Digital Divide

In theory telecommunication are meant to bind us together, however as practice shows it often does the opposite. Digital divide refers to the inequalities between people, particularly it refers to the gap between regions and demographics that have access to modern information and communication technology, and those that don’t or have restricted across. And its not just about simply access to the technologies anymore but it also refers to those that have the necessary skills, knowledge, abilities to use the ICT. The divide exists between economic classes, between those who live in urban areas and those that are living in rural areas, who have education or those that don’t and a global scale, between those who are industrially advanced and those who are still in the developing state.

Until the late 20th century the divide split those with phone access and those without phone, which was the missing link in the Maitland Commission. Then with innovation in technology the focus of the divide became the Web: in 1995 the US Department of Commerce published ‘Falling through the net’ report- first report that looked at the digital divide, and found the racial, economic and geographic gap between those who have access to the internet and those that don’t.

Today the digital divide is a grand challenge that needs to be resolve because the lack of access and skills can lead to and reinforce disadvantages between individuals. Digital divide has the power to deprive the opportunities to be included and participate fully in the society, economy and other sectors. Lack of access to ICT in the age of modern technology will impact the individual’s career, lifestyle, safety. It will impact the skills and knowledge of the employees and general public participation.

Coming from a developing nation, seeing and even experiencing first hand the digital divide in terms of access to the internet not just in the nation, but also on a global scale I can say you there are many limitations and disparities.  In many cases children in rural areas (and at times in urban areas) do not have access to the internet, and thus have no access to recent information, they don’t have necessary skills to education, employment and many other opportunities to be part of an inclusive society.  This limits their opportunities on the competitive market, this impacts their communication skills with people their age, as well as their opportunity to learn more and have the chance to go or study abroad, because they lack the simple skills required in the technologically advanced world we live in.