Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The digital divide

Apparently the UK government feels that the so called digital divide is self correcting. I don't think they get it, the divide isn't about what they seem to think it's about...

I'm used to having instant access to breaking news, data and information. Even when I'm sitting on a plane or a train, I'm used to being better informed about most subjects than the typical man in the street, because amongst other things, I have access to the wire services that most news stories are based around. Access to primary sources is what divides the information haves and have-nots, not access to the underlying infrastructure.

I've stood several times in railway stations knowing exactly how long a train is delayed, and which station it passed last, and how much longer it's going to be when even the station staff themselves don't seem to have access to this information. Access to the Internet isn't the issue, the issue is access to information, you can't just give someone broadband access and expect them to close the divide on their own.