Broadband Adoption| Free Library Hot Spots: Supporting Broadband Adoption in Philadelphia's Low-Income Communities

Colin Rhinesmith


Earlier studies of broadband adoption have focused on Internet use in the home. This article suggests that Internet use outside the home can provide a context in which meaningful measures of broadband adoption can be developed. Findings are presented from a study of the Free Library of Philadelphia Hot Spots, which used an innovative community engagement strategy to bring broadband technology and library services to underserved neighborhoods. The study shows that the sense of comfort (i.e., support, trust, safety, and respect) at the Hot Spots was important to residents as a precursor to technology access and use, and it suggests that these factors be considered in broadband policies to support sustainable broadband adoption in low-income communities.

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