The 21st century is the information age. One would think Internet access is universal and easily obtained worldwide, providing educational and support advantages to growing regions of the world. But one would be wrong to think this. Derek Slater, Google Policy analyst, stated in an interview with CNN that “…high speed Internet connections haven’t reached all corners of the globe – not even all parts of the United States.” (Sutter, n.d.) This lack of connectivity is known as the digital divide, the separation between people who have access to information technology and those who do not. There are those who believe the digital divide has a corresponding effect on both an individual’s and a society’s economic and social standing. In this paper, I will discuss the lack of a digital boundary, solutions for overcoming the digital divide abroad, where the responsibility of eliminating the digital divide lies, and how IT companies can play a part in overcoming it.
Is there a digital divide? Yes. There is a digital divide between the industrialized countries and the developing ones. But is this digital divide is not the sole source of countries being left behind in the digital revolution. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as of September 2001, 1 billion non-literate adults populated the globe, or 26% of the world’s population. 98% of these people live in developing countries, and 52% of the original 1 billion illiterate reside in India and China. (SIL International, n.d.) Yet in 2010 China ranked 2nd in GDP by the CIA in 2010, India 11th. (Wikipedia, n.d.) So while a digital divide exists now, it has yet to become the decisive factor in overall economic standing. The greater problem lies in the lack of infrastructure to support the digital revolution. China has 30 million people residing in remote rural areas without access to electricity at all, while an unspecified greater number have an... [continues]
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