Friday, March 31, 2006

"Digital Divide" gap closes due to market forces.

Nation: I always wondered about the whole gap argument because it is simple reasoning that in the beginning those that can afford a product/service will use it first, the product/service gets more popular, easier to make, cheaper to sell the customer base will get bigger. That is what happened with the computer and the use of the internet.

African-Americans are steadily gaining access to and ease with the Internet, signaling a remarkable closing of the "digital divide" that many experts had worried would be a crippling disadvantage in achieving success. Civil rights leaders, educators and national policy makers warned for years that the Internet was bypassing blacks and some Hispanics as whites and Asian-Americans were rapidly increasing their use of it. But the falling price of laptops, more computers in public schools and libraries and the newest generation of cellphones and hand-held devices that connect to the Internet have all contributed to closing the divide, Internet experts say. Another powerful influence in attracting blacks and other minorities to the Internet has been the explosive evolution of the Internet itself, once mostly a tool used by researchers, which has become a cultural crossroad of work, play and social interaction. Studies and mounting anecdotal evidence now suggest that blacks, even some of those at the lower end of the economic scale, are making significant gains. As a result, organizations that serve African-Americans, as well as companies seeking their business, are increasingly turning to the Internet to reach out to them.
Here are two stunning statements.
Education levels remain a major indicator of who is among the 137 million Americans using the Internet and who is not, said Ms. Fox. There is also a strong correlation, experts say, between household income and Internet access.
This piece reads like its a couple of years behind the current trend, but not offensive.

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