According to the ‘Pew Internet & American Life Project’ rich and educated people access internet more than the poor people who struggle to earn their daily livelihood. As per this report, 84% of Americans who earn more than 54000 USD per year access internet. But this percentage comes down to 54% in case of the people who earn less than 30,000 USD per year.
The huge data resources of internet are growing in every second. It helps and benefits only those who can access these data.
Especially in case of education, the institutions located in city area have more access to internet data resources than the schools and colleges located in rural area. Learning in all levels is becoming interactive with the virtual world. Web based learning and virtual class room are spreading their essence in every corner of the world. Now the question is, what about those who are still depending on the classroom training and instructor-led programs. A clear and significant digital divide is visible in this disparity. This is no doubt a social challenge. Infrastructure and awareness are big hindrance here. The educational institutions in urban area are rich enough to pay the cost of having high speed internet. On the contrary, the schools and colleges of village area are struggling to get the basic infrastructure. Internet is a dream for them.
U.S Census Bureau American Community Survey, in a study on ‘Computer and Internet Use in the United States:2013‘ shows the following figure:
People of rural area should access internet at low cost or at no cost. The small scale industries of rural area can easily reach to a large customer base through internet. They can also be educated about the innovative agricultural developments and processes. Their small scale products or in some cases home made products that they sale to the local customer base can be enriched if they can access the information available in the huge data sources of internet.
The basic question is what is the fault of those poor people who are located in rural areas? The rich corporates are making money and denying the social responsibility. If the people in rural area can’t access information through internet from their places, then how can we claim that they are enjoying ‘right to information’. What are the reasons behind it?
In this era of flexible connectivity, there are still countries like Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, where people are not allowed to access internet. The political authorities of these countries are still not conscious enough about the richness of the data resources of internet. It is therefore understandable that the people of these countries are deprived people. Social development that should touch each and every individual of the country can easily be executed if internet is used.
Are the political authorities conscious enough to diminish this gap? What about those corporates who are making money every day by participating in the spectrum auctions? Isn’t it a social responsibility for all to think about this disparity?
We have to raise our voice for this.