City study: Low-income areas five times as likely to lack internet access

Mar 4, 2019, 12:19 PM | Updated: Mar 5, 2019, 10:17 am

A new study from the City of Seattle revealed that while 95 percent of Seattle households report internet access in their homes, people living in low-income communities are five to seven times more likely than  average residents to not have adequate internet access.

RELATED: Inslee issues proposal for state broadband office
RELATED: Seattle group fights to make broadband a public utility

“We know that access to technology is a race and social justice issue,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a foreward to the study. “We must strive to make sure that all our communities have access to high-speed internet and the skills they need to compete in our constantly-connected world.”

The study found that 99 percent of households making $50,000 or more annually have internet access. That number dropped to 79 percent for households making less than $25,000 a year.

Among the top reasons why some residents do not use the internet more were: Internet service is too expensive (57 percent), too slow/frustrating/internet doesn’t work well (34 percent), and service plans from internet providers are confusing (26 percent).

In her foreward, Mayor Durkan cited a handful of solutions Seattle employed to increase internet access. That list included more access to free public Wi-Fi at community centers and libraries, circulating internet hotspots to Seattle Public Library cardholders, and equipping tiny house villages with internet.

“I am committed to making sure that Seattle continues to lead the way on digital inclusion,” said Durkan. “We need the support of the entire community, and I invite both the private and public sectors to join us in this important work.”

The study did not address more out-of-the-box  solutions like a municipal broadband network, or Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal for a state broadband office.

Local News

FILE - A flyer seeking information about the killings of four University of Idaho students who were...
Associated Press

Idaho police seek car seen near site where 4 students killed

Police are asking for help finding the occupant of a car that was seen near where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death last month, saying that person could have "critical information" about the case.
20 hours ago
gun violence...
Heather Bosch

Family of murdered business owner helping other victims of gun violence

Two months since the murder of Seattle businessman D'Vonne Pickett Junior, his family is already helping other victims of gun violence.
20 hours ago
Micki Gamez

What to do if you experience loneliness around the holidays

Loneliness happens to the best of us, and most of us have experienced it at one point in our lifetime, explains Micki Gamez.
20 hours ago
Sam Campbell

Tacoma officer: Troyer said newspaper carrier did not threaten him

The trial of Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer took a marked turn Wednesday as a key witness appeared to hand the prosecution its case.
20 hours ago
Chris Martin

Christmas crab dinner could be too expensive this year

For many people, the holidays aren't complete without a crab feast, and seafood retailers are relying on Dungeness more than ever.
20 hours ago
Photo from KIRO 7...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Some Metro trips canceled after steering system issue found in buses

Some King County Metro bus trips are being canceled after more than 100 buses were removed from service due to a mechanical issue.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
City study: Low-income areas five times as likely to lack internet access