WNC Internet & Computers Survey

Asheville.com recently sponsored an internet and computers survey by a Carolina Day School statistics class. Ingram Gillam, Melissa Johnson, Joe Masters, and Will Wolcott with teacher Howe Lagarde conducted a statistically accurate survey of the area. Here is their final report:
We randomly selected 400 phone numbers from the Asheville area (Buncombe County) by use of a computer random number generator. All selected numbers were called and 197 surveys were conducted (the others unwilling to participate or disconnected / invalid numbers). We phrased the questions as to discourage any bias in any answer. We analyzed the resulting data in the Minitab computer statistics package, and created all graphs in Microsoft Excel. All margins of error are at the 95% level.

Internet Access in Asheville
+/- 4.5%

Of the people surveyed, 30% have access to the internet through home or work. Of those who have computers, the majority either have internet access or are planning to connect in the next six months. The margin of error of 4.5% is fairly good, indicating that at least 25% and no more than 35% of Asheville is online.

With the percentages of computer owners and non-computer owners being so close, the margin of error is wide with 197 respondents. Thus, statistically, there is no clear indication which is in the majority in Asheville, although it is clear that there is close to a 50/50 split.
Computer Owners of Asheville
+/- 7%

Computer Users of Asheville
+/- 4%
Windows 95 is by far the dominant platform of Buncombe County, and a larger percentage of those computer users with Windows 95 are on the internet than with any other platform. The "other" category mainly covers those users who were unsure of which computer platform they were using, and none in that category were on the internet.

Most internet users of Asheville spend less than 10 hours a week online, but there is a small yet significant amount using the internet for more than 15 hours a week.
Hours Spent Using the Internet Per Week
+/- 3%

Internet Providers Used by Ashevillians
+/- 8%
America On-Line is the most popular internet provider for the area, with Mindspring (a National Internet Service Provider) at a very distant second. Even though the margin of error here is very wide (because we surveyed less than 100 Asheville internet users), it is still safe to say that National Online Services (like AOL) are much more popular in the area than Local Internet Service Providers.

Again, a very high margin of error makes this break-up a less-than-perfect analysis. However, with such markedly wide differences between business and pleasure, it seems apparent that most internet users of Buncombe County spend their time online for entertainment and enjoyment, not for work.
Internet Usage Breakup
+/- 9%

Please direct any questions about this survey to [email protected]