Y490 Politics of theY490 Politics of the
InternetInternet
September 22, 2010September 22, 2010
Digital Divide
 Gap in computer and Internet use across
various social groups
 Who is included and who is excluded and
w...
Major
Documents/Books/Reports
 Falling Through the Net (1998)
 Benjamin Compaine, Bridging the Digital
Divide (2001)
 P...
Barriers to Access: Jan Van DijkBarriers to Access: Jan Van Dijk
and Joseph Hackerand Joseph Hacker
 Lack of elementary d...
Individual-Level Barriers to AccessIndividual-Level Barriers to Access
• Language
• Basic Literacy
• Electronic literacy
Demographic Group Internet Use1
Use of Broadband at Home6
Age
�Americans 65 and over 42% 30%
� 50-64 79% 61%
Education Att...
Global Digital Divide:Global Digital Divide:
Key VariablesKey Variables
• Economic Development (GDP/person)Economic Develo...
Map of Global Digital Divide
Computer Use (per 100
people)
Internet Use (per 100
people)
Developing Countries 2.5 2.6
Least Developed
Countries
0.3 0.2...
Telephone Lines
Mobile Telephones
Internet Users
Broadband vs. Dial-UpBroadband vs. Dial-Up
• Broadband accentuates the digitalBroadband accentuates the digital
dividedivi...
Broadband/Dialup Gaps
Regional Broadband Speeds
BroadbandCensus.com
 The country needs to know where high-
speed Internet service is available and
where it isn't. And th...
Broadband Data Improvement Act of
2008 (S. 1492)
 Passed in the 110th
Congress and came into
effect in 2008.
 Requires t...
Questions for Discussion
 Does the digital divide matter?
 What are the main causes of the global digital
divide?
 Do h...
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Y490 Politics of the Internet, Lecture 4

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  1. 1. Y490 Politics of theY490 Politics of the InternetInternet September 22, 2010September 22, 2010
  2. 2. Digital Divide  Gap in computer and Internet use across various social groups  Who is included and who is excluded and what are the consequences?  How stable over time?  What should be done about it?
  3. 3. Major Documents/Books/Reports  Falling Through the Net (1998)  Benjamin Compaine, Bridging the Digital Divide (2001)  Pippa Norris, Digital Divide (2001)  Jan van Dijk, The Deepening Divide (2005)
  4. 4. Barriers to Access: Jan Van DijkBarriers to Access: Jan Van Dijk and Joseph Hackerand Joseph Hacker  Lack of elementary digital experienceLack of elementary digital experience caused by lack of interest, computercaused by lack of interest, computer anxiety, and unattractiveness of newanxiety, and unattractiveness of new technology (mental access)technology (mental access)  Lack of material accessLack of material access  Lack of digital skills (skills access)Lack of digital skills (skills access)  Lack of significant usage opportunitiesLack of significant usage opportunities (usage access)(usage access)
  5. 5. Individual-Level Barriers to AccessIndividual-Level Barriers to Access • Language • Basic Literacy • Electronic literacy
  6. 6. Demographic Group Internet Use1 Use of Broadband at Home6 Age �Americans 65 and over 42% 30% � 50-64 79% 61% Education Attainment � high school diploma 69% 52% � less than a high school diplomas 50% -- Disability � Americans with disabilities 38% 2,4 -- Household Income � less than $30,000 annual income 60% -- � $20,000-$30,000 53% � less than $20,000 annual income 35% Race/Ethnicity � Latinos in the US 56%5 -- � Spanish-dominant Latinos in the US 32%5 -- � African Americans 67% 46% Community Type � Rural 65% 46% US Digital Divide Statistics, 2009
  7. 7. Global Digital Divide:Global Digital Divide: Key VariablesKey Variables • Economic Development (GDP/person)Economic Development (GDP/person) • Availability of telephones, computersAvailability of telephones, computers • Competition in telecom marketsCompetition in telecom markets • Human capital formationHuman capital formation • Type of regime (authoritarian vs.Type of regime (authoritarian vs. democratic)democratic)
  8. 8. Map of Global Digital Divide
  9. 9. Computer Use (per 100 people) Internet Use (per 100 people) Developing Countries 2.5 2.6 Least Developed Countries 0.3 0.2 Arab States 2.1 1.6 East Asia and the Pacific 3.3 4.1 Latin America and the Caribbean 5.9 4.9 South Asia 0.8 0.6 Sub-Saharan Africa 1.2 0.8 Central & Eastern Europe & CIS 5.5 4.3 OECD 36.3 33.2 High-income OECD 43.7 40 Sources: World Development Report, 2006 and 2007.
  10. 10. Telephone Lines
  11. 11. Mobile Telephones
  12. 12. Internet Users
  13. 13. Broadband vs. Dial-UpBroadband vs. Dial-Up • Broadband accentuates the digitalBroadband accentuates the digital dividedivide • Average monthly cost $40-45 is tooAverage monthly cost $40-45 is too high for many poor familieshigh for many poor families • Higher speeds translate into higherHigher speeds translate into higher costs generallycosts generally • Dial-up users limited in ability toDial-up users limited in ability to create new content (vs. passive usecreate new content (vs. passive use of existing content)of existing content)
  14. 14. Broadband/Dialup Gaps
  15. 15. Regional Broadband Speeds
  16. 16. BroadbandCensus.com  The country needs to know where high- speed Internet service is available and where it isn't. And that is just the first step.  Next, consumers need to know the extent of broadband competition in their local area. They need to know the names of the carriers that offer broadband, the speeds they offer, and the prices they charge.  BroadbandCensus.com intends to fill this gap.
  17. 17. Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008 (S. 1492)  Passed in the 110th Congress and came into effect in 2008.  Requires the FCC to compile a list of geographical areas that are not served by any provider of advanced telecommunications services.  Mandates use of Census data to characterize each area by population, population density, and per capita income.  Requires FCC to publish international comparisons.
  18. 18. Questions for Discussion  Does the digital divide matter?  What are the main causes of the global digital divide?  Do higher levels of Internet diffusion reduce the digital divide, either within or between countries?  Are there new digital divides opening up within developed countries?  Is the digital divide ever likely to narrow significantly?

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