Definition of Digital Divide and Forms

Posted by Sohail Khatri  |  at  8:16 PM No comments

Definition of Digital Divide and Forms The term digital divide refers to the gap between those people with effective access to digital and information technology and those without access to it. It includes the imbalances in physical access to technology, as well as the imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen. In others words, it’s the unequal access by some members of the society to information and communications technology, and the unequal acquisition of related skills. Groups often discussed in the context of a digital divide include socioeconomic (rich/poor), racial (white/minority), or geographical (urban/rural). The term global digital divide refers to differences in technology access between countries.

Many expressions were used to describe the dichotomy of people’s participation or not in the Information Society such as information poor/ rich or have/ have not, but the most widely spread now is the "Digital Divide". Used by most international organizations, this expression has become the reference term. At first, some narrower definitions of the digital divide were focused only on access to computers and Internet but access alone does not bridge the technology gap. As a result, definitions are much wider today. "The term 'digital divide' describes the fact that the world can be divided into people who do and people who don't have access to - and the capability to use - modern information technology, such as the telephone, television, or the Internet. The digital divide exists between those in cities and those in rural areas. It also exists between the educated and the uneducated, between economic classes, and, globally, between the more and less industrially developed nations".

• "The digital divide is the "Differences based on race, gender, geography, economic status, and physical ability:
• In access to information, the Internet and other information technologies and services
• In skills, it refers to the gap between knowledge, abilities to use internet and abilities to use technologies".
There are two different forms of Digital divide, one between countries but also between groups within a country. Bridges organization extensive report puts it in these terms "Real disparities exist in access to and use of information and communications technology (ICT) between countries (the "international digital divide or global digital divide") and between groups within countries (the "domestic digital divide")"

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