IN AN ONLINE
By: Samantha Weima
Only 65% of low-income households have
access to the Internet, compared to 95%
of wealthier households1
The rise of the Internet
started in the 90s, and
along with it came rapid
changes in our culture
and daily lives
shopping, recreational activities,
Nearly every aspect of our lives
has been impacted by the
This revolution creates a digital divide
between the “iHave”, and “iHave Not”2
Divided by both Internet access and aptitude, those isolated by the
Internet are at a distinct disadvantage, and people are falling behind2
Those most affected by this “digital divide” in North America include
those of low income, ethnic minorities, immigrants, and the elderly3
"In a society where increasingly we are defined by
access to information and what we earn is what we
learn, if you don't have access to technology, you're
going to be left in the digital dark ages. That's what
the digital divide is all about.”4
-William Kennard, FCC
The Internet plays an
unquestionable role in
From this comes the
Internet access be a
According to the United Nations Human Rights Council, yes.
A 2011 report came out, stating “Given that the Internet has
become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human
rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and
human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet
should be a priority for all States. Each State should thus
develop a concrete and effective policy, in consultation with
individuals from all sections of society, including the private
sector and relevant Government ministries, to make the
Internet widely available, accessible and affordable to all
segments of population”6 –Frank La Rue
This report is
but serves as
for nations to
So what does this mean for the digital divide?
“The internet will not simply
appear… nor will people’s
lives be fundamentally
transformed by its mere
presence. It is a policy that
has to be enacted, a service
that has to be provided, and
a tool that people must have
the ability to access. It is,
wrapped up with both
politics and business.”8
So what can be done?
Progress is being made with the rise in public
Internet access; such as in public libraries, schools,
and community access centres1
is like having a
not know how to
turn it on or
what to say.”9
- J. Hardin
Digital literacy is a crucial concept in bridging the digital divide
“In addition to public access, we need freely available, one-on-one
assistance and small group training through government-funded
community technology sites, like public libraries. The result will be a
“learning citizenry” capable of adaptation to rapid change.”1
By bridging the digital
populations gain access
to critical information,
learning resources, and
are able to make more
Leading to more opportunities, and a better quality of life
 McGee, Craig and Marc Kielburger. "Have Your Say: How Can We Help Canadians Gain
Better Access To The Internet?". The Globe and Mail. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.
 Matrix, Sidneyeve. “Module 01 Lecture 02 Media Use Research”. Lecture. 4 Mar. 2017.
 Gustke, Constance. "Technology, While Not A Fountain Of Youth, Can Make Aging Safer".
Nytimes.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.
 "The Digital Divide". Cs.stanford.edu. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.
 Geist, Michael. "Is Internet Connectivity A Human Right? | Toronto Star". thestar.com. N.p.,
2017. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.
 McHugh, Molly. "UN Declares Internet Access A Human Right". Digital Trends. N.p., 2017.
Web. 4 Mar. 2017.
 McKenney, Kyle. "The UN Declares Internet Access A Basic Human Right".
pastemagazine.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.
 Button, Elizabeth. "Digital Divides: Considerations On Access To The Internet As A Human
Right In Rwanda - African Community Advancement Initiative". African Community Advancement
Initiative. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.
 Hardin, J. "How To Bridge The Digital Divide". Streetdirectory.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Mar.
 "The Importance Of Bridging The Digital Divide". Clinton4.nara.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Mar.