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Technology Access and Adoption Study

The City of Seattle gathers information from the community to learn more about residents' access and use of technology and internet services, barriers to use, and the support needed to help ensure all residents have the same opportunities. Our Technology Access and Adoption Study helps guide digital equity programs and funding for Seattle residents. It has been a model for others and has provided the city and our digital equity partners with quality local data and depth on key topics.

The 2023 Community Update

An updated survey and focus groups are underway in 2023 to update the last study done in 2018. A lot has changed with the Covid-19 pandemic and this survey will gauge progress and remaining barriers for communities in need. We are working with Pacific Market Research, Olympic Research & Strategy, and Inclusive Data. This will also be the first update since passage of the City's Internet for All resolution in 2020. If you use the internet and computers often, rarely or never, your voice is valuable. 

This spring, we are contacting 20,000 residents in the City of Seattle who have been randomly selected to participate in the general study. If you are selected and receive a notification postcard, survey packet, or email, we hope you will take the time to respond.  The survey should only take about 15 minutes to fill out and resources are available to help you complete the survey as needed. The survey will be made available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Somali, Amharic, Korean and Tagalog. Information provided is used only for the survey study. Your address or any personally identifiable information are not connected to the survey results.

This year's community survey and focus groups are intended to continue improving the inclusion of diverse voices, collect actionable data, respond to critical issues that have surfaced, and use best practices in responsive community information gathering. 

Background and History

The City's Technology Access and Adoption community study and data reporting began in 2000 and is guided by our Internet for All Goals, goals for technologically healthy community, and valuable advice from our Community Technology Advisory Board and other community members and City partners.  The study has been conducted every 4-5 years. 

The last survey, done in 2018, marked the fifth time this research was conducted. These findings help the City of Seattle understand how Seattle residents use technology and the internet. The study also identifies barriers that prevent residents from utilizing digital technologies, which then informs the City's work to ensure access, services and resources necessary for all Seattle residents to thrive.

The results of this research effort provide a comprehensive view into Seattle residents' access and adoption of internet and technology. Key metrics in 2018 were compared to the City of Seattle 2014 Information Technology and Adoption in Seattle Report as well as to the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) for Seattle on digital device ownership and adoption and internet connectivity. 

Though 2018 was the fifth time this research was conducted, some important changes were made to the approach as well as the objectives and question lines. Past surveys also examined barriers, but the 2018 survey provides more depth to the analysis of connectivity levels, as well as attitudes, perceptions, frustrations, barriers, and skill level when it comes to digital engagement. The goal was to present a holistic view of digital engagement and explore not only adoption of devices and access percentages, but also the reasons for those levels of adoption.


For the purposes of the 2018 study, we chose to use the term digital engagement to characterize a level of involvement and capacity by individuals and households to use digital information and communications tools to perform daily activities, including civic and community participation.


Information Technology

Jim Loter, Interim Chief Technology Officer
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2700, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94709, Seattle, WA, 98124-4709
Phone: (206) 684-0600
Phone Alt: Cable TV & Internet Discount Information: (206) 684-8498
SeattleIT@seattle.gov

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