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Encyclopedia > Global digital divide

The global digital divide is a term used to describe “great disparities in opportunity to access the Internet and the information and educational/business opportunities tied to this access … between developed and developing countries” (Lu 2001 p. 1). Unlike the traditional notion of the "digital divide" between social classes, the "global digital divide" is essentially a geographical division. A developing country is a country with low average income compared to the world average. ...

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The global digital divide v. the digital divide

The "global digital divide" is distinguishable from the "digital divide", a phenomenon wherein the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, at least with respect to technology, as the gap between the technological haves and have-nots widens. The concept of the digital divide was originally popularized with regard to the disparity in Internet access between rural and urban areas of the United States of America. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...


Unlike the case in many classical economic analyses of income disparity, there is no claim in this case that the developed nations' advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) have fed off the labor or resources of developing nations. Conversely, there is generally no claim that developing nations are faring absolutely worse because developed nations are doing better. ... A developing country is a country with low average income compared to the world average. ...


The geographical divide

It is clear that developed nations with the resources to invest in and develop ICT infrastructure are reaping enormous benefits from the information age, while developing nations are trailing along at a much slower pace. This difference in rates of technological progress is widening the economic disparity between the most developed nations of the world (primarily Canada, the United States, Japan, and Western Europe) and the underdeveloped and developing ones (primarily Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia), thus creating a digital (that is, digitally fostered) divide. This global divide is often characterized as falling along what is sometimes called the north-south divide of "northern" wealthier nations and "southern" poorer ones. A common understanding of Western Europe in modern times. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The promise and potential of the Internet

The Internet has been hailed as a “great equalizer” (Brynjolfsson and Smith 2000), a revolutionary technological tool that enables efficient transfer of information on a global scale. This global information could be used for international trade, online digital libraries, online education, telemedicine, e-government and many other applications that would solve vital problems in the developing world. International trade is the exchange of goods and services across international boundaries or territories. ... A digital library is a library in which a significant proportion of the resources are available in machine-readable format (as opposed to print or microform), accessible by means of computers. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with e-learning. ... The term Telemedicine is the delivery of medicine at a distance. ... The term (in all its uses) is generally agreed to derive from electronic government which introduces the notion and practicalities of electronic technology into the various dimensions and ramifications of government. ...


The fundamental commonality of this class of problems is the realization that the developed nations have in abundance many of the resources that the developing ones could use to solve some of their problems, but geographical, political and cultural barriers exist that make it difficult or impossible for these solutions to be transferred effectively.


Other proposed solutions that the Internet promises for developing countries are the provision of efficient communications within and among developing countries, so that citizens can effectively help each other to solve their own problems. Sources of widespread public information such as television broadcasting, telephone services, educational institutions and public libraries are taken for granted in developed countries. In developing countries, however, such infrastructure is seriously deficient, and this cripples citizens’ ability to gather information and coordinate with each other to solve their problems. Through its ability to promote the efficient dissemination of information, the Internet promises huge improvements to internal communications in and among developing countries.


Global issues that causes Digital Divide 1.Money/Cost


In countries such as West Africa for example connection costs cost 66 times as much as they do in a country such as United States of America making a financial struggle for these poorer countries. In Africa there is a ratio of 3 computers to 1000 of people that have access to a computer. Most people in poorer country’s are trapped on the wrong side of the ‘Digital Divide’. Solutions to try and solve this problem solutions have been made up; recently ‘The United Nations’ have come up with a strategy called ‘The Digital Solidarity Fund’. This solution that the ‘United Nations’ have came up with, is where they raise money for less wealthy country’s so that new communication technologies can be shared to less privileged countries so that they don’t fall further behind in the Digital Divide.


Obstacles to overcoming the global digital divide

However, before all these promises can be realized, basic obstacles must be overcome. There is the initial problem of actually buying and deploying computers inside developing nations, as well as assorted networking and communications technologies. All these machines require parts, and may have to be regularly maintained by trained technicians. Though much cheaper than in the past, bandwidth must be paid for if peering agreements cannot be negotiated. Bandwidth is a measure of frequency range and is typically measured in hertz. ... Peering is the practice of exchanging Internet traffic with peers. ...


Users must be trained to use computers efficiently to find information on the Internet. If information is not in the users' native language, it must be translated or the users must be educated to basic proficiency in a language in which information is widely available, like English. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Needless to say, completing all of the above requires enormous investments of money, in countries where money is scarce and is often drained by corruption and inefficiency.


Concrete examples of the global digital divide

In the early 21st century, residents of First World countries enjoy many Internet services which are not yet widely available in Third World countries, including: The terms First World, Second World, and Third World were used to divide the nations of Earth into three broad categories. ... For the Jamaican reggae band, see Third World (band). ...

Look up home in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up work in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Librarians and patrons in a typical larger urban public library. ... E-Corner First internet cafe, was located at Waverley station An Internet cafe or cybercafe is a place where one can use a computer with Internet access for a fee, usually per hour or minute; sometimes one can have unmetered access with a pass for a day or month, etc. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Electronic commerce, EC, e-commerce or ecommerce consists primarily of the distributing, buying, selling, marketing, and servicing of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. ... Credit cards A credit card system is a type of retail transaction settlement and credit system, named after the small plastic card issued to users of the system. ... Damaged package The Panama canal. ... Google Earth, a highly detailed virtual globe that comes with atmosphere effects, seabed and even a simplified planetarium A virtual globe is a 3D software model or representation of the Earth or another world. ... Research is often described as an active, diligent, and systematic process of inquiry aimed at discovering, interpreting and revising facts. ... Lexis redirects here. ... ProQuest Company is an Ann Arbor, Michigan based company specializing in microfilm and electronic publishing. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Online shopping directories. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Consumers are individuals or households that consume goods and services generated within the economy. ... In economics and business, the price is the assigned numerical monetary value of a good, service or asset. ... A drawing of a self-service store Retailing consists of the sale of goods/merchandise for personal or household consumption either from a fixed location such as a department store or kiosk, or away from a fixed location and related subordinated services (Definition of the WTO (last page). ... Electronic services delivery or ESD is the form of providing government services through the Internet. ... A tax (also known as a duty) is a financial charge or other levy imposed on an individual or a legal entity by a state or a functional equivalent of a state (e. ... One pays a fee as renumeration for services, especially the honorarium paid to a doctor, lawyer or member of a learned profession. ... A fine is money paid as a financial punishment for the commission of minor crimes or as the settlement of a claim. ...

See also

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was a series of United Nations-sponsored conferences about information and communication that took place in 2003 and 2005. ... The $100 laptop is an education project for creating an inexpensive laptop computer intended to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education. ...

References

  • Brynjolfsson, Erik and Michael D. Smith (2000). The great equalizer? Consumer choice behavior at Internet shopbots. Journal article, July 2000. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.
  • Lu, Ming-te (2001). Digital divide in developing countries. Journal of Global Information Technology Management (4:3), pp. 1-4.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Global digital divide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (898 words)
Unlike the traditional notion of the "digital divide" between social classes, the "global digital divide" is essentially a geographical division.
The concept of the digital divide was originally popularized with regard to the disparity in Internet access between rural and urban areas of the United States of America.
This global divide is often characterized as falling along what is sometimes called the north-south divide of "northern" wealthier nations and "southern" poorer ones.
The Digital Divide (8296 words)
Given variations in wealth and related factors, the digital divide between wealthy and less wealthy nations will undoubtedly persist, but this does not mean that conditions are not improving in the latter.
The Global Digital Divide Initiative was launched at the Annual Meeting 2000 in Davos with the purpose of developing and propagating creative public-private sector initiatives to bridge the global digital divide.
Digital opportunity initiatives are unlikely to succeed fully unless the wider economic environment is healthy and conducive to private enterprise.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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