What is Digital Divide? Geography
Introduction What is Digital Divide
Digital Divide Meaning – A digital divide is a disparity in access to, usage of, or impact of information and communication technology on the economy and society. Inequalities between individuals, households, enterprises, or geographic areas, frequently at various socioeconomic levels or other demographic groups, are referred to as the dividing factor within countries.
It also refers to the aspect of split between people or regions that have quick access to and therefore the capability to use modern information technology, like the mobile, television and internet, etc. people who do not have it or have limited access. The digital divide is seen between the people dwelling in cities and people dwelling within the rural areas. The various factors which cause the digital divide and which restricts people from using it are as follows:
- High cost of using the technology
- Lack of education and proper skills
- Access to technology
The Digital Divide is additionally called the digital split.
What are the solutions to the digital divide?
To decrease the digital divide, we must tackle the issues of poverty, low education levels, and poor infrastructure. Now, we will learn about the solutions that will help to reduce the digital divide gap.
- Increase affordability: Affordability is one of the barriers in both developed and developing countries within the world as a large group of individuals cannot access the web due to the high costs involved. Smartphones, laptops, and computers are very expensive. Taxes, electricity, and patent fees lead to the high prices of technology. Due to this, financial help can be provided to help lower-income earners to be able to afford the new technology. The Government can give tariff subsidies to encourage them to shop for these digital tools.
- Empowering users: Most of the people who use internet technology have a limited understanding regarding it. For example, Google helps people to find information that they might not have access to. Participation Inequality is the main problem that broadens the digital divide where users lack the talents and capability to use it. The general public must be educated on the advantages and value of utilizing the web and therefore the various resources within it to realize economic and social growth.
- Improve the relevance of online content: Relevance is also one of the highest barriers that restrict the penetration of the internet in developing countries. People cannot find online services or web or content and mobile applications in their primary language. Moreover, most of the people in rural areas lack the required prerequisite education to know tons of online content. To encourage internet adoption in such places, local content and applications got to be developed in local languages which will be understood by the local population.
- Internet infrastructure development: The internet relies on infrastructure to relay information between two or more computers located in several parts of the planet. Lack of proper internet infrastructure is also one of the reasons that lead to the digital divide. With the inception of the broadband internet which is far faster and reliable than the normal dial-up connection, this challenge has become even more pronounced especially in rural areas. This is often due to the costly nature of the systems and technologies that relay broadband internet making it uneconomical to determine in rural areas. Luckily, large-scale cost-effective solutions that are fitted to rural environments are developed like the utilization of satellite broadband technologies, drones, and earth-orbiting balloons.
- The address gender gap in internet access: According to statistics on internet usage in 2016, there are 250 million fewer women online than men. To beat the digital divide, a special focus has been placed on women to bring their usage closer to or at par thereupon of men. Also, in low and middle-income countries there are more women without mobile phones than men that further increases this digital divide. To shut this gender gap, both government and non-governmental organizations must partner up and work together. Addressing the problems of poverty, relevance and public awareness also will considerably address the plight of girls without access to the web.
However, research reveals that the digital gap is more than just a problem of access, and that it cannot be solved simply by supplying the appropriate technology. Information accessibility, information use, and information receptiveness are at least three aspects at play.
Individuals must know how to use information and communication tools once they have joined a community, which is more than just accessibility. Regardless of the individual’s economic condition, information professionals can help bridge the gap by providing reference and information services to help them understand and use the technology to which they do have access.
Takshila learning encourages its aspirants to bridge the digital divide and help in connecting people through their learning modules. The mentors at Takshila learning involve the best ways to be able to bridge this gap and make learning accessible for one and all.
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