Digital Divide: Internet For All
We are currently living in a generation that revolves around technology. The internet is a basic necessity in the 21st century, however many people including myself take the internet for granted. Everyone’s always complaining about slow internet speeds and connection, but we never take into consideration how privileged we truly are to have full access to modern technology. The internet is everywhere, therefore it is surprising to find out that there are still many people who do not have access. The main purpose of the internet is to connect everyone across the world, but instead it seems to divide us further. The digital divide generally applies to the gap between areas that have access to modern technology and those who have restricted or no access. The divide exists due to many factors including the lack of technology, education, resources and funding in certain regions.
The number of internet users is constantly growing over the years, but more than half the population still has no access to the net. According to a recent survey, there are approximately 3.6 billion internet users which accounts for roughly 46% of the worlds population. This leaves nearly 54% of the population outside the digital revolution (source). The regional internet penetration is low in developing areas such as Africa and South Asia. Internet penetration refers to the relationship between the number of internet users in a country and its demographic data. In countries such as Africa and South Asia the portion of the population that has access to the internet is very low which means that majority of the region has restricted or no access. These people are unable to receive the benefits that derive from digital connectivity.
How Can We Get Everyone Connected?
One of the main issues for no access to modern technology is funding. The costs of present-day technology including the internet and cell phones is overpriced. These digital technologies should be made more cost efficient for developing countries. A few companies including Facebook have started a program to help prevent this issue. Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg partnered with several of his competitor companies to launch an online website: https://info.internet.org/en/. The purpose of this website is to connect billions of people to the internet by bringing inexpensive access to basic internet services as well as affordable devices for less developed countries.
The internet should be considered a basic right and not a luxury. It can help billions of people with their education, work and family lives. With access to the internet, people in less developed countries can gain more knowledge and be more connected to everyone else around the world.