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ERIC Number: ED561767
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 139
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-7765-2
A Mixed Method Case Study Investigation of the Digital Divide in West Virginia: Residential Broadband Saturation Levels and Obstacles to Adoption
Lee, Anna M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
In recent decades Internet usage as a ready service in the home has become an assumed part of everyday life for most Americans. There are, however, some without residential broadband Internet service. The literature defined this circumstance as the digital divide, a phenomena that was reportedly receding, but was a greater issue in rural areas of the country. Although West Virginia is among the most rural of states, no scholarly research had been conducted to examine the problem there. The intent of this mixed method study was to determine the magnitude of the problem of broadband non-adoption in West Virginia using secondary data from Internet service providers submitted to the Federal Communications Commission via Form 477. In the next segment of the research, residents meeting the criteria were interviewed to uncover reasons behind lack of residential broadband adoption, the disadvantages experienced as a result, and what would need to change for adoption to occur. The quantitative strand revealed that only 3 states had a poorer adoption percentage than West Virginia; 43% of West Virginia residents did not have broadband Internet service in the home compared to an average of 33% for other states. In the qualitative undertaking, 24 West Virginia residents representing all regions of the state shared their broadband-related experiences. It was discovered that cost of the service was the most common cause for non-adoption followed closely by lack of broadband availability at the residence. A variety of personal circumstances were also given for lack of broadband adoption. An overwhelming majority accessed the Internet via public wireless services, libraries, others' homes, and via smartphone. A wide range of disadvantages were identified as a result of the absence of residential broadband. These difficulties ranged from challenges to educational pursuits and job searches to conducting government and business activities. All primary digital divide circumstances identified in West Virginia were also found in the literature as well and a preponderance of topics in the literature was uncovered in the study. This is both encouraging in that the issues in West Virginia are well-known, but concerning because many obstacles have no apparent solution. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia