Rebeca Zuñiga

What elements contribute to the digital divide, and how can we bridge the gap?

The “digital divide” is the disparity between the proportion of people in a given area who have access to modern forms of electronic communication and those who do not. Cell phones, TVs, computers, and the Internet are all examples of this kind of technology.

When did this gap in technology access start appearing, and why?

The word “digital gap” did not begin to characterize Internet access differences until the late 20th century. However, since the late 1990s, the term “digital divide” has been almost exclusively used to characterize the gap between those who have and do not have access to the Internet and, more specifically, broadband.

Urban and rural residents, those with and without access to education, members of different socioeconomic groups, and nations at different stages of industrialization all experience greater differences in access to and use of digital technologies than those at the same socioeconomic status but in the same country.

There is still a digital gap, even in areas with some access to technology, as seen by lower standards in computer quality, slower wireless connections, cheaper internet usage connections like dial-up, and restricted access to subscription-based content.

The current chasm exists between people in terms of their access to digital media.

These research and publications show that the digital gap is still very much present in modern society. 15.3 million people in urban and metropolitan regions and 5 million people in rural areas do not have access to broadband Internet, according to 2019 research.

According to similar research conducted by the Pew Research Center, among individuals with annual salaries of less than $30,000, 40% do not have a home internet connection or possess a computer, and 24% do not own a smartphone.

People who aren’t on the cutting edge of technology typically lack access to high-speed Internet and wireless technologies like Wi-Fi.

In underdeveloped nations, the digital divide is widened by a lack of access to digital technology and internet connection. It could also involve a lack of access to fundamental 21st-century technology like mobile phones and wireless Internet.

There’s also something to bear in mind: the amount of bandwidth available varies drastically from place to place. Some of the slowest internet connections are found in countries like Venezuela and Paraguay; others, such as Egypt, Yemen, and Gabon, continue to battle this issue.

How to stop the digital divide.

Economic development, social mobility, and economic equality are things people feel would benefit from a smaller digital gap.

By celebrating World Information Society Day annually, the United Nations has contributed to a greater public understanding of the digital divide. As part of its efforts to reduce the digital gap, it has established the Information and Communication Technologies Task Force.

Corruption of the Internet Viral Outbreak of the Nineteenth Century has not made it simpler to close the digital gap.

McKinsey predicts a rise in the percentage of children who experience learning loss as more schools and students move toward online learning and as more kids from low-income households are expected to do their homework online at home.

Despite the rising popularity of on-demand video jobs like Netflix and Hulu and online education platforms like Coursera and Udacity, not everyone has access to the high-speed internet connections necessary to take advantage of these increasing trends.

In response, several nonprofits distribute laptops and internet connectivity to schools and low-income areas.


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