The Importance of Bridging the Digital Divide
Oxford dictionary defines the digital divide as, “The gulf between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not.” (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/digital_divide). What this means in essence is the divide between the countries and places that have access to internet, and the countries and places that don’t.
To give a real world example of this from my own experience; I live in Toronto, I’ve had access to highspeed internet since high speed internet existed. On the other hand, some my cousins, who live in a very small town called Hockley Valley, got access to high speed internet less than a year ago.
How has this lack of internet affected their life? It’s hard to imagine it having a positive impact. As we all know the internet puts nearly all information and knowledge known to the world at your fingertips. Living without that for nearly two decades has a profound impact on your life. And this is not to say that they never had access to internet, their schools and places of work provided high speed internet and allowed them to use it when necessary.
Now imagine if you had no access at all. Like most impoverished and war torn countries. This makes communication in these places exponentially more difficult, and they are the places that need it most.
These disparate areas problems could likely be remedied much more quickly if the we bridge the gap and overcome the problem that is the digital divide.
Luckily there are efforts being made to bridge this gap by companies like Facebook with thier company Free Basics/internet.org (https://info.internet.org/en/story/free-basics-from-internet-org/) and Google with Project Loon (https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/google-wants-to-deliver-internet-to-the-developing/) .
With compnaies this big doing somehting like this there is no doubt a catch and Facebooks internet.org has gotten introuble with net neutrality regulators but in the end this will no doubt beninift the world.