The Digital Divide; “Internet NOT For All”

Internet; implicit luxury for some and desperate necessity for others.

A large number of people are dwelling between technological luxuries, be it smartphones or smart TVs. While others are sluggishly surviving in the world due to lack of internet access.

In this write-up, we’ll study how the lack of internet access in developing countries is the root cause behind their slow progress. Furthermore, we’ll include the reasons why even at the age of max digitization these countries have little internet infrastructure for themselves.

Certainly, the internet has revolutionized our world to a far greater extent than the human race could ever imagine. From the shift and upgrade in the channel of communications to carry out everyday routine, the internet has made our lives dependent on it by all means.

There are few tasks left in the world for humans to perform without the internet. From ordering a pizza to connecting with loved ones, the internet has its role in everything we do today.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the world has access to the luxuries we take for granted. A study estimates that almost 90% of the population belonging to the least developed countries do not have internet access.

Why the Internet Isn’t For All

Over half a million of the world’s population is living without the internet. While it may look like every teenager’s parents’ dream, the consequences of the lack of internet in developing countries aren’t dreamy in any way.

While delving deep into the matter, we found the following as the reasons behind the unavailability of the internet in developing countries that are categorized by the United Nations:

  • Infrastructure

The biggest barrier due to which inaccessibility of the internet is still prevailing in the world is the unsupported infrastructure. The underground infrastructure established for the flow of internet witnesses backlash in developing countries due to the expense it requires.

The infrastructure obstacles include a lack of 3G coverage for almost 31% of the world population. Moreover, the absence of electricity is a reality for 15% of the world population. While all of these stats sound bizarre in this age of modernization, the reality is that infrastructure required for the progression of society is yet unfulfilled desire in some countries.

  • Cultural Acceptance

It might sound ridiculous, but the internet isn’t accepted in some cultures.

Furthermore, the lack of education and cultural discrimination has resulted in a lack of internet access for women belonging to some cultures.

According to the Inclusive Internet Index, a survey of 86 countries that are home to 91% of the global population, on average men are 33.5% more likely to have internet access than women.

This does not come as a shock as in the developing countries smartphones and the internet are considered luxuries. And luxury usually makes its way to the male of the house first.

  • Affordability

The high cost of internet devices and connectivity are critical factors responsible for causing a lack of internet access in developing countries.

Almost 13% of the population of the world living below the poverty line are fighting to survive days rather than looking for high speed internet.

To say precisely, food comes first for those who haven’t eaten for days rather than the leisure of the internet.

How to Resolve This Digital Divide?

Today our world certainly revolves around the internet. The least to most progressive things happening in society depends upon the availability and access of the internet. This reflects how the progress and development of a country rely upon access to the internet.

The availability of the internet in rural areas will be the factor in tremendous business growth. The banking system, transportation, and almost every other sector will see development through improved communication channels. Most importantly, access to the internet will produce increased employment opportunities in the rural areas, which will eventually solve the problem of migration that is often initiated in search of better employment opportunities.

The world economic forum is urging governments of the developing countries to improve their infrastructure coverage and to provide internet access to all. The forum urges the world leaders to provide financial assistance to those who can’t afford to have the necessity called the internet.

After the United Nations adding internet access part to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), governments, unions, companies, local and international organizations are working on providing their citizens with affordable internet access. However, we still believe there’s still a lot of collective efforts that are required to make the “Internet for All” a reality.

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