Monday, July 23, 2012

Post 7: Global Digital Divide

The global digital divide affects all countries around the world. Choose a foreign country you are interested in and report the percentage of Internet users and how this percentage has evolved in the past five years. Are there any gender, age or other demographic gaps among the users? Next, please describe a recent policy that has been adopted in order to bridge the digital divide in the country. Is that policy similar to the One Laptop Per Child initiative? Is it funded by the local government, a private company or an NGO? Do you think it is likely to reduce the technology gap?

29 comments:

Henry Nav said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobbi Newman said...

I chose England for my country.
Gaps in internet access are very similar to the U.S. The elderly are less likely to use the internet, as are the disabled. Similar to the U.S. men are more likely to use the internet as are those with more education and higher income.
There are several initiatives underway to address the digital divide. The government has pledge funding to help ensure that all communities have high speed internet access similar to the National Broadband Plan here in the U.S. There is also a program to help put refurbished computers in the hands of people who cannot afford a computer.

However it seems that also like the U.S. while much is being done to address the access to technology aspect of the digital divide little is being done to address the skills aspect of it.

High speed broadband access, a computer, and the ability to pay for both are only the first steps on a long road to closing the digital divide. Successfully closing the gap requires an array of skills or literacies – computer, technology, digital, privacy etc. For those citizens already out of the education system (and often those still in it) there are few places to turn for instruction and training with these 21st century skills.

Sources:
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rdit2/internet-access-quarterly-update/2011-q4/art-internet-access-q4.html

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rdit2/internet-access---households-and-individuals/2011/stb-internet-access-2011.html

http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/1937607/martha-lane-fox-hopes-cheap-pcs-digital-divide

http://infoism.co.uk/blog/category/the-nature-of-the-digital-divide/

N B Kelly said...

In Thailand in 2010, there were 17,486,400 Internet users, or about 26% of the population. This was a sizeable increase from 12.6% in 2009 and 3.7% in 2000 [1].

In terms of age of users, Thailand has one of the youngest online markets. Currently almost 75% of all Internet users are under the age of 35 (with users age 15-24 accounting for close to half of that group). Users age 15-24 also accounted for a bit more than half of all online minutes. Thai Internet users are about evenly split on gender: 50.7% male and 49.3% female. All people over 45 make up only about 11% of Thai Internet users [2].

While the International Telecommunication Union (2011) reported no significant gender divide among Thai Internet users, there were some significant differences between those in rural and urban areas. Also, while the consumption of the Internet increases every day among all age groups in Thailand, this growth is most noticeable among teens [3].

The government-funded “Smart Thailand 2020” states that “ICT is a key driving force in leading Thai people towards knowledge and wisdom and leading society towards equality and sustainable economy.” Its main goals include: universal broadband access (by 2015, 80 percent of the population should be able to access the broadband, which will increase to 95 percent by 2020); provide at least 75 percent of the population information literacy and increase ICT professionals to at least 3 percent of the workforce; increase the role and significance of ICT industries in the Thai economy; enhance overall national ICT readiness so that Thailand will be in the top quartile of the Networked Readiness Ranking; and create new Internet-based employment [3].

Dr. Siriwan Anantho (School of Communication Arts, STOU) says that Thailand has created many ICT-related policies for decades, but some have never been seriously implemented by the government sectors, thus it is crucial that the government and private sectors work hand in hand for policies like “Smart Thailand 2020” to work. I also think that the Thai economic forecast has a major impact on whether such a policy will succeed as planned. Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong says that Thailand’s economy in 2012 will rebound from the severe flooding last year, with a robust 7-percent growth rate “very much seeable” [4]. If this is true, a plan like “Smart Thailand 2020” has a chance at success.

[1] http://www.internetworldstats.com/asia/th.htm
[2] http://www.newmediatrendwatch.com/markets-by-country/11-long-haul/66-thailand
[3] www.compolicy.org/wp.../02/Digital-Divide-in-Thailand.pdf
[4] http://ajw.asahi.com/article/asia/south_east_asia/AJ201205120056

Henry Nav said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry Nav said...

Papua New Guinea (PNG)

One of the independent Indonesian States

Population 6.187 million (2011)


According to World Bank data (from Google's public data sites)[1] the volume of internet users in Papua New Guinea as a percentage of the population had steadily increased from zero in 1996 to nearly 2 percent in the last five years. The highest percentage was recorded in 2007 1.79% after which it has undergone some decrease. The last figure reported in 2010 was at 1.28%. Recent government deregulation of internet services in the last five years has resulted in lower cost, but adoption is still challenged because of poverty. The percentage of the population who have access to the Internet remains low in the country, compared to other countries, but the number is on the rise. 



According to a recent report by ABC Radio Australia (May 2012)[2], this rise of internet usage in the country is mostly through mobile phones and social media, and that internet content has largely involved its citizens voicing out political discontent. Papua New Guineans have taken to the Internet to discuss and make known worldwide their complaints about their government. Blogs and social pages have been created and widely used by the country's small number of internet users to discuss their woes about poverty and relevant social issues.
In 2010 the Papua New Guinea government released a plan (PNG Vision 2050)[3] to empower its people, particularly in rural and underdeveloped areas, through information access and connectivity with the rest of the country and of the world.



My thoughts on the growth of Internet usage in PNG are that it is characteristic of less-developed and economically-challenged nations. The growth is small, slow and under often under the mercy of government policy, and that the main divide is economic more than anything else. But when seen from within local communities, it will probably be evident that its people are aggressively finding ways to gain access to the Internet, given their limited means. Especially in this country where the Internet, in its early adoption, has already been identified for the main purpose of addressing social issues. The people are using the Internet to attempt to combat social issues, unlike in more affluent countries where many use the technology mostly casually, such as tweeting life's trivial details or to watch online videos of kittens. Such differentiating motivation in the people of PNG can be a unique and effective force in reducing the technology gap. In this case, overcoming the gap may be a result of fighting social injustice, instead of the other way around. Also, given popular discontent, any plans by the government such as the one cited, needs thorough monitoring to ensure that it is genuinely implemented.

Sources:
[1] http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=it_net_user_p2&idim=country:PNG

[2] http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/asia-pacific/png-internet-use-on-the-rise/942540

[3] http://ahumanright.org/blog/2010/10/papua-new-guinea-internet-access-a-top-priority/

Henry Nav said...

It's logical that with economically-challenged countries, internet usage is mostly dependent on economic status. While in more stable economies where internet access is affordable for the majority of the population, finer segmentations (based on age, gender, etc) arise.

One interesting possibility is that some economies of the future will be largely information-based, where information (and services around it) will be the main commodity and source of economic power. This trend has already started where smaller economies provide IT services to larger ones. Internet is the essential infrastructure for this type of market.

Shaun Kelly said...

In South Africa, the Internet is still only used by a small portion of the population; however, Internet use has taken off in the last few years and the rate of growth is expected to increase. From 2005 to 2010, Internet penetration grew from 7.6% of the population to 12.3% [1], and a separate study showed 25% year over year growth from 2010 to 2011 [2]. Of the 8.5 million Internet users in South Africa in 2011, 2.5 million access it only from their mobile phones. One of the biggest drivers of the growth in Internet use is the new undersea cable, which is driving down the cost of access.

The lingering effects of apartheid can be seen in the extreme digital divide in South Africa. While whites make up only 9.2% of the population, they make up 64% of Internet users. There is also a significant gender gap. Females are 51% of the population of South Africa, but only make up 31% of Internet users. [3][4]

The small coastal town of Knysna has attempted to bridge the digital divide by becoming the largest wi-fi hotspot on the continent[5]. In a public-private partnership, the local government set up wi-fi base stations and repeaters to enable wi-fi throughout the town. Because many of the residents of Knysna cannot afford computers, the program also included installing wi-fi enabled computers in schools and libraries, allowing people to access the Internet.

This program has the potential to help bridge the digital divide. Using wi-fi decreases the costs of installing physical infrastructure in every building and providing free access to computers is necessary since most people do not have access to them. Ultimately, though, programs like this only indirectly address the underlying causes of the digital divide (poverty; culture; repressive, corrupt governments). I think of the boy in the OLPC video from this week's Prezi, and noticed that all they demonstrated him doing with his laptop was taking pictures and drawing in the paint program. Is this actually helping his literacy and education or just providing a fun distraction? I don't know. Access alone may not be the solution, but hopefully it can be the first step in a virtuous circle.

Sources:
[1] Google Public Data from World Bank http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=it_net_user_p2&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:ZAF&ifdim=region&tstart=-297547200000&tend=1311825600000&hl=en&dl=en&ind=false&icfg
[2] World Wide Worx "Mobile pushes Internet to the masses" http://www.worldwideworx.com/mobile-pushes-internet-to-the-masses/
[3] Statistics South Africa "Mid-year population estimates 2010" http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0302/P03022010.pdf
[4] MyBroadband "SA’s Internet users: Who are they really?" http://mybroadband.co.za/news/internet/26869-sas-internet-users-who-are-they-really.html
[5] BBC Click "Bridging an African digital divide" http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/6983397.stm

Bobbi Newman said...

So far the common thread seems to be that the elderly, the poor, minorities and the less educated lack access in all countries. The argument has been made here in the US that these are the people who need it most. Think of all the services that have been moved online over the last couple of years in order to save money or be more efficient. It also makes it harder for those who need those services to access them.

N B Kelly said...

Females are 51% of the population of South Africa, but only make up 31% of Internet users, Shaun Kelly wrote; however, in the country I reported on, Thailand, the split is pretty even. I would suspect that gender divides in Internet usage are also correlated with other metrics of gender inequality. That would be an interesting study.

The UCLA World Internet Project (2004) found an average 8 percent gap between men and women using the Internet, which doesn’t seem too large. In the countries they looked at, Italy had the highest gap (men, 41.7 percent; women, 21.5 percent) and Taiwan the lowest (men 25.1; women 23.5).

Guntuku Dileepkumar said...

The country I am interested to see the statistics of Internet is “INDIA”.

In the past five years, in India, there was a tremendous increase in internet users. According to Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, in 2006 Internet users in India were around 37 million [1]. The average annual rate has been raising 10 to 20 per cent in every year [1]. According to BBC News Business, the internet user in India by end of 2012 will be estimated as 121 million [2].

In India main internet users fall under the age group of 19-40 years. There is a huge gender gap in terms of internet usage. 85% internet users are from male. Among working women, only 11% use internet. The ratio is almost half (6%) in case of non-working women and even very low in case of house-wives (2%) [3].

Though the use of internet has been rising in India, the fruits of IT sector yielded only to most developed and computerized economies. Still we can see digital divide is restricted to villagers and less developed states like Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh [4]. To reduce this gap, IT Action Plan from Planning Commission (http://www.planningcommission.nic.in/) and Ministry of Information Technology (MIT) (http://www.mit.gov.in/) have taken several initiatives for rural development through community information centers like “Grameen sanchar sevak,” “Gyan Doot,” the CARD and e–Seva projects, etc. Funding is mainly from both Government and private sectors [4]. The community information centers help government functionaries to use e–mail and the Internet for communicating with district and state officers. Efforts are being made to use the IT Infrastructure at the Community Information Centers to capture local information and make them available worldwide through the Internet. Being involved in some of the ICT projects in India, I believe these community centers really useful for rural villagers to access IT services and have a basic quality life.

Sources:
1. http://internetworldstats.com/asia/in.htm
2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16354076
3. http://www.slideshare.net/antonychacko1/internet-user-behaviour-india
4.http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/21815549/782836223/name/Bridging+digital+divide_Efforts+in+India.pdf

iafuelrunner said...

In Mexico, nearly 30% of the population utilizes the Internet. While this number has grown only slightly in the last five years, it is up nearly 28% since 2000 when the internet utilization rate was only about 2%. (Source: http://www.internetworldstats.com/am/mx.htm)

Interestingly though, Mexico has one of the highest disparities when it comes to the gender gap. The World Internet Project found that the gender gap is the largest in Mexico (16 percent more men than women are Internet users) and Columbia (15 percent more men than women). (Source: http://annenberg.usc.edu/News%20and%20Events/News/100226WIP.aspx)

Mexicans are moving away from dial-up and toward broadband. In fact, this technology shift is actually one of the fastest growing telecom markets in Mexico. There is little competition in the marketplace so one could assume that increased competition would drive down rates and increate adoption with lower costs.

However, that assumption would be wrong because In six Mexican respondents stated “no interest/not useful” as the reason for not using the internet. The cost of going online was not an issue for Mexican respondents. When asked about the reliability of information found online, all of the WIP countries and regions reported at least 40 percent of users who said that only half or less of information on the Internet is reliable.

While internet utilization is just at about 30% penetration in Mexico, it is higher than many other countries in the Latin American cultural regions. Today, private investment is the number one driver of increasing internet utilization. In August 2005 Cisco Systems, the industry leader in Internet backbone routing equipment, said they see Mexico and countries in Latin America as the focal point for growth in coming years.

I believe this investment by a major private firm will increase availability however the cultural norms seem to be dictating there is not a need for reducing the technology gap. I believe new, younger internet users will help increase awareness for the benefits of the internet and the gap will indeed begin to close.

Dan MacKenzie said...

I have chosen to look at Morocco. It is a country that has remained relatively stable during the Arab Spring movement, though it is not without its own challenges.

Internet became publicly available to Morocco in November of 1995. [1] Since then it has grown fairly well, especially with the advent of mobile internet connections. As of 2011 access was 16.65 million people, or roughly 49 percent of the population. [2] That is a large increase from only 6.66 million, or 21.5 percent in 2007. [2]

Internet cafes are widely available in Morocco, as is access at home through three major telecom companies. I was unable to find specific demographic-based usage statistics. However, one sight did have statistics for Facebook users. A majority of those users were between 18 and 34 years old, right at 67 percent, with 18-24 year olds making up about 24 percent. Of the total population, 62 percent of Facebook users were male. [3] Of course this may not be representative of the general population for internet use, but it gives a glimpse.

As far as bridging any digital divide, I chose to look at what information was available as a political/free speech divide versus what we might have in American culture. The main issue for Internet users in Morocco is censorship, particularly of bloggers. It is estimated that there are roughly 30,000 active bloggers in Morocco. [4]

Two main issues are criticism of the king and discussion of the disputed territory of Western Sahara. As recently as this year, people have received prison sentences for making remarks that are critical of the king on Facebook and YouTube. [5] The media generally strays from hot-button issues, even in print and broadcast. So this sort of response from the government is not unprecedented

Access to communication can sometimes be an issue. As of February of this year access to the VOIP service Skype has been reduced or altogether blocked. Users complain that connecting to users outside the country receive poor or no service. However, one of Morocco’s leading telecom providers is also starting up their own VOIP service similar to Skype, so this may be a strong-arm tactic against competition, rather than blocking international communication. [6]

Much of the debate over this censorship is led internally, that is, by the citizens themselves. As stated earlier the Arab Spring movement did not have quote the same impact in Morocco as it did elsewhere. There were a few scattered protests, but nothing violent or widespread; mostly marches and demonstrations. However something similar to Egypt or Libya would be needed to convince the longstanding monarchy to allow widespread criticism of its policies. Although I personally see it as unlikely to have a complete revolutionary overthrow of the monarchy. I think that as more methods for expression become available, and more people become aware of them, the line from discussion to change would not deviate very far.


[1] http://opennet.net/sites/opennet.net/files/ONI_Morocco_2009.pdf
[2] http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=it_net_user_p2&idim=country:USA&dl=en&hl=en&q=internet+usage+statistics#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=it_net_user&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:MAR&ifdim=region&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false
[3] http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/morocco
[4] http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hf-2c91SkV1ytdQ6fYZq43eAcX7Q
[5] http://en.rsf.org/morocco-authorities-keep-media-in-check-29-02-2012,41959.html
[6] http://thenextweb.com/me/2012/02/19/moroccos-main-telecom-provider-blocks-access-to-skype-and-other-voip-services

Guntuku Dileepkumar said...

It is interesting to read how different countries are trying to achieve digital divide.

I agree with Henry Nav, Digital divide is not a problem it can be achieved if countries have sustainable income, development and literacy. Fewer people in less developed countries than in rich ones own computers and have access to the internet simply because they are illiterate, or have other more pressing concerns, such as food, health care and security. At the same time, without information services growth of the country is not possible. Understanding the reality many countries trying to focus on literacy, infrastructure, and for stabilized economy. So, I believe digital divide is not just providing ICT services to people it is more like creating equitable and balanced world economy.

Shaun Kelly said...

Bobbi said: "However it seems that also like the U.S. while much is being done to address the access to technology aspect of the digital divide little is being done to address the skills aspect of it. "

Good point. Reminds me of a piece I saw in the New York Times recently, the point of which was that while efforts to bridge the access divide in the US are working, there's now what they call a "time-wasting gap." That is, that poor and less educated people with access to the Internet spend less time using it for "useful" things and more time playing Farmville, etc.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/30/us/new-digital-divide-seen-in-wasting-time-online.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Stuart Davidson said...

Country Austria:

Austria’s internet usage is at 74.8% of the population in 2010 according to Internet World Stats.com. That is a steep increase from the 45.7% of users in 2004. An interesting statistic that I found at NewMediaTrendWatch.com is that in the last five years the growth of internet usage amongst people over seventy years old is 170%. The average growth of all users in this period was 26%. This is consistent with what we are experiencing in America. The older generation has become more tech savvy and more receptive to learning about modern communication technology. Austria is also experiencing typical internet usage trends when it comes to higher educated people being more likely to use the internet.

Austrians take advantage of the internet in order to utilize government services at a fairly high rate. 51% of Austrians have reported using e-Government services and interacting with public authorities within the last year. Government services are a larger part of everyday life in some European countries, such as Austria, so it would make sense that the governments have taken their services online. A similar trend in the U.S. is the rising popularity of online tax returns. Many people take advantage of doing their taxes, and interactions with taxing authorities online

Stuart Davidson said...

In response to the England piece:

I'm not surprised that the demographic trends in England are similar to the United States. The two countries share many commonalities. I also agree that that teaching people computer skills is vital to closing the digital divide and I would like to see more attention given to this issue.

Sam Shenker said...

I chose South Korea. In south Korea from 2005 to 2010 the internet usage has increase 10% from ~ 70-80%. In 2011 the number of high speed internet devices actually outnumbered the number of people in Korea to 100.6%. This number almost is twice as high as other OECD countries

South Korea subsidized broadband internet and encouraged competition unlike in the US where there is often not a choice of which provider of internet you want to get locally.

There was some gender and age gaps involved in internet usage in Korea but a government program was setup to give middle aged housewives with low incomes internet devices and trained them how to use them.
This isn't entirely a simple factor of government policy. The political climate of America holds back some more ambitious broadband plans. The rural population in the USA is also much higher than Korea's, where a large portion of thier population lives.

OLPC doesn't really fit Korea's needs and didn't play much of a role in the spread of the internet. The leaders in the government decided that making the internet and high tech a priority for the country's future and today they lead the world in terms of both internet usage and speed.


News Article
http://thenextweb.com/asia/2012/07/22/korea-is-worlds-first-country-to-see-high-speed-internet-access-pass-100-penetration/?utm_medium=Spreadus&awesm=tnw.to_n1pR&utm_campaign=social+media&utm_source=Twitter

Google Public Data
http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=it_net_user_p2&idim=country:IND&dl=en&hl=en&q=internet+usage+in+india#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=it_net_user_p2&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:IND:KOR&ifdim=region&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

Blog Article
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/the-broadband-gap-why-do-they-have-more-fiber

JLTSC574Student said...

The global digital divide affects all countries around the world. Choose a foreign country you are interested in and report the percentage of Internet users and how this percentage has evolved in the past five years. Are there any gender, age or other demographic gaps among the users?

Japan's internet usage according to the World Bank is at 77.6% of the nation's total population. Over the past five years the total percentage of users has increased. According to the source I am using (http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=it_net_user_p2&idim=country:JPN&dl=en&hl=en&q=japan+internet+usage+statistics) there is no information about the gender, age, or other demographic gaps among the users.
There are studies of IT usage and gender in the academic literature, but I do not think that the World Bank's numbers are a reflection of that research.

Next, please describe a recent policy that has been adopted in order to bridge the digital divide in the country. Is that policy similar to the One Laptop Per Child initiative?

Athough, I found it difficult to find specific information about any official policies about the digital divide in Japan, I did find interesting comments at the Global Communcations Platform (http://www.glocom.org/debates/200007_digital_divide/). One commenter stated that their is a digital divide between older and younger users. Younger users tend to adopt a new technology and older users tend to be laggards (to use Rogers' language). In a two year old article by the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10543126) Japan's digital divide appears to be caused in part by an inability to adapt their economy from one based on manufacturing hard goods to one based upon software and intellectual property.

Is it funded by the local government, a private company or an NGO?

I found it difficult to find any source that described an internal digital divide…let alone one that describe a remedy that a local government, private company, or NGO could provide.

Do you think it is likely to reduce the technology gap?

Again, being I could not find a specific description of a digital divide and policy remedy I can not speak on the likelihood of a policy reducing a technology gap. It appears as if any digital divide in Japan is more a result of demographic characteristics (ie, young people tend to be innovators and early adopters while old people tend to be laggards) rather than an explicit social injustice requiring a legal or policy remedy.

Joshua Jordan said...

I thought Afghanistan would be an apt country to look at their internet usage over the 2000-2010 decade, since; after all, we entered their country to, first, liberate them from the Taliban and, second, teach them of our superior Western values and customs, whilst rebuilding what infrastructure they had that we bombed into the ground. We have been in Afghanistan and throwing ungodly amounts of money (that we don’t have) for a little over ten years, so I thought it might be interesting to see what kind of infrastructure we could produce with half a trillion U.S. dollars – one might think Afghanistan as the real world equivalent of Blade Runner with that kind o money, but, unfortunately, its just not the case.

According to our good friends at the World Bank, Afghanistan, in the year 2000, had no internet service available in the country and, only 1 in 1000 had access (i.e., not necessarily ownership, but the ability to get) to even a telephone in a population of approximately 29 million. I believe I read something akin to 35,000 land-line telephones were available to serve the entire country in 2000. Although I am sure in a population that great, some had access to the internet, but the World Bank reports zero users for 2000.

In 2002, once reconstruction began, the Ministry of Communications and Technology (MCIT) immediately passed legislation, opening the country to foreign investment to redevelop a dilapidated communications infrastructure and an entirely new IT sector. By 2006, an agreement was made with a Chinese based multinational to deploy a country-wide fiber optic network. I don’t have exact dates the agreement was signed, but it must have been implemented and adopted at blinding speeds because the International Monetary Fund reports 300,000 users in the same year. By 2010, the IMF reported users as 1 million which represents another massive jump from the approx. 500,000 measured in 2009; and 2011 was a fairly strong year to, bring them so far to 1.27 Million users.

In terms of the numbers that I found, I have to believe there is some misrepresentation occurring. Afghanistan is a country so far from modernization, for the internet to take hold, a myriad of diffusions would have to take place first – for one, the use of computers. I saw a video of a struggling Afghani attempting to drive a hummer as military training and he just couldn’t do it. A computer is light years ahead of operating a vehicle in my opinion.

What I think the numbers really represent are a very slow adoption by the Afghanis, and massively upheld and supported by the United States military and our private contractor services using the network they got the Afghanis to build. If the data is correct, then it is the only explanation for how adoption could take place with those numbers – I imagine the drones we use to kill terrorist-farmers require a lot of bandwidth to control.

Despite all that, with the success of the Arab Spring, perhaps more Afghanis will be more inclined to use the internet and throw their current overlord out… and then we will see real adoption rates emerge.

Sources:

http://www.internetworldstats.com/asia/af.htm
http://devdata.worldbank.org/ict/afg_ict.pdf
http://mcit.gov.af/en/page/2
http://web.ebscohost.com.proxy.lib.iastate.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=8017bde4-c8af-4998-880f-b6115cf19746%40sessionmgr113&vid=2&hid=111
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083658/

JLTSC574Student said...

Interesting comments about Austria. I have friends in Austria who married this year (an American and an Austrian). During their courtship/engagement, my American friend had to be in the US for work and subsequentially ended up using services like Skype and FaceTime quite a bit. I wonder if Internet usage rates entail using services like Voice over IP or softphones, of if just principally a description of web and email usage.

Interesting comment though about Austrian government services being a percentage of their aggregate Internet usage.

Joshua Jordan said...

Sam Shenker said...
I chose South Korea. In south Korea from 2005 to 2010 the internet usage has increase 10% from ~ 70-80%. In 2011 the number of high speed internet devices actually outnumbered the number of people in Korea to 100.6%. This number almost is twice as high as other OECD countries


I wonder how much the online video game industry provided impetus for development on that scale. In South Korea, video game stars are the equivalents of rock musicians and sports stars here. I can't remember what was popular in that time frame, but it was probably something like Counter Strike that made the people so in need of massive bandwidth.

A similar reverence for video games exists in Japan - I believe the release of Dragon Quest III nearly shut down the country.....I've played other Dragon Quest games in the series - I just don't get it...

Anand Tripathi said...

Country: Eritrea
Eritrea was one of the last nations in Africa to introduce the Internet, but its people might be one of the most frequent Internet user group compared to the relative size of Eritreans living around the world.

Especially, for Eritreans living outside their country it has become a second home serving as an information source about Eritrea and Eritreans. Nevertheless, in recent years the Internet has also made progress back home in Eritrea according to the latest data for the first quarter 2009.

The data shows that today Eritrea is accountable for 2% of the total African Internet user market. The development can be seen on three phases, starting with the year 2000 Eritrea had 5000 Internet users in 2006 this number increased to 50000 and the latest data shows 120000 Internet users in Eritrea.
Email system development for Eritrea

The Eritrean Technical Exchange Project (ETEP) founded Eritrea's electronic mail system in 1995, made practical by careful choices of technology adapted to the particular conditions in the country.

For the next five years the email system grew dramatically, providing low-cost efficient email service until the Internet arrived in Eritrea in the year 2000 under the sponsorship of the Leland Initiative. By that time, Eritrea's email system had over 2000 users and provided important services to government agencies and helped stimulate economic development.

The internet development and Email service is going to reduce the technology gap. People are going to stay in touch easily and communication is going to be faster.

Sources:
http://www.capitaleritrea.com/internet-penetration-in-eritrea-close-to-african-average/

http://www.the-icsee.org/projects/africa/eritrea.htm

Anand Tripathi said...

Guntuku you bring an interesting point about the spread of technology in rural India.
Although Indian infrastructure is good in most of the cities but the computer literacy rate is still not upto the mark in rural areas.
Although people are using technologies like cell phones. I still think there is a long way to go before they can become regular internet users.

Joshua Jordan said...

Bobbi Newman Said... "For those citizens already out of the education system (and often those still in it) there are few places to turn for instruction and training with these 21st century skills."

I might have found a few....

http://www.academicearth.org/
http://lecturefox.com/
http://www.khanacademy.org/
http://www.wibit.net/
http://webcast.berkeley.edu/
http://video.ias.edu/all
http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
http://www.open.ac.uk/
http://oyc.yale.edu/
http://duolingo.com/
http://books.google.com/
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/money101/

One can get a world class education for free these days, but without a piece of paper, it means nothing. If one merely has the desire to learn, these are excellent resources...

Joshua Jordan said...

Joshua Jordan said... "What I think the numbers really represent are a very slow adoption by the Afghanis, and massively upheld and supported by the United States military and our private contractor services using the network they got the Afghanis to build. If the data is correct, then it is the only explanation for how adoption could take place with those numbers..."

Well, to be fair, I guess I didn't consider Hamid Karzai's massive addiction to internet pornography....that'd use up a lot of bandwidth too....

Ben Lortz said...

The country I have chosen is France. According to Internet World Stats there are over 50 million internet users in this country which is about 77.2% of the population. In 2007 the internet penetration was at 53.1% and it has increased between five and ten percent every year since. People over the age of 50 make up nearly 30% of the internet usage and of the large increase in this age group the largest increase was from those over the age of 65.

When it comes to the internet policies in France it is really interesting to see that similar to China, France is trying to "civilize" their internet. There have been many recent attempts by the government to put regulations on the internet but many French people feel that this is an attempt to join the government and big businesses together. These policies are the only recent news in France’s internet news and since almost 80% of the population is internet users, policies to spread internet usage are very rare in France.

Ben Lortz said...

It is interesting to see how each country is steadily growing in their internet usage even though each of them are faced with different policies over their internet usage. A lot of these countries that have been discussed have really high internet penetration in the last five years and I think with new policies in some of these underprivilaged areas will increase internet usage everywhere.

iafuelrunner said...

Sam--it would be interesting to see if there are even any statistics available for North Korea.

Joshua Jordan said...

iafuelrunner said...
"Sam--it would be interesting to see if there are even any statistics available for North Korea."


I agree - that would be fascinating because undoubtedly the Kim family has access to the internet and probably high profile party members, especially for intelligence work. I doubt the people have access to the internet considering they don't have access to light bulbs, so maybe a diffusion study would have to be confined to their military industrial complex.

But I think Kim Jong Il was open to advances in different forms of communication and applied them to the best of his ability, yet necessarily under the precept of retaining his socio/psychopathic grip on the nation. Kim Jong Il was, after all, the head of the department for propaganda during his father's reign. Once he took control, he expanded his interests in forms of communication technology - for example, I believe he was known to have the largest film collection in the entire world.

I can only imagine Kim Jong Il watching Transformers 3 and even him expressing the need for Shia LeBeouf needing to just literally walk away from Hollywood toward the desert and a cliff with jagged rocks at the bottom - too bad Il didn't just attempt kidnapping him and sending him to a labor camp in his country before he died...American cinema would have owed him greatly; & maybe it would have opened up positive dialogue to finally end this war of a divided country. I suppose we'll all have to keep our fingers crossed with the new Kim Jong Un....