Digital segmentation | Socio-economic inequality

picture digital segmentation

Digital segmentation refers to a socio-economic inequality where a particular person, family, business or people in a particular region are deprived of the use, influence or possession of information technology. By digital division, the technological division between developed and developing countries at the global level is considered on the basis of international standards. Traditionally, the term “digital segmentation” refers to the question of having or not having various technological advantages.

Although 95 percent of the world’s population now enjoys the benefits of mobile phones, there is an unequal divide between them based on Internet bandwidth usage. It is this division in the modern world that determines “who is more efficient and who is less efficient”.

Developing countries of the world are not able to keep pace with the growing demand for internet. And through this, the digital divide has become more and more evident. High quality computers, high speed internet, technological cooperation and telephone services are not equally distributed in all countries and regions of the world. And the digital divide created by this greatly controls the development of skilled manpower at the present time.

According to Martin Hilbert, an assistant professor at the University of California, only three countries (China, Japan and the United States) lost 50 percent of the world’s Internet bandwidth in 2014, and this centralization was not new as historically only 10 countries 70-75 percent controlled.

He added that in 2011, China replaced the United States in Internet bandwidth management, as China gained twice as much as the United States in global bandwidth management (China 29 percent and the United States 13 percent). Due to the inequality created by the spread of the Internet in the world, some countries have lagged behind in the development of technology, education, labor, democracy and tourism.

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a Geneva-based telecommunications development organization affiliated to the United Nations, in 2015 only 40 percent of the world’s population used the Internet, of which 74 percent were citizens of developed countries. That is, two people in the developing world used the Internet as opposed to one in the developed world. But 4 billion people around the world still lack access to the Internet, two-thirds of whom are citizens of developing countries.

Note that only 9.5 percent of the world’s underdeveloped countries use the Internet. Receipt of goods and services by technology is affected by the global digital divide. Computers and the Internet ensure that users earn a good education and earn good money. On the other hand, in countries where such facilities are limited, the path to socio-economic development is hampered.

According to another ITU survey, in 2015, 80 per cent of households in developed countries had internet connection, but only 34 per cent in developing countries.

This division can be more clearly understood by the number of regional Internet users. In 2015, 21 percent of people in Africa, 66 percent in North and South America, 37 percent in Arab countries, 37 percent in Asia and the Pacific, and 78 percent in Europe used the Internet. That is, the more Internet users there are, the more developed they are.

The global digital divide is often referred to as the “north-south” division where the northern countries of the world are more developed than the southern countries. Individual self-determination, institutional structure and political patronage can play the most important role in controlling this disparity in the global digital divide.

According to U.S. sociologist Professor Mauro Guillen and political scientist Professor Sandra L. Suárez, "the spread of the Internet is faster under democratic rule than under authoritarian or totalitarian rule."

Through the beginning of the twenty-first century, technological advances have been able to connect millions of people. Controlling the disparities in the digital divide will make it easier to follow the global development agenda and achieve the sustainable development of the future that will play a role in rapidly moving the world towards a digital society.

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