Monday, March 07, 2005

Global "digital divide" debates

Is the digital divide between nations beginning to shrink? A colleague sent me these tidbits:

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?storyID=7731166
GENEVA (Reuters) - The "digital divide" between rich and poor nations is
narrowing fast, the World Bank said on Thursday, calling into question a
costly United Nations campaign to bring hi-tech telecommunications to
the developing world...
Poorer countries, particularly from Africa, are expected to repeat calls
in Geneva Friday for a "Digital Solidarity Fund" to help finance the
infrastructure they say is needed to close the perceived technology gap...

The World Bank report itself:
http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/ict/resources.nsf/
InfoResources/04C3CE1B933921A585256FB60051B8F5

All of this evidence suggests that, at least in terms of access to basic
infrastructure, the digital divide is rapidly closing. Many fewer
people around the world have no access at all to ICTs, and people in the
developing world are getting more access at an incredible rate-far
faster than they got access to new technologies in the past, and far
faster than developing countries are adding telephone lines today.
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2 comments:

  1. I'll just state the obvious and be done with it -- given the gulf between rich and poor nations on issues such as medicine and health care, jobs and food -- I can't imagine that the article's (and study's) overbroad groupings tell the whole story. While the data is encouraging on several levels -- it makes me fear the equivilent situation of someone finally cutting into their credit card debt a bit, and to celebrate, go out to dinner and buy a dozen DVDs...

    But again, obvious obvious obvious...

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  2. Has anyone heard of this "skip a meal a day and get internet access" advertisement? I don't remember if it was in this class but I heard someone speak of this a few months ago...I tried to look it up but could find nothing. I don't know if it was a real advertisement, or from the Onion, or Jon Stewart?!? I thought it was from India?!? --mostly clueless

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