July 03, 2009

The United States is now in the middle of a third major transformation in home computing.

The first wave brought a computer to most homes: only eight percent of U.S. households had a computer in 1984, but more than half did by the year 2000.

The second wave brought home Internet use. Only 18 percent of U.S. households had home Internet connectivity in 1997—the first year the U.S. Census Bureau began keeping such statistics. This was less than half of the U.S. households with computers (Newburger, 2001). But the home Internet transformation was underway at a revolutionary pace in the late 1990s. By 2000, 42 percent of all households had someone using the Internet at home.

Moreover, the computer and the Internet had become intertwined into a unified technology, and more than 80 percent of all homes with a computer in 2000 were also homes with an Internet user.

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