Garson (2006) defines digital divide in the following contexts:
Digital divide is, at times, defined as the “gap among income, racial, ethnic, regional, or other groups in terms of differential access to the internet, where access is considered a dichotomous variable” (Garson, 2006, p.98). The policy makers make use of this definition while making public policies regarding the spread of information technology services.
Here, access is defined in terms of a continuous variable that depends on such constituents as “convenience of access (home, school, library), speed of access (28 KB modem to T1 line), time for access (discretionary time for access provided at work and home), cost of access” and the like (Garson, 2006, p.98).
This definition considers digital divide as the gap that results not just because the consumers cannot afford physical access to the internet or computers, but also because they lack suitable competencies to use the information technology at its best. For example, a school may purchase high-end computer hardware and software for teaching purposes, but may lack teacher resources or staff competencies due to which the information technology services go unutilized. Hence, schools are the primary example of digital divide in terms of skilled access.
One think group states that in order to provide the citizens with economic equality, it is important to provide them with equal opportunities to render information technology or digital services with the use of which they can make their lives easier. For example, providing telephone services to the citizens so that they can inform the police about robbery, and providing the students with multimedia at schools to enhance learning will help foster economic equality which results in the stability of the nation as a whole.
One perspective is that when developing countries will excel in the use of