There are three forms of the digital divide that have been divided among three types.
- Those who have computers and internet access vs. those who don’t.
- Those who are able to use digital contents vs. those who don’t.
- Those who are able to produce digital contents vs. those who don’t.
The rapid growth of digital technology, often referred to as information and communications technologies (ICTs) in a broader sense, has largely reshaped our daily lives and how we do business globally. The internet has become one of the most fundamental and vital infrastructures around the world. The digital divide, however, which refers to the gap in usage and access to digital infrastructure and services between individuals, households, businesses or geographical areas, remains significantly wide for emerging economies. More specifically, it affects certain population segments, for instance low-income and rural communities, due to the lack of digital infrastructure, affordability and skills. Infrastructure includes the lack of access to network connections, to devices and to software and applications. A recent study points out that in emerging economies, especially in rural or remote areas, more than four billion people still remain unconnected to the internet (Facebook, 2016). It is not about availability; instead, it is about affordability, due to the higher costs of acquiring necessary devices and services. Therefore, bridging the digital divide requires making the internet accessible for the poorest people. The digital divide is manifested in the fact that some people can’t afford to buy a computer. Far more worse is the fact that technology remains so complicated that many people cannot use a computer even if they got one for free. Many others can use computers, but don’t achieve the modern world’s full benefits world’s full benefits because most of the available services are too difficult for them to understand. Even if computers and the Internet were extraordinarily easy to use, not everybody would make full use of the opportunities that such technology affords. Even if computers and the Internet were extraordinarily easy to use, not everybody would make full use of the opportunities that such technology affords.