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Closing the global digital divide A call for home grown solutions - Essay Example

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Closing the global digital divide A call for home grown solutions

For instance, the mobile phone can be considered to have lessened the digital divide as a result of its ability to saturate the market, but one could argue that this has largely been due to lower costs being passed onto the customer. The study by Russell and Drew (2001) acknowledges the impact of the mobile phone by not including this technology in the survey.
"The digital divide is also most likely to affect lone parents and those who are already at a disadvantage in the community such as individuals with disabilities and those with little or no education" (Russell and Drew 2001). Narrowing the digital divide in this instance would be particularly advantageous to these groups as such technologies would probably facilitate communication and social involvement. For example, those with mobility problems or severe restrictions on their mobility can partake in online forums and groups to reduce social loneliness. Internet technologies also enable communication in the way of video calls for those not able to travel. Local and central governments are also introducing online services such as paying for car related services (e.g. car tax, renewals and applications) online (DVLA) which reduces the need to travel thus adding convenience. The factors mentioned in this introduction suggest that a widening digital divide is related to certain social and economic issues, and this has driven the need to close the digital divide.
Closing the digital divide is important for a number of reasons, one of which includes the reduction of poverty (Hargittai 2003). The reduction of poverty is often associated with improving basic amenities such as water and electricity, which could be said to be true of developing countries. However, when one considers the developed countries that already have such amenities in place, the reduction of poverty takes on a different meaning. In the developed countries, access to digital technologies is said to affect access to services and quality of life in some cases (Hargittai 2003). For instance, those with access to digital technologies are able to access a wider range of services and markets with ease, such as internet banking, online trading and the benefits of interactive communication; whilst those without access will remain devoid of such knowledge and will not have the opportunity to partake in this digital world in order to advance themselves or their careers. On an international level, the reduction of poverty by closing the digital divide is being suggested as a means of combating of terrorism which is considered to have its roots in poverty (Hargittai 2003). For example, it is reported on local and national media that terrorist activities and plotters have their roots in parts of Asia and the Middle East which are lacking in basic amenities and technology. This lack in digital technology is said to isolate such ...Show more


Closing the digital divide has become a priority for most countries in the world as the delivery of public services becomes electronic. For example, in the United Kingdom, a study conducted in August 2000 showed that whilst most individuals were aware of the presence of the internet, and knew where to purchase enabling technologies such as computers, 44% had used the internet (Russell and Drew 2001)…
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Closing the global digital divide A call for home grown solutions essay example
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