Access to Global Information—a Case of Digital Divide in Bangladesh

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Proceedings of the IATUL Conferences 2007 IATUL Proceedings

Access to Global Information—A case of Digital Divide in Bangladesh Anisur Rahman
Senior Asst. Director and Head Library and Information Division Northern University Bangladesh

Anisur Rahman, "Access to Global Information—A case of Digital Divide in Bangladesh." Proceedings of the IATUL Conferences. Paper 25. http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/iatul/2007/papers/25

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Access to Global Information—A case of Digital Divide in Bangladesh Md. Anisur Rahman Senior Asst. Director and Head Library and Information Division Northern University Bangladesh 3/18 Iqbal Road, Asad Avenue Mohammadpur, Dhaka 1207 Bangladesh Email: anisdacca@gmail.com

Abstract. ICTs can reduce communication costs and break down geographical borders. In the developed nations government policies are being established which attempt to ensure that all citizens will get the opportunity to access the effective use of ICTs in order to enable them to participate in the educational, social and economic activities and democratic processes. Developed countries are getting much benefit from the advancement of ICTs. There is digital divide between developed and developing countries. The term digital divide has been applied to the gap that exists in most countries between those with ready access to the tools of ICTs, and those without such access or skills. In other words, it is the gap between the have’s and the have not’s. The digital divide around the world is usually measured through statistical indices such as the number of telephone lines, personal computers, websites and Internet users and their ratio to the total population. This paper reviews the papers on issues related to digital divide that are affecting so many citizen in developing countries especially in Bangladesh and the factors that alienate people from enjoying the benefits of ICTs. The author recommends possible strategies that can be implemented in developing countries to reverse the widening gap of digital divide. Keywords: Digital divide, ICT, Internet, Bangladesh

1. Introduction Computers, modern telecommunication and the Internet all reduce communication costs and break down geographical borders. Information and communication technologies serve as powerful tools for empowering people, benefit business and virtually link people around the world to share their views, ideas and innovation. 2. Concept of Information Technology Information technology today handles information in every conceivable form, whether music, video, graphics, speech, data, text. It also embraces an increasing range of technologies. Information technology is the use of modern technology to aid the capture, processing, storage and retrieval, and communication of information, whether in the form of numerical data, text, sound, or image. IT has a great impact on the societies. IT has impact on employment, education and training, commerce, at home, arts (music, animation and visual effects, writing, games), and all aspects of public administration and national defense. 3. Digitization The globalization and localization of information and cultural values are basically predicated on digital technology. The invention of e-mail and the WWW leading to digital transmission 1

is the certainly the second digital revolution. Digital scanners and cameras can now be used to capture digital images for importation into computer systems. In the current information revolution, almost everything is digital TV, radio, air-conditioned, cars, airplane, refrigerators, industrial plants and telecommunication systems. 4. Digital divide This digital revolution has created a brand new economic sector that simply did not exist before. Computers, modern telecommunication and the Internet...
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