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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Computer and Internet Use Supplement to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey

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The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.


Submit comments on or before June 4, 2012.


Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, (202) 482-0336, Department of Commerce, Room 6612, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at


Requests for additional information or copies of the proposed information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Rafi Goldberg, Telecommunications Policy Analyst, Office of Policy Analysis and Development, NTIA, at (202) 482-1880 or


I. Abstract

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) proposes to add 12 questions to the U.S. Census Bureau's October 2012 Current Population Survey (CPS) in order to gather reliable data on broadband (also known as high-speed Internet) use by U.S. households. President Obama has established a national goal of universal, affordable broadband access for all Americans.[1] To that end, the Administration is working with Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and other stakeholders to develop and advance economic and regulatory policies that foster broadband deployment and adoption. Collecting current, systematic, and comprehensive information on broadband use and non-use by U.S. households is critical to allow policymakers not only to gauge progress made to date, but also to identify problem areas with a specificity that permits carefully targeted and cost-effective responses.

The Census Bureau (“the Bureau”) is widely regarded as a superior collector of data based on its centuries of experience and its scientific methods. Collection of NTIA's requested broadband usage data, moreover, will occur in conjunction with the Bureau's scheduled October 2012 Current Population Survey (CPS), thereby significantly reducing the potential burdens on the Bureau and on surveyed households. Questions on broadband and Internet use have been included in ten previous CPS surveys.

The U.S. government has an increasingly pressing need for comprehensive broadband data. The General Accountability Office (GAO), NTIA, and the FCC have issued reports noting the lack of useful broadband adoption data for policymakers, and Congress passed legislation—the Broadband Data Improvement Act in 2008 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009—wholly or partly in response to such criticisms. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) looks to Census Bureau data as an important input into their inter-country benchmark analyses. Modifying the October CPS to include NTIA's requested broadband data will allow the Commerce Department and NTIA to respond to congressional concerns and directives, and to work with the OECD on its broadband methodologies with more recent data. The change to this reinstatement will be a revised set of computer and Internet usage survey questions.

II. Method of Collection

Personal visits and telephone interviews, using computer-assisted telephone interviewing and computer-assisted personal interviewing.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0660-0021.

Form Number(s): None.

Type of Review: Regular submission (Reinstatement with change of a previously approved collection).

Affected Public: Individuals and households.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 54,000.

Estimated Time per Response: 3 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,700.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will be a matter of public record.

Dated: March 30, 2012.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.


[FR Doc. 2012-8103 Filed 4-3-12; 8:45 am]