Bridging the Digital Divide: Equality in the Information Age
53 Pages Posted: 9 May 2002
The digital revolution has transformed the lives of many, but also has left untouched the lives of many others. As a result, a large segment of the world population misses out on the tremendous political, social, economic, educational, and career opportunities created by the digital revolution. This gap between the information haves and have-nots is commonly referred to as the digital divide.
Although evidence suggested that the digital divide in the United States is closing, the same is not true for the less developed countries. In light of the alarming disparities between the information haves and have-nots, the Howard M. Squadron Program in Law, Media and Society at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University selected the digital divide as the topic for its Second Squadron Symposium on Internet, Law & Society. Included in the symposium issue published by the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal are articles by Andrew Celli, Mark Cooper, Kenneth Dreifach, B. Keith Fulton, Allen Hammond, and Jack Qiu.
As an introduction to this symposium issue, this Article highlights the global significance of the digital divide. It discusses five key prerequisites for bridging this inequitable gap: awareness, access, affordability, availability, and adaptability. It also explores the inequalities in Internet access between the developed and less developed countries and explains why including the less developed countries in the digital revolution would benefit the developed countries as well as the less developed countries. The Article concludes by highlighting the various areas that may present challenges to policies seeking to bridge the digital divide.
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