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The Digital Divide

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What are the causes and consequences of the digital divide? To what extent is there a global dimension to this divide?
Is the divide narrowing or widening?

The digital divide marks the gap between those who have access and utilize Information communication technologies and those who lack access or ability (reference). Causes for this division have traditionally stemmed through economic circumstance. Due to the existing disproportions between countries economic situations, a large global dimension exists within the digital divide. Socio-demographic factors also significantly affect ones positioning on the spectrum of the digital divide. Through examination it becomes clear that the gap in some senses is showing signs of narrowing. On the other had however, these factors are enhancing the gap and widening the divide for some.

The increasing advancements within Information communication technologies and explosion of Internet possibilities within developed countries are leaving developing nations behind. The 21st century has not hindered concern surrounding this digital divide within international agencies such as the United Nations Development Program (Norris 2000). The disparities between developing societies and advanced are considered to be increasing and gap widening. This lends itself to putting countries at an economic advantage or disadvantage, leading to many flow-on effects. Poorer nations such as India, Africa, and southern parts of Asia have been in large, unable to invest in the internationally growing technologies, which would allow their nation to have and maintain Internet access, due to the initial start up investment necessary (Reference). A country not having Internet access in today’s digital age leads to a number of economic consequences. This can be highlighted through; schools being unable to educate or teach students IT skills, preventing them from taking advantage of the huge amounts of information accessible through the web....