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What is Digital Divide(s)

Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition
A multi-dimensional reality where only 40% of the world’s population has access to the Internet.
Published in Chapter:
Digital Divide
Patrick Flanagan (St. John's University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch401
Since 1991 when the World Wide Web (WWW) was first made available to the public, it has revolutionized the ways the global community engages each other economically, politically, and socially. Its impact has been historically unprecedented. While the availability of and access to the WWW appears to be ubiquitous, it is not. The expansion of this marvelous Information Communication Technology (ICT) has not penetrated certain areas of the world resulting in a “digital divide.” This chapter discusses this digital divide. It first defines the term and then it moves to discuss the origins of the term. From there, the chapter moves to present concrete evidence of how the digital divide has negatively impacted the global community. Finally, it names and evaluates the efforts of different organizations and agencies to resolve the digital divide. It concludes with a prospectus on the future challenges of information communication technology vis-à-vis the digital divide.
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