Today in 1994, The Superhighway Summit was held at UCLA’s Royce Hall. It was the “first public conference bringing together all of the major industry, government and academic leaders in the field [and] also began the national dialogue about the Information Superhighway and its implications.” The conference was organized by Richard Frank of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and Jeffrey Cole and Geoffrey Cowan, the former co-directors of UCLA’s Center for Communication Policy. The keynote speaker was Vice President Al Gore who said: ”We have a dream for…an information superhighway that can save lives, create jobs and give every American, young and old, the chance for the best education available to anyone, anywhere.”
According to Cynthia Lee in UCLA Today: ”The participants underscored the point that the major challenge of the Information Highway would lie in access or the ‘gap between those who will have access to it because they can afford to equip themselves with the latest electronic devices and those who can’t.’”
The U.S. Census Bureau: “In 2011, 75.6 percent of households reported having a computer, compared with only 8.2 percent in 1984 (the first year that the Census Bureau asked about computer ownership), and 61.8 percent in 2003 (the last time the Census Bureau asked about computers prior to 2010). Similar shifts occurred for household Internet use, as 71.7 percent of households reported accessing the Internet in 2011, up from 18.0 percent in 1997 (the first year the Census Bureau asked about Internet use) and 54.7 percent in 2003.”
PewInternet: “As of May 2013, 15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the internet or email….
- 34% of non-internet users think the internet is just not relevant to them, saying they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.
- 32% of non-internet users cite reasons tied to their sense that the internet is not very easy to use. These non-users say it is difficult or frustrating to go online, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers. This figure is considerably higher than in earlier surveys.
- 19% of non-internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an internet connection.
- 7% of non-users cited a physical lack of availability or access to the internet.”