The results of a recent survey of LA County likely voters demonstrates public demand for public solutions.
The results from our recent survey of 1,205 Los Angeles County likely voters demonstrates public demand for public solutions that ensure affordable, reliable, and fast internet service is available for everyone.
The survey, which took place from June 7th to 16th, 2023, examined the importance of internet access, affordability, and the government’s role in ensuring equitable and reliable connectivity. The findings demonstrate that internet access is considered a necessity for functioning and participating in society, and there is strong support for government involvement in ensuring these needs are met.
These findings are released as the state is finalizing its plans for deploying $1.8 billion in additional federal funding for broadband projects under the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program (BEAD). Led by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the draft plan for utilizing these funds was released in mid-July, and the areas, entities and projects eligible to apply will be determined within the next several months.
While public support for addressing digital equity has been consistently high, this poll brings to the forefront overwhelming support from voters for government involvement in developing public solutions to the challenge of the digital divide. The survey shows that LA County likely voters strongly support robust government involvement in the provision and regulation of high-speed internet service. A large majority (85%) of likely voters support the local government guaranteeing that everyone has access to reliable, fast, and affordable internet service. This support is even higher among Black voters (93%) and Hispanic voters (89%). Additionally, 84% of likely voters support local government initiatives such as offering free Wi-Fi access throughout the community, with Black and Hispanic voters showing even stronger support at 89% and 88%, respectively.
LA County voters share their perspectives on digital equity.
- Internet access seen as a necessity
The survey reveals that voters across Los Angeles County recognize internet access as a necessity for participating in today’s world, with 87% of likely voters agreeing that reliable and fast internet service is necessary for critical tasks.
- Support for affordable and reliable internet service
An overwhelming majority of likely voters (85%) believe it is important for everyone to have access to reliable, fast, and affordable home internet service. This sentiment is shared across all demographic groups, including age, with 56% of seniors and 58% of 18-34-year-olds considering high-speed internet access as critical for a productive and comfortable life.
- Widespread dependence on reliable internet access
More than half of likely voters (56%) use their home internet frequently for work, but only 37% consider their home internet access as excellent at meeting their needs. Affordability and reliability are also concerns, with only 21% rating the value for the money they pay and affordability as excellent, and 36% saying their service’s reliability is excellent
- Voters face tough trade-offs to afford Internet access
Over half of likely voters (56%) shared that they face a “significant burden” or “somewhat of a burden” in order to pay for their home internet service. Of those voters, many have had to make substantial life changes in order to pay for internet services, including purchasing less food (33% of Black voters and 34% of Hispanic voters) and not taking prescription medicine (13% of all voters).
The findings in this memo are based on a survey conducted June 7th through 16th , 2023 among a representative sample of 1,205 likely Los Angeles County voters who voted in the 2022 midterm elections. This includes an over-sample of 100 additional interviews each in the 1st and 4th Supervisorial Districts. The sampling margin of error for the full survey sample of 1,205 is +/- 2.8%. The margin of error may be larger for sub-samples.
The study was conducted online in English and Spanish. All the numbers in this document are presented as percentages and, due to rounding, may not add up to 100%.