“Digital dividends” is the World Banks’s 2016 report that analyzes very clearly all the implications linked to the internet connection worldwide speaking.
The market keeps expanding, but data concerning internet access is alarming. Digital divide is the dominant reality. The gap between who has access to it and who doesn’t is too big.
Digital divide: data
Almost 40% of the worldwide population has access to internet, highlights Jim Jong Kim, the president of the World Bank Group. But this means that 60% is offline.
The most striking case is India, a nation where 80% of the population is not online. In China the percentage is less, but the number of people is still impressive: 755 million.
Numbers don’t just tell the difference among countries. Digital Divide is a phenomenon that highlights social inequalities. In Africa, the average of people with access to internet is 23%. But there are substantial differences even because of the economic situation, age, localization, sex. Women that can browse the internet are too few, 12% more or less.
Google and Facebook: from Project loon to Free basic
We need to hurry up. Google is doing it with “Project loon”, a program that wants to spread free internet all around the world. They invented a system of aerostatic balloons, that can travel in the stratosphere functioning as a bouncer for the signal. An idea that looks better than Zuckerberg’s who in India offers “Free Basic”, free connection to public utility websites, including obviously Facebook, mining the principle of the web’s neutrality.
Digital divide, the obstacle to crash
Why is digital divide still so wide? Surely there is a lack of hardware, from the institutions’ side and from the citizens’ one. But it is not just this. Unfortunately, the matter is also illiteracy which still too widespread, and the lack of basic skills necessary to access the web. Also, in many countries there is a lack of content in the local language. We can open another debate if we want to talk about nations where there is a connection, but the government obscures some contents because of political and religious reasons.
Internet must be conceived as a public good. Internet is not an instrument that can optimize industrial, service and commercial costs, it is not just a meeting place. It is the main tool where you can now find information, a real weapon to educate politically and socially.
"C’è una sola cosa orribile al mondo, un solo peccato imperdonabile: la noia". Oscar Wilde. Dalla redazione di Dotmug non ci annoiamo di certo. Sempre alla ricerca di notizie, condiviamo, twittiamo, instagrammiamo in costante connessione con il mondo digital.