ERIC Number: ED340351
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
A Telecommunications Education Needs Assessment Study of Residents in South Central, South East, and South West Los Angeles.
Mitchell, Regene L.
This study was intended to identify unmet telecommunications education needs of residents in south central, southeast, and southwest Los Angeles, together with the border communities in the cities of Inglewood and South Gate; identify the level of sophistication of the average consumer regarding the usefulness or need of specific telecommunications products and services; identify consumers' level of understanding and concerns with telecommunications issues and trends; and present recommendations to consumer educators. The investigation included reviews of the literature on telecommunications and the marketplace and on needs assessment, as well as a survey of a sample of 1,494 residents of these low and middle income areas. Data were analyzed by means of frequency distribution at a 0.05 level of significance. Results indicated that: (1) many consumers are confused by the new telecommunications marketplace; (2) for many, the phrase "phone company" represents all telecommunications services; (3) a number of telecommunications consumers do not use the enhanced services they have purchased; (4) average monthly bills of the target population are astronomical given the income levels and geographic location of this population; (5) only 62% of respondents read their bills; (6) less than half the respondents read the telephone company's messages to consumers in their bill inserts; (7) telecommunication services for individuals with special needs are not effectively publicized; (8) terminology such as "fiber optics" is foreign to a majority of the consumers; (9) some respondents view the possibility of the caller I.D. feature as a deterrent to obscene and/or anonymous calls; and (10 ) they consider the public telephone system to be unreliable and inadequate. Suggested recommendations include provision of touch tone telephones at no cost to consumers; follow-up level of use studies; increased dissemination of information about changes in services, rate increases, and special services; and periodic checks of consumer bills for accuracy. Appendices contain the survey instrument and census data. (27 references; 61 tables) (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: California Public Utilities Commission.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; California (Los Angeles)