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Digital Divide - Global Policy Journal

Digital DivideThe problem: Global Digital DivideThe global digital divide refers to the sizeable gap between those with extensive access to digital technologyand those with very limited or no access at all.Congo99.5%Ethiopia99.6%99.7%BangladeshCambodia99.5%Myanmar99.8%Denmark16.1%Finland17.4%Sweden12.2%13.5%NetherlandsIceland9.4%Percentage of the populationwithout access to the InternetSource: International Telecommunications Union, 2010Implications: Limited access to the Internet creates a range of challenges:For those with limited or no digital access, there are a number of implications which can hinder the developmentof the entire community as well as the individuals within it.contributes to the inequality of goodsand services available through technologylack of informationlack of communication beyond the locallack of knowledgehinders tourismlimits participation in democracyfall behind in technological developmentsdamages education


What the world is doing about it: A diverse range of strategies112,7Over the last decade the world has undertaken various initiatives to narrow the digital divide. Yet a series ofbarriers have limited the impact of these activities.PROBLEM BARRIERS INTERNATIONAL ACTIONPhysical AccessDigital DivideFinancial AccessCognitive AccessDesign AccessInstitutional Access2003 Information Society2006 Internet Governance Forum2010 Creating Opportunity for AllPolitical AccessSource: World Intellectual Property Organization, 2010What the research suggests: Innovate to fulfil the Internet’s full promiseDorothy Attwood makes a series of recommendations to keep the Internet’s promise of being universal, openand safe.Listen to consumersand embrace broadbanddiversity“Private companies,policy makers and otherparticipants in the Internetecosystem need to find waysto spread broadband so that itlinks the world and helps fulfilthe Internet’s full promise.”(Dorothy Attwood)Enable wirelesstechnologiesFacilitate innovation andreap its natural benefitsFocus on broad goals anddo not gear policy towardsspecific technologiesGlobal Policy Source: Dorothy Attwood, Keeping the Internet’s Promise: Universal, Open and Safe. Global Policy, Vol. 1, Issue 3.www.globalpolicyjournal.comDesigned by Kinga Koren

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