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Friday, April 02, 2004


Evidence of the Digital Divide?


This article in First Monday suggests that the digital divide in the United States is still dramatic. As an example in poorly motivated statistics, this is a good paper. As a solid analysis of the digital divide, the paper is less than adequate.

The digital divide is assumed to be an institutional factor that must be addressed by public policy. However, the decision to connect to the Internet is a personal choice, not one that is determined by race or gender. It is true that connecting to the Internet costs anywhere from $10 to $60 per month, plus the cost of a computer and the human capital to operate a computer. However, the costs of accessing the Internet are less than most cell phone payments and many of those who supposedly fall in the digital divide are busy yapping all day on cell phones.

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