Public access is the only option for Internet access for many

The previous post on findings from the Global Impact Study’s User Profiles working paper discussed that public access ICT venues provide many people with the opportunity to first use computers and particularly the Internet. This finding leads to the question of why people first experience using computers and the Internet at public access venues.

One potential, and logical, reason is that they do not have access to a computer and the Internet at home. Findings from our public access user survey reveal that while many people have computers in their homes, especially in Brazil, Chile, and Ghana, Internet access at home is lacking. Even in Chile, where overall connectivity is high, only 33% of the users surveyed have access to the Internet at home. Brazil users enjoy the highest percentage of Internet access at home, but at 40%, it is less than half of the users we surveyed. Only a quarter of  users in Ghana and the Philippines have Internet, and not even 15% of users in Bangladesh have access at home.

Computer & Internet penetration in user households; Sciadas, G., with Lyons, H., Rothschild, C., & Sey, A. (2012)