More Vermonters have computers, many still lack broadband

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(Host) Many more Vermonters have computers now than in the past, but many of them don’t have high-speed access to the Internet.

The Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont has completed its annual Vermonter Poll and begun to release the results.

Will Sawyer works with the Center for Rural Studies.

(Sawyer) “What the new issues is in terms of Internet connectivity is whether or not you have a high-speed Internet connection. Dial-up doesn’t quite do it anymore, although around 18 percent of our respondents did have dial-up.”

(Host) But the Vermonter Poll finds that there’s a big difference between poorer and richer homes. Only 44 percent of households earning less than $25,000 a year has a computer.

Ninety-one-percent of households with higher incomes have computers.

There’s a similar divide between households with high-speed or dial-up connections.

Sawyer says the Vermonter Poll has concluded that fast connections to the Internet are vital.

(Sawyer) “When you live in the 21st century more and more of our educational resources, employment resources and entertainment resources are on the Internet now. They’re available on the Internet and in many cases the Internet is becoming the primary delivery tool of some of these resources.”

(Host) The Vermonter Poll interviewed 615 people in February. It has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. The Center for Rural Studies says it will be releasing more results in coming weeks.

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