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Broadband Growth Slowing In U.S.

Americans' adoption of broadband has slowed dramatically this year, and a majority believes that making high-speed Internet access affordable should not be a major government priority, research released Wednesday found. The study by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that two-thirds of Americans currently use broadband at home, a number that's statistically the same as a similar Pew study conducted the same time in 2009. The research firm last year found 63 percent of Americans were broadband adopters.

The latest findings were mirrored across a range of demographic groups, with the exception of African Americans. Broadband adoption in the latter group stood at 56 percent, which was up from 46 percent a year ago. Over the last year, the broadband adoption gap between blacks and whites had been cut nearly in half, Pew said.

The study also found that the majority of Americans did not believe high-speed Internet access to everyone in the U.S. should be a top priority for the federal government. Fully 53 percent of Americans said affordable broadband access should not be attempted by government or was "not too important" a priority.

People who were not currently online were particularly against government trying to expand broadband access. Of this group, 45 percent were against government intervention, while just 5 percent said broadband access should be a top government priority. People under age 30 and African Americans were most likely to favor expanded government efforts, with older American being the most likely to oppose such federal action.

Americans' lack of urgency in spreading broadband access could possibly be explained by the mixed views they had on its importance. The Pew study found that there was not a major issue on which a majority of Americans believed the lack of broadband access was a major disadvantage.

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