Worldwatch Institute, Vital signs, May 2003, www.worldwatch.org/pubs/vs/2003
The term 'digital divide' describes the fact that the world can be divided into people who do and people who don't have access to - and the capability to use - modern information technology, such as the telephone, television, or the Internet...
- The worldwide distribution of Internet resources and address space is highly non- uniform;
- people living in rural communities and developed communities have the best access to the fastest computers. On the other hand, people living in rural communities have limited access or no access at all to these technologies. For example, a 1999 study showed that worldwide 86% of Internet delivery was to the 20 largest cities;
- the digital divide also exists between the educated and the uneducated, between economic classes, and, globally, between the more and less industrially developed nations. While the development of the Internet in developed countries has been widely documented, its diffusion in developing nations has generally not been well researched.
- In 1992, only one in 237 people worldwide used a mobile phone, and one in 778 used the Internet; by 2002, the numbers had soared to one in 5 and one in 15, respectively. Today, well over 90% of all nations have local cell phone and Internet service, whereas in 1992, a person could use a cell phone in only one third of all countries and hook up to the Internet through a local number in just 19%.