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  1. 1. Y490 Politics of the Internet September 20, 2011
  2. 2. Digital Divide <ul><li>Gap in computer and Internet use across various social groups </li></ul><ul><li>Who is included and who is excluded and what are the consequences? </li></ul><ul><li>How stable over time? </li></ul><ul><li>What should be done about it? </li></ul>Video on the digital divide
  3. 3. Major Documents/Books/Reports <ul><li>Falling Through the Net (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Benjamin Compaine , Bridging the Digital Divide (2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Pippa Norris , Digital Divide (2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Jan van Dijk , The Deepening Divide (2005) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Barriers to Access: Jan Van Dijk and Joseph Hacker <ul><li>Lack of elementary digital experience caused by lack of interest, computer anxiety, and unattractiveness of new technology (mental access) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of material access </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of digital skills (skills access) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of significant usage opportunities (usage access) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Individual-Level Barriers to Access <ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><li>Basic Literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic literacy </li></ul>
  6. 7. Demographic Group Internet Use 1 Use of Broadband at Home 6 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. 8. Global Digital Divide: Key Variables <ul><li>Economic Development (GDP/person) </li></ul><ul><li>Availability of telephones, computers </li></ul><ul><li>Competition in telecom markets </li></ul><ul><li>Human capital formation </li></ul><ul><li>Type of regime (authoritarian vs. democratic) </li></ul>
  8. 9. Map of Global Digital Divide
  9. 13. Sources: World Development Report, 2006 and 2007. 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
  10. 14. Telephone Lines
  11. 15. Mobile Telephones
  12. 16. Internet Users
  13. 17. Broadband vs. Dial-Up <ul><li>Broadband accentuates the digital divide </li></ul><ul><li>Average monthly cost $40-45 is too high for many poor families </li></ul><ul><li>Higher speeds translate into higher costs generally </li></ul><ul><li>Dial-up users limited in ability to create new content (vs. passive use of existing content) </li></ul>
  14. 18. Broadband/Dialup Gaps
  15. 21. BroadbandCensus.com <ul><li>The country needs to know where high-speed Internet service is available and where it isn't. And that is just the first step. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>BroadbandCensus.com intends to fill this gap. </li></ul>
  16. 22. Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008 (S. 1492) <ul><li>Passed in the 110 th Congress and came into effect in 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Requires the FCC to compile a list of geographical areas that are not served by any provider of advanced telecommunications services. </li></ul><ul><li>Mandates use of Census data to characterize each area by population, population density, and per capita income. </li></ul><ul><li>Requires FCC to publish international comparisons. </li></ul>
  17. 23. Broadbank Technology Opportunities Program <ul><li>Part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to create of National Broadband Inventory Map </li></ul><ul><li>Called for the creation of a National Broadband Plan </li></ul>
  18. 24. Questions for Discussion <ul><li>Does the digital divide matter? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the main causes of the global digital divide? </li></ul><ul><li>Do higher levels of Internet diffusion reduce the digital divide, either within or between countries? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there new digital divides opening up within developed countries? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the digital divide ever likely to narrow significantly? </li></ul>