Wireless Technology is Vital for the African American Community

Wireless Technology is Vital for the African American Community

Over the past decade wireless technology has become vital to all Americans but in particular our African American community. Wireless technology is now a fundamental part of African Americans’ personal and professional lives and has played a decisive role in bridging the “digital divide” across the United States.

The evolution of mobile broadband has also become one of the most prominent ways African Americans access the Internet. We recently released a new infographic highlighting stats about African American’s mobile broadband use.

According to the Pew Research Center 56% of African Americans own a smartphone and 74% of African Americans rely on wireless for Internet access. Pew also found that 67% of African Americans use wireless to look up healthcare information, 45% use wireless to access government services, 55% use wireless to look for jobs, and 31% use wireless technology to apply for jobs. Mobile broadband has opened the door to information and opportunity that did not previously exist in African Americans communities – when Internet access was not so easily accessible.

However, Due to the ever growing consumer demand the lifeblood of this innovative and essential service know as spectrum is currently in short supply. Spectrum is the invisible infrastructure that carries traffic to a consumers’ device. Earlier this year the Brattle Group estimated that more than 350 MHz of spectrum will be needed by 2019 just to keep up with current consumer demand – which according to Cisco stands to grow six-fold from 2014 to 2019.

The good news, Congress is taking this issue head on. This week the House and Senate Commerce Committees held hearings regarding developing a long-term spectrum strategy. It is imperative that Congress act quickly to ensure there is enough spectrum in the market to meet growing consumer demand for mobile broadband – especially for African Americans.

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