Digital Divide - OECD.org

the digital divide in Internet host penetration between Africa and North America was a multiple of. 267. ..... capabilities and less than 10% Web services.
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UNDERSTANDING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

UNDERSTANDING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

© OECD 2001 Applications for permission to reproduce or translate all or part of this work should be made to: OECD Publications, 2 rue André Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

UNDERSTANDING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE..........................................................................................5 ACCESS TO ICTs AND THE INTERNET .............................................................................................7 Telecommunication access paths are the basic symptom of the digital divide ...............................7 The digital divide is even more marked for Internet access ...................................................................8 Competition is the road to access...................................................................................................................9 THE PRICE OF ACCESS ...................................................................................................................10 With liberalisation, access prices are dropping ........................................................................................10 Liberalisation is also leading to lower bandwidth prices.......................................................................11 At the same time, Internet access prices are declining.........................................................................12 Numbers of Internet hosts are rising rapidly worldwide.......................................................................13 Differences among OECD countries remain large....................................................................................14 USING THE INTERNET ....................................................................................................................15 Secure servers are essential for e-commerce and trust ........................................................................15 Countries with unlimited Internet access stay on line longer.............................................................16 OECD countries differ markedly in access by individuals and households......................................17 Income is an important determinant of PC penetration and Internet access................................18 Educational attainment helps to explain differences in access to ICTs ...........................................19 Family structure makes a difference as well.............................................................................................20 Age and gender play their role ......................................................................................................................21 An ethnic divide is also apparent..................................................................................................................22 English is the main language of the Internet ...........................................................................................23 Urban homes are more connected than rural ones ................................................................................24 Firm size is important for Internet access..................................................................................................25 Business and industry sectors differ in their use of the Internet.......................................................26 Urban regions have better access than rural ones..................................................................................27 ALTERNATIVE INTERNET ACCESS .................................................................................................28 Cable and satellite access may increase demand for the Internet ....................................................28 Digital TV may be a means of diminishing the digital divide..............................................................29 Mobile telephony offers another potential route for access ...............