Participation and the Digital Divide


Is a global problem, affecting people all over the world. On every continent. In every country. Rich or poor.

The digital world is all pervasive, and enables us to do so much more then we could without it.

Participation in the digital world has become essential to living in the modern world. It affects our private, professional, and public lives.

The digital divide is established by the haves and the have nots. It manifests itself by a lack of access to digital technologies such as digital hard- and software, and or digital networks (e.g. the internet) (“Digital Divide,” 2016).

Factors creating this divide:


In Australia according to Ewing (2016), only 51% of people over the age of 65 are currently accessing the internet.

Socio Economic

The Smith Family’s head of policy Wendy Field says that while 90% advantaged communities have access to the Internet, this drops to 70% for the disadvantaged (Perkins, 2016).


Rural areas have lesser access to the Internet and broadband services, than their urban counterparts (Thomas, et all, 2016).


North Korea only provides a privileged few with access to the Internet (Williams, 2010).


Effects of the Digital Divide

Access to government services

More and more government services are now being provided via the web (ACT Government, n. D.).

People without access are missing out.


“According to Pew Research Center, 5 million households in the United States lack Internet access, yet seven in 10 teachers assign homework that requires access to the web.” (Glass, 2016)

In one example a principal “noted that close to 90 percent of the students do not have internet access at home” (Glass, 2016).
Bridging the Digital Divide

We have both public and private initiatives that are working on their own or in cooperation to overcome the digital divide.

Governments around the world are implementing policies geared towards providing internet access to as many of their people as possible.

While at the same time private ventures are trying to ensure all people have access to the internet (Dickerson, 2015).

Many governments have programs in place to provide students with access to ICT to no or low cost. Sometimes in partnership with private projects, such as the One Laptop Per Child project.



ACT Government. (n. D.). Connected Community, Connected Government.
    Retrieved from

Bidgee. (December 7, 2008). Wagga Wagga Centrelink Office [image].
    Retrieved from

Caumont, A. (November 8, 2013). Who’s not online? 5 factors tied to
    the digital divide
. Retrieved from

de Roo, J. A. (April 17, 2012). The statues of Kim Il Sung (left) and
    Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang
[image]. Retrieved from

Dickerson, K. (September 5, 2015). SpaceX is working on a ‘pizza box’
    that should scare your internet company
. Retrieved from

Digital Divide. (2016). Retrieved October 1, 2016, from Wikipedia:

Ellis, S. (November 28, 2008). Poverty [image]. Retrieved from

empty007. (May 15, 2011). AGE [image]. Retrieved from

Ewing, S. (February 25, 2016). Australia’s digital divide is
    narrowing, but getting deeper
. Retrieved from

Glass, E. (September 29, 2016). DOE, Google Seek To Close The Digital
    Divide With Libraries’ Help
. Retrieved from

Lomond, L. (September 23, 2016). A String (Instrumental) . Retrieved

Perkins, M. (January 21, 2016). Digital divide deepens between rich
    and poor – internet a family’s lifeline?
Retrieved from

rejon. (April 22, 2010). Lame Bridge [image]. Retrieved form

Sharp, G. (April 15, 2011). outback roads [image]. Retrieved from

Thomas, J, Barraket, J, Ewing, S, MacDonald, T, Mundell, M & Tucker,
    J. (2016). Measuring Australia’s Digital Divide: The Australian
    Digital Inclusion Index 2016
. Swinburne University of Technology,
    Melbourne, for Telstra. Retrieved from

Williams, M. (June 10, 2010). North Korea moves quietly onto the
. Retrieved from

Warrington, J. (November 9, 2007). school [image]. Retrieved from

Yeo, S. (July 1, 2013). Canberra [image]. Retrieved from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s