The Digital Divide in the United States and Worldwide
Janice C. Sipior,
Burke T. Ward, and
Joanna Z. Marzec
Villanova University, USA
The Digital Divide has been defined as a gap between those with access to new information technologies and those without. The term is also used to characterize the disparity between those who can effectively use information technology and those who cannot. This paper explores the digital divide within the United States (U.S.) and worldwide. Factors contributing to the widening of the gap are identified, including differences in income, age, education, race, household type, and geographic location. In an effort to reduce the Digital Divide, initiatives have been undertaken, such as promoting increased competition to reduce equipment and internet connection costs and U.S. government legislation to provide incentives such as tax relief to Internet providers serving specific geographic areas, and the global initiative by the G-8 Heads of State to help coordinate worldwide government efforts in closing the Digital Divide.