This chapter aims to quantify more exactly the adoption of broadband at the household level in Chile by assessing its impact on three types of digital divide: between users and nonusers of the Internet, between usage at home and elsewhere, and between home broadband users and modem home users. This was done by a statistical analysis of WIP-Chile surveys of 2003 and 2006. At least in Chile, the main digital gap is still between users and non users of the Internet, both in terms of age and education level. Income mainly affects the probability of having broadband access at home. Since broadband has rapidly expanded among all socioeconomic segments, it is becoming less relevant as a predictor of access and Web usage. Other factors are also weak predictors of both residential use of the Internet and broadband connections at home. New data and surveys are required to clarify the point.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Internet in Chile: Refers to the stage of development of the Internet in Chile in comparison with other countries, including the deployment of broadband. Among other aspects, it includes penetration, usage, and adoption among individuals, industrial sectors, and organizations, as well as the availability and cost of the main digital technologies.
Broadband/Internet adoption: Refers to the process of integration of the Internet in general and broadband in particular by individuals (in contrast to organizations or industrial sectors) to their everyday lives in Chile and other countries.
Internet/broadband usage: Refers to the patterns of usage of the Internet in general and of broadband connections in particular by individuals (in contrast to organizations or industrial sectors) in Chile and other countries. Usage refers to time dedicated to the Web, the repertoire of activities performed online, location and places of usage, and their relationships to other aspects of the everyday life.
Digital Divide: The digital divide is the gap between those with regular, effective access to digital technologies and those without. The term digital divide refers to those who can benefit from it, and those who don’t. (Source: Wikipedia)
Broadband: Broadband is a relative term, understood according to its context. The wider the bandwidth, the more information can be carried (source: Wikipedia). According to the Ministry of Telecommunications in Chile, in the field of data communications broadband is considered to be those dedicated, always-on connections to the Internet (in contrast to modem, dial-up connections) of at least 128 kilobits per second (kbps).
WIP-Chile Project: The Chilean chapter of the World Internet Project (WIP), an internationally-comparable, longitudinal academic study led by the USC Center for the Digital Future in Los Angeles, California. By mid 2006, 24 countries participated in WIP.
Home Usage: Usage of the Internet at home by individuals, in contrast to usage at work, school, and other places. This distinction arises from the fact that, by allowing greater privacy and a better entanglement to people’s everyday life, the household allows a more intensive and complete usage of the Internet to the individual.