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Paper Topic:

The Digital Divide

The Challenge of Connecting the World : Bridging the Digital Divide

One of the promises of globalization is that of a world without - or at least , minimal - boundaries , where people of all nations and culture are able to claim citizenship to the world . Globalization , it was claimed would break down the barriers between countries and cultures , and render patriotism obsolete . This would be accomplished , in part , by the rapid development in information science and technology which would usher in the information era or the digital revolution . In to achieve this it was necessary

to eradicate long-standing problems such as poverty which effectively hindered individuals and populations from participating in the information age

It has been a decade since the Internet first came into being Undoubtedly , the world is narrower , with a store in Singapore or Hong Kong accessible with just a click of the mouse or a book located in a London library just a few seconds away with today 's download speeds Cheaper information solutions have brought customers closer to businesses , and individuals who have access to the internet have become not just spectators but active generators of its content . The Internet is touted as the new media , generating not only information but also immense profit and markets daily

However , its promise of bringing the whole world together has yet to be seen , and development experts seriously doubt it will come together very soon . Apart from its obvious advantages to the business world and the elite , the Internet and the digital age has had little effect - if at all - in the lives of those who until now have no access to it . Worse some of its critics argue that it has exacerbated the gap between the rich and the poor and reinforced the already marginalized position of those in the periphery of the rich and powerful instead of giving them opportunities for growth (Norris . Much of the opportunities and gains of the digital revolution , it is argued , have been concentrated mainly on those who already benefited from so much wealth . Norris (2001 ) for instance , points out that in the present of things , the internet has provided alternative channels of communication primarily for countries and groups already rich in international resources (Norris which contributes to the enrichment of those who are already rich more than those who are in dire need of more resources

For instance , only two percent of the world 's population actually have access to the internet , and most of the end-users are located in the world 's most advanced countries (Black 1999 . The backward situation of most of the world 's underdeveloped territories automatically excludes its populations from participation in the digital revolution : with their more urgent concerns on basic needs , health and sanitation , and malnutrition , telecommunication infrastructure clearly - and logically - takes the backseat . Likewise , in areas where basic infrastructure is present , problems such as the lack of education , basic literacy , and computer skills also seriously undermine connectivity

Unfortunately , this situation is observed even within...

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