Research: How is the digital divide evolving in 2024?

Research: How is the digital divide evolving in 2024?

From revealing the current state of connectivity in homes to exploring the potential of bridging the digital divide, this new research from Amdocs unveils challenges, opportunities, and more.

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Michael Zema

Corporate Communications

11 Apr 2024

Research: How is the digital divide evolving in 2024?

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According to The Changing Divide Report 2024, most American consumers (91%) now have dependable internet access. 

Nevertheless, as our homes become more interconnected and technology like GenAI changes our world, new obstacles are emerging that jeopardize the progress made - and may deepen the digital divide.

Conducted by Dynata, Amdocs surveyed 1,000 US consumers to look at the current state of the digital divide and connected homes, and here’s what we found:

Consumers are clear about the importance of connectivity

  • 84% of Americans consider internet connectivity a basic necessity – like electricity and running water. This number was highest (86%) among millennials, followed by GenZ (85%), the lowest being GenX (79%).

Connected devices in the home continue to increase exponentially

  • 39% of consumers have more than 6 connected devices in their home. Notably, 17% of low-income households have nine or more devices – up from 13% last year.

“With the pace of change continuing to accelerate around us, ubiquitous connectivity has truly become a non-negotiable. We’ve long acknowledged the impact that the digital divide has on underserved populations, but with profound technology changes like Generative AI democratizing access to data and changing the way we do business and live our lives, it has never been more important to focus on addressing that gap. In fact, because of this rapid technology change, individuals at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder actually stand to benefit even more disproportionately from connectivity than ever before, and that makes our role as global connectivity players and enablers even more essential."

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Anthony Goonetilleke

Group President of Technology and Head of Strategy at Amdocs

AI is considered a double-edged sword

  • 77% of Americans are concerned about the rise of AI and AI-infused experiences increasing the digital divide.
  • 27% of respondents said that businesses building more AI-infused experiences need to better prioritize how they address the digital divide.

Leading into the 2024 presidential election, the digital divide is a top interest

  • Nearly three-quarters (71%) of Americans say they believe it is important to consider closing the digital divide and improving the internet for all, an increase of 10% over 2023. This was nearly consistent across all generations – Baby Boomers (69%), Gen X (69%), Millennials (78%), and Gen Z (70%).

When asked who should be responsible for providing communities with reliable internet, most agree that it is some level of government.

  • Respondents pointed to the federal government – including Congress (11%), state government (11%), and local government (10%) – followed by an additional 11% saying all levels of government have a role to play. Just 20% say it’s up to businesses.

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