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Can you read this? You're one of the lucky ones

Can you read this? You're one of the lucky ones

Posting in Science

The 'digital divide' - what is it, and what should businesses be aware of?

Internet access is something most of us in the West now take for granted. Whether we want high-speed broadband on home desktops, or the ability to check our email on mobile devices, it has become an ingrained and expected part of daily life.

However, not everyone is so lucky, and a new infographic provided by OnlineITdegree.net reminds us that the Internet should be considered a luxury, not a right. The wealth of information and services available across digital networks, in fact, is not as accessible as you may think. As such, businesses should consider this more seriously in terms of their reliance on Internet users.

Several of the most interesting statistics include:

  • 100,000,000 U.S. households do not have access to broadband.
  • 46 percent of the poorest households (living on less than $25,000 annually) do not possess a computer, whereas only 4 percent of the wealthiest ($100,000 or more) choose to go without one.
  • More than twice the amount of rural household rely on dial-up Internet services than urban households.
  • Innovative and new technologies are more expensive in the U.S. than elsewhere in the world.
  • In order to try and increase the availability of broadband services across the United States, initiatives such as the FCC are trying to build the required infrastructure, increase speeds and reduce costs.

For more information, view the infographic below:

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure