What Digital Divide?

  • by February 16, 2001
Hispanics and Asians in America are more likely to be online at home than Caucasians and African-Americans, and over the next five years their Internet penetration rates will grow several times faster than the rest of the population, says a new market research report by INSIGHT RESEARCH.

According to INSIGHT's report "Web Portals, ISPs, IP Telephony and the Ethnic Consumer: Bridging the Digital Divide," the rapidly growing ethnic population represents a substantial opportunity for ISPs and Web portals that can attract these consumers with in-language, in-culture messages and specialized content. By 2005, U.S. ethnic groups will spend $3.1 billion on Internet access, a staggering amount that is nearly equal to the $3.3 billion total U.S. Internet access market in the year 2000.

"This is not to say targeting ethnic communities is a sure-fire bet," says INSIGHT president Robert Rosenberg. "If Web portals are too narrowly focused, overdeveloped, and undifferentiated from their competitors, they too can fail.

"But when ethnic sites go beyond in-language translations and move in the direction of cultural interest to address the special communities they serve, they have the potential to induce a loyalty not usually associated with more generic websites."

- Anya Khait

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