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What Is The 'digital Divide'? To What Extent Is The Concept Of The Digital Of Concern Both Internationally And Australia?

907 words - 4 pages

1.IntroductionNowadays, human's life become more and more 'digital', information are obtained online; Internet phone replace traditional phone; digital camera are used instead of the long established camera. However, these modern inventions only benefit and are used by the more educated and affluent people. Therefore, there are inequalities existed, which regards to the use of Internet and other telecommunication services. This happens in both developed and developing countries. However it is more serious in the third world countries. This report will define digital divide and show the extent of it both internationally and locally.2.What is Digital DivideDigital Divide is defined as the differences due to geography, race, economic status, gender and physical ability in accessing information through Internet, and others information technology and services; the differences in skills, knowledge and abilities to use information, or other information technology. According the Curtin (2001:1), digital divide describes the variation with Internet use and telecommunication service.3.Major Concern of Digital Divide in AustraliaDigital Divide in Australia is not as serious as that of the international one. As Australia have the third highest Internet users in the world.3.1Differences in Internet accessing between socio-economic groupsA series of social factors influence the existence of a digital divide, such as age, family, structure, income, education and geography. Curtin (2001:2) indicated that people aged between 25 and 54 are more likely to use Internet. Furthermore, it is shown that the more educated the individual, the more likely that person is to have Internet access at home. The age factor is related to the education factor since the younger generations usually have a higher education standard. Metro, urban areas and provincial districts have the highest rate of Internet users.3.2Differences in Internet accessing between rural and urban areasThough both rural and urban areas have the facilities for Internet accessing, such as telephone line that enables connecting to Internet, the quality and stability of Internet services varies in different areas, especially in rural areas. According to the Telecommunication Service Inquiry (Besley) Report (cited in Curtin, 2001) found that the Internet user did not have a sufficient data speed (between 14.4 and 28.8 kbps), some people living in remote part of Australia only have limited, or even no Internet services.There are around 950 Internet service providers (ISP) in Australia, but only 416 of them service rural area. Since there are less choices in rural areas, and the higher cost of having Internet access in rural areas, digital divide between urban and rural become greater.4. Major concern of the international digital dividesWith the advanced technology, the number of Internet users has increased sharply between developed and developing countries. (Bridges.org 2001, P.6) However, there is still a big...

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