Economics of the Digital Divide

This article addresses the potential of a deepening digital divide due to changes in Internet economics. The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) will meet in December to discuss a number of possible modifications that would tax producers of certain content online. The article focuses mainly on Southeast Asia, pointing out the increasing rate of Internet users in the region, largely due to high populations. Despite advancements stemming from the region’s high Internet use there remains a significant digital divide, and economic changes to the Internet could potentially cause this to worsen.

I found this article interesting because the concept of taxing a tool such as the Internet had never crossed my mind. The article addresses the deeper divide that would result in such a decision because developing countries would not be granted access to certain content, and therefore the developed world would continue to progress at a much higher rate. Although developed countries would most likely not see the immediate effects of these changes, they would be harmful to the global community. Technological advancements such as the Internet have given us the ability to improve all areas of our world. To deny certain regions of such a tool would be impeding technology from reaching its potential to minimize divide across the globe.

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