Trump Administration Seeks Input on Next 'Net Use Study

White House
(Image credit: Future)

The Trump Administration is asking for input on what questions it should be asking, or not asking, in the next Internet Use Survey.

That is according to Rafi Goldberg, policy analyst for the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, the administration's chief communications policy advisory arm.

In a blog post, Goldberg said NTIA was still studying the results of its latest survey, conducted in November of last year in conjunction with the Census Bureau, but is already looking for ways to improve the survey, either questions that should be changed or deleted or ones that weren't asked but should be.

NTIA said it will revise the survey accordingly, with Census Bureau experts doing "cognitive testing" of the next survey to weed out any questions that could case "confusion or elicit inaccurate responses."

The November survey included more than 50 questions on everything from WiFi and streaming video use to whether they have ever been cyberbullied.

No mention of whether NTIA will add a question about whether respondents think Big Tech censors political speech, which NTIA, at President Trump's behest, has asked the FCC to potentially regulate.

Early returns from the November survey include that "a persistent digital divide still exists based on income levels, age groups, and race, among other factors" and that the gaps between Whites and other groups when it came to internet use was significant and deserved more study.

It also found that the use of smart TV's and TV-connected devices increased rapidly over the past decade, from 14% of respondents in 2011 to 41% in 2019.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.