The digital divide is the gap between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not. It refers to the gap between those demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology and those that don’t or have restricted access.
But, the digital divide is more than just an accessibility issue and cannot be solved merely by providing the necessary equipment or infrastructure. At least three factors are at play in the digital divide: information accessibility, information utilization, and information receptiveness.
According to Carmen Steele of Digital Divide Council, the gap continues to persist at an alarming rate even though access to computers and the internet continues to grow. She presents three reasons for this: Education, Income Levels and Geographical Restrictions.
Understanding the factors behind this gap, the implications of the digital divide, and its impact on our modern world will help in designing the appropriate response to this modern-day challenge.