The big question however is whether the ICT revolution has actually been taken advantage of uniformly by all sections of people in a country and by all countries. This has obviously not happened. Within the same country, ICT has not pervaded in all sections of people; and between different countries, ICT development has varied from country to country. This has resulted in what has come to be termed as the Digital Divide.
Fink and Kenny (2009) gives four possible interpretations of ‘Digital Divide’: “a gap in access to use of ICTs, crudely measured by the number and spread of telephones or web-enabled computers, for instance; a gap in the ability to use ICTs, measured by the skills base and the presence of numerous complimentary assets; a gap in actual use …; and a gap in the impact of use, measured by financial and economic returns”.
Since the very early days of the ICT revolution, it has been increasingly apparent that even though ICT development may not be an end in itself, the application of ICTs and ICT tools is instrumental in enabling development. If this is the case, then it would imply that countries on the lacking side of the Digital Divide would be at a distinct and definite disadvantage compared to countries that have been able to take full advantage of the ICT revolution. Countries which, for whatever reasons, have lagged behind in the adoption of ICT would also lag behind in overall development, this in turn would again restrict them from adopting ICT, resulting in a vicious cycle that would divide the world into haves and have-nots.
When speaking from the perspective of countries as a whole, the digital divide has been noticeable especially in the case of developed and developing countries. “The core of the digital divide creed is that the spread to ubiquity of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in developed countries is leaving the developing world behind, with potentially cataclysmic consequences in terms of