The Digital Divide in Singapore

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FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
NM1101E: Communications, New Media and Society
GROUP PROJECT REPORT

THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

Prepared by
VUONG THAO VY | A0079304E
TAN JIA SHEN JASON | A0073229E
WONG XIE XIE CANDY | A0070795W
SABRINA GHAZALI | A0069523B

Tutor: Catherine Candano
Tutorial Group: W13 (Friday 8am-9am)
Date of Submission: 16 February 2011

This report consists of 1322 words, excluding the cover page, headings, tables, figures and references.

Literature Review

In ‘Digital Divide in Singapore –Beyond Ubiquitous Internet Access’ (Appendix A, 2002), the digital have-nots comprise of the elderly, the disabled, certain ethnic groups and the less affluent people. Three main causes of this disparity are infrastructure, literacy and content. Policies, funding and campaigns, with the importance of educating the economic value of digitally empowering the have-nots are efforts to bridge the divide and the position of social entrepreneurship in funding such efforts.

In a more recent ‘Annual Survey on Infocomm Usage in Households and Individuals for 2008’ (Appendix B, 2008), it was reported that a significant digital divide was characterised by wealth, old age and literacy. General trends include the disparity in internet infrastructure available in private and public housing with only 72% of public housing owners having the appropriate internet infrastructure as opposed to 91% of private housing owners (Infocomm Usage Survey, 2008, p.13). The survey also reconciles with Pant’s earlier belief that greater awareness is needed with regards to the economic value of digital empowerment as seen in how 23% of the respondents lacked the skills for ICTs and a staggering 50% does not see the need to use ICTs (Infocomm Usage Survey, 2008, p. 13). This trend is also noted in terms of portable devices such as laptops and mobile phones (Infocomm Usage Survey, 2008, p. 35). The survey also noted the use of the Internet fundamentally as a



References: Table A1.4.1: Main Reason for Not Having Access to a Computer at Home, 2004 – 2008 |No Table A2.2.1: Main Reason for Not Having Internet Access at Home, 2004 - 2008 |No Table A2.3.1: Main Reason for Not Subscribing to Broadband Access Service, 2006 - 2008 |No Table B2.2.1: Main Reason for Not Using the Internet by Age Group4, 2008 | | |35-49 yrs |50-59 yrs |60 yrs |All residents |

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