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Is the digital divide a major issue within the United States

Is the digital divide a major issue within the United States or across the globe? If so, what are the solutions and the roles that should be played by IT professionals and their companies? These are the questions asked of us for this module. First, it was important for me to get a clear definition of the "Digital Divide". From the numerous sources I found, the common definition was a separation if those who can use and access information and communications technology (ICT) to gain educational, social, governmental and economic benefits, and those who do not have access, or cannot use this technology for one reason or another. (Peters, 2003) In the next few pages I plan on pulling everything together from what I have researched to give you my opinion on whether or not the digital divide is real, and if so, what role the IT community can take, what are the solutions, and how big of a problem it is in our country and around the world.

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Is the digital divide a major issue within the United States or across the globe? If so, what are the solutions and the roles that should be played by IT professionals and their companies? These are the questions asked of us for this module. First, it was important for me to get a clear definition of the "Digital Divide". From the numerous sources I found, the common definition was a separation if those who can use and access information and communications technology (ICT) to gain educational, social, governmental and economic benefits, and those who do not have access, or cannot use this technology for one reason or another. (Peters, 2003) In the next few pages I plan on pulling everything together from what I have researched to give you my opinion on whether or not the digital divide is real, and if so, what role the IT community can take, what are the solutions, and how big of a problem it is in our country and around the world.

The most important part of this paper is to determine whether or not there is something called the digital divide. And the answer, in my mind, is very simply, yes. From the definition above, in part, there is a digital divide or separation of the ICT haves and have-nots across the United States and the world. However, I don't believe that in every locale are all the benefits available, or even applicable to specific populations. For example, in the United States, I believe the benefits of online education are huge. That is probably the single most deciding factor of determining an individual's income in this country. Those lacking any formal advanced education (college) seem to have a larger chance of falling below the poverty line than those who continue on after high school. The availability of online schooling allows those who rely heavily on full time employment to pay their day-to-day bills, to attend college classes in a more flexible fashion that better meets their personal schedules, relieving ...

Solution Summary

Although the "digital divide" is an issue globally as well as here at home, it's easy to see that it is at very different stages depending on where you look. Our country is more "connected" as an infrastructure, so it's easier to give the technology to those who can use it and need it ... whereas those remote areas of the world that do not have the physical infrastructure to support a lot of the digital technology need more help from the governments and bigger industries that can afford to give more away. I truly believe that until we get more dependent on satellite technology that doesn't rely on a "wired" infrastructure, progress will take some time in the hard to reach corners of the world. But once we get there, I do believe that friendly competition between large technological companies will drive prices down, making the digital divide become ever smaller.

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