The phrase “digital divide” has been applied to the gap that exists in most countries between those with ready access to the tools of information and communication technologies, and the knowledge that they provide access to, and those without such access or skills. This may be because of socio‐economic factors, geographical factors, educational, attitudinal and generational factors, or it may be through physical disabilities. A further gap between the developed and underdeveloped world in the uptake of technology is evident within the global community, and may be of even greater significance. The paper examines a number of these issues at the national level in the USA, UK, Canada and New Zealand, looking for evidence of the “digital divide”, assessing factors that contribute to it, and evaluating strategies that can help reduce it. The relevance of these strategies to developing countries, and strategies for reducing the international digital divide are also explored.
Online Information Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2001
Keywords: Information technology; Developing countries; Communications technology
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