In just about every country, a certain percentage of people have the best information technology that society has to offer. These people have the most powerful computers, the best telephone service and fastest Internet service, as well as a wealth of content and training giving them the opportunities to advance rapidly both personally and economically in today’s ever increasing computerized society.
However, there is another group of people who, through no fault of their own, do not have access to the newest or best computers, the most reliable telephone service or the fastest or most convenient Internet services. These individuals fall further and further behind their more affluent peers each day.
The difference between these two groups of people is what has been called the “Digital Divide.”
To be on the less fortunate side of the divide means that there is less opportunity to take part in our new information-based economy, in which many more jobs will be related to computers.
It also means that there is less opportunity to take part in the education, training, shopping, entertainment, and communications opportunities that are available online.
Now that a large number of individuals regularly use the Internet to conduct daily activities, people who lack access to those tools are at a growing disadvantage.
Therefore, raising the level of digital access by increasing the number of individuals using the technology tools of the digital age is a vitally important national goal.