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Measuring the Broadband Access Divide

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http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2909616
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICTD '16 Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development
PublisherACM
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-4306-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventEighth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development - Ann Arbor, United States
Duration: 3 Jun 20166 Jun 2016
https://ictd2016.info/

Conference

ConferenceEighth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development
Abbreviated titleICTD 2016
CountryUnited States
CityAnn Arbor
Period3/06/166/06/16
Internet address

Abstract

Decreases in a Gini index for broadband uptake have been interpreted as evidence of a narrowing digital divide. Nevertheless, a significant divide persists.
We propose two related indices, both well-known in the study of health inequalities (Wagstaff et al. 1991, 2005), as measures for the depth and breadth of the digital divide.Our concern is the contribution of the digital divide to social inequalities and cycles of deprivation. Depth quantifies the barriers to digital inclusion presented by existing deprivation. Breadth provides a measure of the degree to which the digital divide tends to reinforce existing inequalities.
Using data for broadband uptake in Scotland, we show how breadth and depth can be used, at local scale, to plan and assess interventions intended to close the divide. We also analyse global data from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The breadth of the global divide,which we interpret as its impact on inter-national inequalities, has increased steadily since 2000. The depth of the global divide, which we interpret as a relative measure of the barriers to entry facing those offline, fell from 2000 to 2011, but has risen annually since then.

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