There is a digital divide. It exists on a world wide scale, a national scale, between neighborhoods, and within households themselves. It can have multiple meanings from access to ICT’s, to skills, to the desire to use those skills. Inequalities also exist in education, mobility, and income level which all have a direct affect on the divide. With a problem of this scale and complexity, I don’t feel there is a way to solve it. I think the best we can do given the structure of our society, is to narrow it.
I don’t want to admit defeat but all the solutions based on access and skills proposed in our readings cannot achieve their goals in time to be effective. Technology and the skills needed to use them are advancing too fast for the poor, unaware, and undereducated to catch up. Initiatives like OLPC and providing universal broadband access will be outdated by the time they reach their target audiences. I think the focus needs to be on education and awareness. Providing access and skills can help narrow the divide but to be really effective there needs to an increase in education and general awareness.
Our country and the rest of the world aren’t going to change from a market/capital based society. ICT’s are always going to be “trickled down” from the top to the bottom. With a focus on education and awareness, hopefully we can narrow the gap by decreasing the number of people at the bottom. ICT’s have become an integral part of society whether we like it or not, and the countries and people without access to it cannot compete in the modern world which in turn makes it even harder for them to adapt technology.