Most rural Nebraskans are getting online with their smart phone, according to a new poll.
This year’s Nebraska Rural Poll found 70% of respondents use the internet on their cell phone.
Becky Vogt, survey research manager with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Agricultural Economics, says 82% of those in rural areas subscribe to high speed internet service at home.
“We still are finding some gaps within different groups,” Vogt tells Nebraska Radio Network. “For example, older people, people with lower household incomes, and people with lower education levels are still lagging behind in having access to these types of services.”
She says that affects quality of life and standard of living for those groups.
“People are using it to find job postings and to apply for jobs. People are using it for entertainment, which is especially important in the rural areas when there are fewer options available. They can also do shopping, keeping in touch with family and friends, learning new things.”
The poll shows most rural Nebraskans see value in having high-speed internet access, but only 42% think it is important for monitoring or managing health care.
Vogt says satisfaction of mobile internet service is around 60%, while 23% are dissatisfied.
“Overall, they tend to be satisfied with the reliability, speed, customer service, and coverage when we asked about their mobile service,” she says, “but most are still dissatisfied with the price of their service.”
The annual Nebraska Rural Poll shows low income households are more likely than higher incomes households to be satisfied with the price of their mobile Internet service.