The Broadband Gap—Who’s Not Online in America Today

Episode 80

The Broadband Gap—Who’s Not Online in America Today

Stat: 21 million: The number of Americans not connected to broadband internet, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Story: While most Americans are managing remote work, learning, and even participating in social gatherings online during the pandemic, there are still millions of Americans who don’t have access to high-speed internet where they live. Kathryn de Wit, manager of Pew’s broadband research initiative, explains who’s not online and shares what some states and communities are doing to bridge connectivity gaps.

Related resources:

Progress Made by States in 2019 Is Key to Increasing Broadband

21 Million Americans Still Lack Broadband Connectivity

53% of Americans Say the Internet Has Been Essential During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Digital gap between rural and nonrural America persists

About a quarter of rural Americans say access to high-speed internet is a major problem

State Broadband Policy Explorer


After the Fact


States of Innovation

The front facade of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.

Agenda for America

A collection of resources to help federal, state, and local decision-makers set an achievable agenda for all Americans

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.


Who's Not Online in America Today?

Quick View

Having access to reliable, high-speed internet is not a reality for many millions of people across the United States. With so many of Americans’ day-to-day tasks—such as learning and working—relying on broadband access, what are communities doing to get more people connected?