ICTs and ISD–Digital Divide

ICTs, or Information and Communications Technologies, are technologies that offer access to information through communication. The term refers to both the physical hardware and the cyber infrastructure that people use to send and receive information and communicate with. Because these are so essential to everyday life now in the 21st century, reports such as “The Missing Link” by the International Telecommunications Union and “Falling Through the Net” by the National Telecommunications and Information Agency highlight the disparities in access to ICTs. Continue reading


Access to ICT’s in Sustainable Development

One of the most vital aspects of sustainable development is the role of technology. Access to internet, cell phones, and other technologies are incredibly important to staying connected and not feeling isolated from society and the rest of the world. Moreover, technology can propel economies to develop. With universal access to technology, economies are able to enter new markets and connect with others. Yet, many still do not have access to the Internet and other technologies. Without digital data transfer, one’s choices are limited in multiple different aspects. In other words, academic, political, economic and educational opportunities are restricted without access to the Internet in today’s world.

The Maitland Commission Report was submitted by the Independent Commission for World-Wide Telecommunications Development in 1985. It highlighted the imbalance of telecommunications access in developing countries compared to developed countries. Essentially, the report outlines a direct correlation between access to telecommunications and a country’s economic growth. This report is most interesting because it is a valuable piece of literature that points to the need for modern telecommunications development. Similarly, the World Summit on the Information Society was a summit with two phases, one taking place in Geneva in 2003, and the other in Tunis in 2005. Not only did this summit aim to bridge the global digital divide between rich and poor countries, it was located in both what is termed the Global North and the Global South.

Similarly, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is located within the U.S. Department of Commerce, oversees telecommunications policies. The goal of NTIA is to provide universal access to affordable telephone service throughout the United States. Through their research titled Falling Through the Net, the organization focuses on both rural and urban settings that do not have access to the internet. Their research also highlights the disparities between minority and age groups as well as those less educated. The Falling Through the Net report explicates that the lowest telephone and computer access is prevalent in Northeast cities and in areas in the South. Ultimately, the NTIA explicates that it is necessary for federal, state, and local policymakers to first target public schools and libraries to provide access to disadvantaged families, and then expand NII networks into individual households. Having been published in 1995, I find it fascinating that in almost 20 years access to the Internet has grown exponentially. It is almost impossible to imagine not having any kind of access, although it does persist in certain areas.




ICTs and Sustainable Development

Information Communication Technologies, or ICTs, refer to communication technologies like the telephone, the internet, cell phones, other wireless networks, and more. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasize the integration of ICTs in development, especially in SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). Not only do ICTS help the environment by reducing the need to travel over long distances or use paper, they also significantly contribute to development. Continue reading

ICTs and Inclusive Sustainable Development

Can you imagine living in a world without access to a telephone or the internet? Neither can I.  We live in a completely interconnected, globalized world where communication across boundaries is a key aspect of development.  However, not everyone has equal access to the tools needed to allow this communication to happen.  Reports such as The International Telecommunication Union’s, “The Missing Link”and the NTIA’s “Falling through the Net” shed light on this issue of limited ICT availability in rural and poor communities.  Continue reading

ICTs and Sustainable Development

ICTs play such a critical role globally that economies, human health and safety, and social welfare are tied to them inseparably. Conversely, lacking access to ICTs can jeopardize the quality of issues that are tied to, isolating and confining individuals to limited options. While the innovations in technology have made ICTs more adaptable to different environments and have a diverse enough number of operators that their reach has spread even to sparsely populated and rural areas, there are still swaths of people in developed and developing countries alike that don’t have sufficient access to ICTs. Continue reading