2 3 Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 73 22 2 2 1 $80,000 or more 78 17 3 2 – Asian 63 25 7 2 3 Black Race/Ethnicity Latino 79 16 1 2 2 75 20 1 2 2 White 71 22 3 2 2 Central Valley 67 25 3 3 2 San Francisco Bay Area 78 16 3 2 1 Region Los Angeles 72 21 2 3 2 Orange/San Diego 72 21 3 2 2 Inland Empire 68 25 4 2 1 Community Rural Urban 70 21 3 5 1 72 21 3 2 2 Disability Yes No 63 23 74 21 5 2 6 2 3 1 Use Internet Yes No 76 19 2 1 2 58 26 4 6 6 18 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions and Attitudes IMPORTANCE OF LAPTOP AND CELL PHONE COMMUNICATION More than half of Californians (58%) report that they access the Internet outside of their home or work, and more than eight in 10 (84%) own cell phones. What is it that appeals to laptop and cell phone users about being connected while away from home and work? For most (84%), staying in touch easily with other people is very (55%) or somewhat (29%) important, and three in four residents (76%) say having easy access to information online is at least somewhat important. Californians are similar to adults nationwide in this regard, according to Pew’s recent survey. However, Californians are somewhat less interested in using mobile devices for sharing and posting content: only 36 percent think that sharing or posting content online is very (13%) or somewhat (23%) important, compared to 41 percent of adults nationwide. More than one-third of Californians (35%) said that sharing content is not at all important, compared to 29 percent nationwide. In California, ratings of importance in all three cases— staying in touch easily, having easy access to information, and sharing or posting content—decline with increasing age. “Thinking now about how you get information and communicate with others using a laptop or cell phone when you are away from home and work, please tell me if each of the following is very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important. How about …” Cell phone or laptop users … staying in touch easily with other people? … having easy access to information online? … sharing or posting content online? Very important 55% 52% 13% Somewhat important 29 24 23 Not too important 8 11 27 Not at all important 7 11 35 Don’t know 122 ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN ACCESS AND ADOPTION A strong majority of Californians believe that access to the Internet, including high-speed broadband, is important, but opinions are divided about the responsibility or role of government. Three in 10 (29%) believe the government is not doing enough to improve the access and availability of broadband technology, while half (50%) believe the government is doing either just enough (39%) or more than enough (11%) and one in five remain undecided. These results are similar to our findings last year. Across parties, Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to believe that the government is doing more than enough to improve broadband access (20% to 7%). Thirty-seven percent of Democrats believe the government is not doing enough, compared to 26 percent of independents and 23 percent of Republicans. Men are somewhat more likely than women to say that the government is not doing enough to improve access (32% to 25%); across racial/ethnic groups, Asians (37%) and blacks (39%) are more likely than Latinos or whites (27% each) to think the government is not doing enough to improve the availability of broadband technology. “Overall, thinking about the government’s role in improving the access and availability of broadband Internet technology, do you think the government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Internet Likely Ind Users Voters More than enough 11% 7% 20% 9% 11% 13% Just enough 39 35 35 43 39 35 Not enough 29 37 23 26 29 30 Don’t know 21 21 22 22 21 22 June 2009 19 Californians and Information Technology ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN ACCESS AND ADOPTION (CONTINUED) The federal stimulus package passed by Congress in February 2009 provides funds for state governments and other organizations to invest in improvements in fields such as infrastructure, health care, science and technology, education, and job training. Given the importance Californians place on access to the Internet and high-speed broadband, how do Californians feel about spending federal stimulus funds on increasing broadband access and training? More than half of the residents in the state (56%) believe it is very (22%) or somewhat (34%) important to use stimulus funds to improve the access and availability of broadband; support is somewhat lower among likely voters (51%). Across parties, Democrats (63%) are more likely than Republicans (41%) to say that it is very or somewhat important to use the federal funds to increase the availability of broadband. Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (61%), Asians (69%), and Latinos (70%) are much more likely than whites (46%) to support this idea, and foreign-born residents (72%) are more likely than U.S.-born residents (50%) to say that it is at least somewhat important to use the stimulus funds to promote greater access to broadband technology. “How important to you is it that federal stimulus funds are spent on improving the access and availability of broadband Internet technology in California?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Internet Ind Users Very important 22% 28% 12% 19% 21% Somewhat important 34 35 29 38 35 Not too important 18 19 19 18 18 Not at all important 21 14 37 23 22 Don’t know 5 4 32 4 Likely Voters 17% 34 20 25 4 Californians feel much the same way about using stimulus funds to teach people how to use broadband technology. Over half (56%) believe it is very (25%) or somewhat (31%) important, although, again support is somewhat lower among likely voters (47%). Across parties, Democrats (61%) are more likely than Republicans (38%) or independents (48%) to support using the stimulus funds for training programs. Residents born outside the U.S. (74%) and those with children under age 18 (60%) express strong support for this idea. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (76%), Asians (62%), and blacks (57%) are much more likely than whites (42%) to believe that it is very or somewhat important to spend stimulus funds on training programs that teach Californians how to use Internet technology. Support for the use of federal stimulus funds for either of these purposes—increasing access or funding training programs—declines with increasing age, income, and education. “How important to you is it that federal stimulus funds are spent on training programs that teach Californians how to use broadband Internet technology?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Internet Likely Ind Users Voters Very important 25% 26% 13% 18% 21% 17% Somewhat important 31 35 25 30 31 30 Not too important 20 24 20 23 22 23 Not at all important 21 13 39 26 24 27 Don’t know 3 2 33 2 3 20 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions and Attitudes COMFORT AND CONFIDENCE WITH TECHNOLOGY With nearly all Californians (93%) saying it is important that Californians have access to the Internet, most (84%) also say they are very (50%) or somewhat (34%) comfortable using the tools of modern information technology. Although the number of Internet users has grown over the past year, the overall number reporting that they are very comfortable using the tools of modern information technology has declined by 6 points (62% 2008, 56% today). Nonetheless, among Californians today, higher percentages of residents 18 to 34 years old (64%), as well as residents with some college (55%) or a college degree (58%), say they are very comfortable using modern information technology. Across racial/ethnic groups, six in 10 blacks (61%) report they are very comfortable using information technology, followed by nearly half of Latinos (49%), whites (49%), and Asians (47%). Across regions, San Francisco Bay Area residents (53%) are the most likely to report being very comfortable using modern technology, followed by residents in Los Angeles (51%), Orange/San Diego Counties (51%), the Inland Empire (48%), and the Central Valley (44%). Men are somewhat more likely than women (53% to 46%), and parents with children ages 18 or younger are somewhat more likely than residents without young children (54% to 48%), to say they are very comfortable with technology. Broadband users are far more likely than those without broadband (59% to 34%) to say they are very comfortable with modern information technology. “Overall, how comfortable are you using the tools of modern information technology?” Very comfortable All Adults 50% High School 40% Education Some College 55% College Graduate 58% 18–34 64% Age 35–54 52% 55 and Older 32% Somewhat comfortable 34 36 32 33 29 35 38 Not too comfortable 798 5 3 6 14 Not at all comfortable 7 10 4 3 3 5 12 Don’t know 251 1 1 2 4 Although 71 percent of residents who have a home computer and/or use the Internet are at least somewhat confident that they can protect their home computers from viruses, spyware, and adware, only 30 percent claim to be very confident. Levels of confidence are similar across age groups but are higher among those with at least some college. Men are somewhat more likely than women (33% to 27%), and broadband users are more likely than those without high-speed access (33% to 20%), to say they are very confident. Findings among internet users only are similar to last year (31% very, 42% somewhat). “Overall, how confident are you that you can keep things like computer viruses, spyware, and adware off your home computer when you want to?” Computer owners or Internet users only All Computer Owners or Internet Users High School Education Some College College Graduate 18–34 Age 35–54 Very confident 30% 24% 33% 32% 31% 28% Somewhat confident 41 36 40 44 42 41 Not too confident 17 19 17 15 17 18 Not at all confident 10 14 8 8 6 10 Don’t know 27 2 1 4 3 55 and Older 30% 38 15 14 3 June 2009 21 Californians and Information Technology INTERNET ADOPTION IN LOWER-INCOME AREAS Seven in 10 Californians (70%), including majorities across political, regional, and demographic groups, believe that residents in lower-income areas of the state are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology, while 23 percent disagree. Californians today (70%) are somewhat more likely than they were last year (65%) to say residents in lower-income areas are less likely to have access to broadband technology. Across income groups, as well as rural and urban communities, a similar seven in 10 believe that lowerincome areas of the state are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology. Among racial/ethnic groups, majorities of Latinos (73%), blacks (72%), whites (71%), and Asians (61%) say that residents in lower-income areas are less likely than other areas to have broadband access. Majorities across regions agree (75% Inland Empire, 72% San Francisco Bay Area, 68% Los Angeles, 68% Orange/San Diego Counties, 65% Central Valley). Broadband users (72%) and those without broadband (66%) think that Californians in lower-income areas are less likely than others to have broadband access. “Do you think that Californians in lower-income areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology, or not?” Yes, less likely All Adults 70% Under $40,000 69% Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 $80,000 or More 71% 71% Community Rural Urban 71% 70% No, not less likely 23 23 24 24 21 24 Don’t know 785586 Six in 10 Californians are at least somewhat concerned about the fact that Californians in lower-income areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband technology, and 22 percent say they are very concerned. These percentages are similar to those in our survey last year (23% very, 39% somewhat concerned). Across parties, Democrats (31%) are more likely than independents (22%) or Republicans (11%) to say they are very concerned. Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (38%) are the most likely to say they are very concerned, while whites (16%) are the least likely. Concern is similar among urban and rural residents. Among the 70 percent of residents who believe that Californians in lower-income areas have less access than others to broadband technology, two-thirds say they are very (26%) or somewhat concerned (42%). “How concerned are you that Californians in lower-income areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology?” Party Community All Adults Dem Rep Ind Rural Urban Very concerned 22% 31% 11% 22% 19% 22% Somewhat concerned 38 42 29 36 40 38 Not too concerned 19 16 25 19 14 19 Not at all concerned 19 9 33 21 23 19 Don’t know 222242 22 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions and Attitudes INTERNET ADOPTION IN RURAL AREAS A strong majority of Californians (61%) think that residents in rural areas are less likely to have access to broadband Internet technology, while 27 percent don’t believe this is the case. Residents today are somewhat more likely than they were last year to believe that rural Californians have less access to broadband Internet technology (61% today, 55% 2008). About six in 10 residents living in rural and urban communities and across income groups believe that residents in rural areas have less access. Majorities of Latinos (63%), whites (62%), and blacks (62%) think Californians in rural areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband technology, while only 47 percent of Asians agree. Men are somewhat more likely than women (64% to 57%) to say that rural areas have less broadband access. This belief increases with higher education and declines with older age. Yes, less likely No, not less likely Don’t know “Do you think that Californians in rural areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology, or not?” All Adults 61% Under $40,000 59% Household Income $40,000 to $79,999 $80,000 or More 63% 63% Community Rural Urban 60% 61% 27 28 28 26 23 27 12 13 9 11 17 12 Half of Californians (50%) are at least somewhat concerned that rural residents are less likely than others to have access to broadband technology, and 15 percent say they are very concerned. These findings are nearly identical to those in last year’s survey (14% very, 37% somewhat concerned). Across political parties, Democrats (19%) are more likely than independents (15%) or Republicans (10%) to say they are very concerned. Only 15 percent of both rural and urban residents are very concerned about broadband access in rural areas. Blacks (32%) are far more likely than Asians (18%), Latinos (17%), and whites (11%) to say they are very concerned about access among rural residents. Concern among men and women is similar. Foreign-born residents are more likely than U.S.-born residents to say they are at least somewhat concerned about rural residents’ broadband access (58% to 47%). Among the 61 percent of residents who think rural Californians are less likely to have broadband access, six in 10 say they are very (19%) or somewhat (41%) concerned. “How concerned are you that Californians in rural areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology?” Party Community All Adults Dem Rep Ind Rural Urban Very concerned 15% 19% 10% 15% 15% 15% Somewhat concerned 35 39 27 31 41 35 Not too concerned 25 25 29 25 19 26 Not at all concerned 21 13 31 25 22 21 Don’t know 443433 June 2009 23 REGIONAL MAP 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research support from Dean Bonner, project manager for this survey, survey research associates Jennifer Paluch and Sonja Petek, and survey intern Frances Zlotnick. This is the second in a series of surveys conducted with funding from the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) and ZeroDivide1 as part of an annual project on public opinion and information technology issues. We benefited from discussions with the CETF leadership and other experts, and from consultation with researchers at the Pew Internet & American Life Project and PPIC; however, the survey methods, questions, and content of the report were determined solely by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. Findings in this report are based on a telephone survey of 2,502 California adult residents, including 2,252 interviewed on landline telephones and 250 interviewed on cell phones. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days from June 2–16, 2009. Interviews took an average of 15 minutes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phone interviews were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement for their time to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interviewing was conducted in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), Vietnamese, and Korean, according to respondents’ preferences. We chose these languages because Spanish is the dominant language among non-English speaking adults in California, followed in prevalence by the three Asian languages. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI Inc. translated the survey into Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean, and conducted all interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI, we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2007 and 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 2005–2007 American Community Survey for California, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it 1 This research was made possible by a grant from the Community Partnership Committee through its Applied Research Initiative on access to telecommunications services in California’s underserved communities, with support from ZeroDivide. The Community Partnership Committee was formed by eight coalitions of 134 community-based organizations and SBC (now AT&T), to serve underserved communities throughout California after the SBC/Pacific Telesis merger in 1997. 25 against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,502 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1,911 registered voters, it is ±2.2 percent; for the 1,419 likely voters, it is ±2.5 percent, for the 1,889 Internet users, it is ±2.3 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to five geographic regions that account for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately in tables and text. In this survey, we also asked for the zip code of the residence in order to compare the responses of those living in rural areas to those living in urban areas as defined by the U.S. Census. The U.S. Census defines urban areas as generally consisting of a large central place and adjacent densely settled census blocks that together have a total population of at least 2,500 for urban clusters, or at least 50,000 for urbanized areas. Rural areas are defined as any territory not classified as urban. We present specific results for respondents in four self-identified racial/ethnic groups: Asian, black, Latino, and non-Hispanic white. We also compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (i.e., those registered as “decline to state”). We also analyze the responses of likely voters—those who are the most likely to participate in the state’s elections. In addition, we present the responses of Internet users, who are defined, consistent with national surveys, as those who answered yes to one or both questions: “Do you ever go online to access the Internet or send or receive email?” or “Do you send or receive email, at least occasionally?” We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in recent national surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY June 2–16, 2009 2,502 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese MARGIN OF ERROR ± 2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. First, do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 19% right direction 70 wrong direction 11 don’t know 2. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 24% good times 69 bad times 7 don’t know 3a. Changing topics, do you have any type of personal computer, including laptops, in your home? 75% yes [ask q3b] 25 no [skip to q3c] 3b. [computer owners only] And did you happen to acquire a computer in the last year? 36% yes 64 no [skip to q3d] 3c. [non-computer owners only] And, what is the main reason you don’t have a computer at home? [code, don’t read] 45% cost/too expensive 23 not interested 16 don’t know how to use it 4 don’t really know about computers 2 concern about children’s access 2 sufficient access elsewhere 7 other 1 don’t know 3d. Do you yourself ever use a computer at home, at work, at school, or anywhere else? (if yes: Do you use a computer often or only sometimes?) 63% yes, often 16 yes, sometimes 20 no 1 don’t know 3e. Now thinking about your telephone use, do you have a working cell phone? 84% yes, have cell phone [includes those who completed interview on cell phone] 16 no, do not 4/4a. Do you ever go online to access the Internet or send or receive email? [or] Do you send or receive email, at least occasionally? 76% yes [skip to q5] 24 no/don’t use a computer [ask q4b] 27 Californians and Information Technology [q4b–q4d asked only of non-Internet users] 4b. [non-Internet users only] Did you ever at some point in the last year use the Internet or email, but have since stopped for some reason? 13% yes 86 no 1 don’t know 4c. [non-Internet users only] Would you like to start using the Internet or email (if q4b=yes: again), or isn’t that something you’re interested in? 21% yes, interested 77 no, not interested 2 don’t know 4d. [non-Internet users only] And, what is the main reason you don’t use the Internet or email? [code, don’t read] 30% not interested 15 don’t have a computer 15 cost/too expensive 12 it is too difficult/frustrating 9 too busy/don’t have the time 5 don’t have access 2 it’s a waste of time/don’t need it 2 worried about computer viruses, spyware, adware, spam 8 other 2 don’t know 5. [Internet users only] Did you happen to use the Internet yesterday? 79% yes 20 no 1 don’t know 6. [Internet users only] About how many years have you been an Internet user? 2% less than 1 year 20 1–5 years 43 6–10 years 22 11–15 years 10 more than 15 years 3 don’t know 7. [Internet users only] About how often do you use the Internet or email from home? 44% several times a day 21 about once a day 13 3–5 days a week 9 1–2 days a week 2 every few weeks 3 less often 8 never 8. [Internet users only] About how often do you use the Internet or email from work? 42% several times a day 8 about once a day 4 3–5 days a week 4 1–2 days a week 1 every few weeks 3 less often 25 never 12 don’t work/retired (volunteered) 1 don’t know 9. [Internet users only] About how often do you use the Internet or email from someplace other than home or work? 11% several times a day 4 about once a day 5 3–5 days a week 8 1–2 days a week 9 every few weeks 21 less often 41 never 1 don’t know Now please think about some of the ways you might access the Internet. 10.[Internet users only] Do you access the Internet using a laptop through a wireless connection? 56% yes 43 no 1 don’t know 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 11.[Internet users only] Do you access the Internet using a cell phone or handheld device such as an iPhone or Blackberry? 32% yes 68 no 12.[Internet users only] Do you access the Internet using a computer at a public library? 22% yes 78 no 13.[wireless laptop users only] In the past year, have you ever used WiFi or other wireless Internet services in public places, such as airports, coffee shops, or restaurants? 55% yes [ask q13a] 45 no [skip to q14] 13a.[if q13=yes] Do you mostly use free WiFi services in public areas, do you mostly use WiFi you have to pay for, or do you use a mixture of free and paid services? 55% mostly free 11 mostly pay 33 a mix 1 do not use WiFi/use other services (volunteered) Thinking now about how you get information and communicate with others using a laptop or cell phone when you are away from home and work, please tell me if each of the following is very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important. [rotate q14–q16] 14.[cell phone or laptop users only] How about staying in touch easily with other people? 55% very important 29 somewhat important 8 not too important 7 not at all important 1 don’t know Questionnaire and Results 15.[cell phone or laptop users only] How about having easy access to information online? 52% very important 24 somewhat important 11 not too important 11 not at all important 2 don’t know 16.[cell phone or laptop users only] How about sharing or posting content online? 13% very important 23 somewhat important 27 not too important 35 not at all important 2 don’t know Next, please tell me if you ever use the Internet to do any of the following things. [q17–q28 reported for all adults] [rotate q17–q28] 17.How about going online to use Twitter or another service to share updates about yourself or to see updates about others? 18% yes 81 no/don’t use computers or Internet 1 don’t know 18.How about going online to look for information about a job? 45% yes 55 no/don’t use computers or Internet 19.How about going online to purchase goods and services? 58% yes 41 no/don’t use computers or Internet 1 don’t know 20.How about going online to get news and information on current events, public issues, or politics? 63% yes 37 no/don’t use computers or Internet June 2009 29 Californians and Information Technology 21.How about going online to use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook, or LinkedIn.com? 37% yes 63 no/don’t use computers or Internet 22.How about going online to send an email to or initiate contact with an elected official or their staff? 28% yes 72 no/don’t use computers or Internet 23.How about going online to get health or medical information? 55% yes 45 no/don’t use computers or Internet 24.How about going online to create or work on your own online journal or blog? 14% yes 86 no/don’t use computers or Internet 25.How about going online to visit a local, state, or federal government website? 53% yes 47 no/don’t use computers or Internet 26.How about going online to access government resources, such as obtaining forms, making payments, or registering to vote? 51% yes 49 no/don’t use computers or Internet 27.How about going online to get housing or real estate information? 44% yes 56 no/don’t use computers or Internet 28.How about going online to get information about activities or events in your community? 53% yes 47 no/don’t use computers or Internet 29.What kind of Internet connection do you have at home? Do you use a dial-up telephone line, or do you have some other type of connection, such as a DSL-enabled phone line, a cable TV modem, a wireless connection, a fiber optic connection such as FiOS, or a T-1? [q29 reported for all adults] 28% DSL-enabled phone line [skip to q33] 20 cable modem [skip to q33] 11 wireless connection (either land- based or satellite) [ask q30] 5 dial-up telephone line [ask q30] 3 fiber optic or T-1 [skip to q33] 1 no home service, connect to Internet via a cell phone (volunteered) [ask q30] 29 do not have Internet access/ computer at home [ask q30] 3 don’t know [ask q30] 30.[non-Internet users or non-broadband users only] Do you happen to know whether high-speed Internet service is available in your neighborhood from a telephone company, a cable company or any other company? 66% yes 18 no 16 don’t know [q31 and q32 not asked] 33.[all adults] Changing topics, overall, how comfortable are you using the tools of modern information technology? 50% very comfortable 34 somewhat comfortable 7 not too comfortable 7 not at all comfortable 2 don’t know 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 34.[computer owners or Internet users only] Overall, how confident are you that you can keep things like computer viruses, spyware and adware off your home computer when you want to? 30% very confident 41 somewhat confident 17 not too confident 10 not at all confident 2 don’t know [q35 to q43 asked of all adults] 35.How important do you think it is for Californians to have access to the Internet? 72% very important 21 somewhat important 3 not too important 3 not at all important 1 don’t know 36.How important do you think it is for Californians to have high-speed broadband access to the Internet? 52% very important 31 somewhat important 8 not too important 4 not at all important 5 don’t know 37.Overall, thinking about the government’s role in improving the access and availability of broadband Internet technology, do you think the government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough? 11% more than enough 39 just enough 29 not enough 21 don’t know [rotate q38 and q39] Questionnaire and Results 38.How important to you is it that federal stimulus funds are spent on improving the access and availability of broadband Internet technology in California? 22% very important 34 somewhat important 18 not too important 21 not at all important 5 don’t know 39. How important to you is it that federal stimulus funds are spent on training programs that teach Californians how to use broadband Internet technology? 25% very important 31 somewhat important 20 not too important 21 not at all important 3 don’t know [rotate blocks: q40–q41 and q42–q43] 40. Do you think that Californians in lowerincome areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology, or not? 70% yes, less likely to have access 23 no, not less likely to have access 7 don’t know 41. How concerned are you that Californians in lower-income areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology? 22% very concerned 38 somewhat concerned 19 not too concerned 19 not at all concerned 2 don’t know 42.Do you think that Californians in rural areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology, or not? 61% yes, less likely to have access 27 no, not less likely to have access 12 don’t know June 2009 31 Californians and Information Technology 43.How concerned are you that Californians in rural areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology? 15% very concerned 35 somewhat concerned 25 not too concerned 21 not at all concerned 4 don’t know 44.[cell phone users only] Changing topics, do you ever use your cell phone to send or receive text messages? 65% yes 35 no 45.[cell phone users only] Do you ever use your cell phone to send or receive email messages? 29% yes 71 no 46.[cell phone users only] Do you ever use your cell phone to access the Internet? 30% yes 70 no 47.[cell phone Internet users only] About how often do you access the Internet using your cell phone? 30% several times a day 12 about once a day 10 3–5 days a week 12 1–2 days a week 9 every few weeks 14 less often 12 never 1 don’t know 48.Next, do you happen to have a game console like Xbox or PlayStation in your home? [if yes: Do you ever access the Internet or email using your game console?] 10% yes, and access the Internet 23 yes, but do not access the Internet 65 no, do not have console 2 don’t know 49.On another topic, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 77% yes [ask q49a] 23 no [skip to q50] 49a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 45% Democrat [skip to q51] 32 Republican [skip to q51] 3 another party [specify] [skip to q51] 20 independent [ask q50] 50.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 19% Republican Party 43 Democratic Party 30 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know 51.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 33% great deal 33 fair amount 23 only a little 10 none 1 don’t know 52.Would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate top to bottom] 11% very liberal 19 somewhat liberal 27 middle-of-the-road 24 somewhat conservative 14 very conservative 5 don’t know [d1–d4: demographic questions] d5. [parents with children 18 or under only] Are any of your children in elementary school? 60% yes [ask d5a] 40 no [skip to d5c] 32 PPIC Statewide Survey d5a. [parents with children in elementary school only] Do you ever visit the website of this child’s school? (if yes: Do you do this often or only sometimes?) 22% yes, often 33 yes, sometimes 45 no d5b. [parents with children in elementary school only] Do you ever receive this child’s homework assignments via the Internet or email? (if yes: Do you do receive these often or only sometimes?) 11% yes, often 13 yes, sometimes 76 no d5c. [parents with children 18 or under only] Are any of your children in middle school? 35% yes [ask d5d] 65 no [skip to d5f] d5d. [parents with children in middle school only] Do you ever visit the website of this child’s school? (if yes: Do you do this often or only sometimes?) 28% yes, often 23 yes, sometimes 49 no Questionnaire and Results d5e. [parents with children in middle school only] Do you ever receive this child’s homework assignments via the Internet or email? (if yes: Do you do receive these often or only sometimes?) 19% yes, often 17 yes, sometimes 64 no d5f. [parents with children 18 or under only] Are any of your children in high school? 38% yes [ask d5g] 62 no [skip to d6] d5g. [parents with children in high school only] Do you ever visit the website of this child’s school? (if yes: Do you do this often or only sometimes?) 27% yes, often 34 yes, sometimes 39 no d5h. [parents with children in high school only] Do you ever receive this child’s homework assignments via the Internet or email? (if yes: Do you do receive these often or only sometimes?) 16% yes, often 21 yes, sometimes 63 no [d6–d20: demographic questions] June 2009 33 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX-TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison International Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Raymond L. 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