The term "digital divide" refers to the gap between individuals, households, businesses and geographic areas at different socio-economic levels with regard to their opportunities to access information and communication technologies (ICTs) and their use of the Internet. It reflects differences among and within countries, and raises a number of questions. Where does it occur and why? What are its causes? How can it be measured? What are the relevant parameters? How wide is it? Where is it most critical? What are its effects likely to be in the short term? In the longer term? What needs to be done to alleviate it? These questions have only recently been raised, and it is not possible, as yet, to answer all of them with any certainty. This brochure presents data from the work of the OECD's Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI) and is part of an ongoing OECD effort to measure the extent of the so-called "digital divide", a topic that is currently receiving a good deal of attention.
The full document can be downloaded here: Understanding the Digital Divide .