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  • Writer's pictureLARUS Foundation

Internet Education and the Persisting Digital Poverty

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Internet Education and the Persisting Digital Poverty

As the Internet becomes more embedded in our lives, it is important to have a working knowledge of how the Internet functions, especially in terms of governance and policies.

However, one of the biggest barriers to this knowledge is the lack of access.

Let's look into how digital poverty interplay with internet education.

What is Digital Poverty?

Digital poverty means not having enough access to Internet-based services. The Internet used to be a convenience. But now it has become a basic utility.

While there has been a reduction in the percentage of adults without internet access at home, digital exclusion remains a pressing issue. Over 1.7 million households still lack internet access. Older individuals and those on lower incomes are disproportionately affected.

Three major factors that affect digital poverty:

a. Financial Poverty

The cost of living crisis exacerbates digital poverty, making it challenging for many to afford internet access.

b. Access

Geographical disparities often limit access, as rural areas may lack affordable, high-speed internet.

c. Skills

A lack of digital education and proficiency prevents individuals from fully engaging with the digital world.

Lower-income households and financially vulnerable individuals face barriers to internet access. Consequently, this affects their internet education.

Around 2 million households struggle to afford internet bills. The affordability of both internet connections and the necessary devices is a key concern. Furthermore, limited connectivity in remote areas remains a challenge. =

2.0 Skills and Education

Digital skills are becoming more important in our increasingly online way of life. Proficiency in using devices, handling information, creating and editing content, effective communication, and online safety are essential in today's society.

Universal internet education is necessary to address this gap. Skills learned from such education can equip individuals with crucial digital skills.

In our commitment to promoting internet education, the Larus Foundation strives to raise awareness of the barriers to digital access and advocate for solutions. We aim to contribute to society by addressing the issues of digital poverty and promoting internet education.

a. Internet Access and the Crucial Role of Internet Education

Internet access is a significant component of Internet education, and it plays a pivotal role in shaping our digital landscape.

While internet access is expanding globally, there are noteworthy disparities in Internet access. This disparity is particularly stark in less affluent regions.

b. Global Disparities in Internet Access

In advanced economies, the internet has become a basic utility. However, in many parts of the world, access remains limited.

Rates of internet access vary widely by country and region. Developed countries like South Korea, Australia, and Canada have high access rates. Lower access rates are prevalent in economically disadvantaged regions, notably sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia.

c. Internet Education and Inequality

The digital divide, characterized by unequal access to the internet, has significant implications for societal inequality. High-speed internet is important for remote work, online education, telemedicine, accessing social support programs, and financial services.

The absence of universal and affordable internet access can worsen income inequality both within and between countries.

d. Within Countries

Inequality may intensify, particularly in rural areas and among disadvantaged groups, due to limited internet access. Gender disparities may also widen where there is a gender gap in internet access.

e. Between Countries

The lack of internet access in emerging and developing countries can impede economic growth. Studies indicate that increased internet usage can boost per capita growth, underscoring the importance of universal access.

f. Improve infrastructure so more people can have online access

Governments should create a regulatory framework that encourages private sector investment in internet infrastructure.

3.0 Support for Businesses

Larus Foundation campaigns for internet policies that encourage business growth. We believe that promoting internet access for businesses, especially small enterprises, can encourage investments in information and communications technology.

4.0 Closing Thoughts

The role of the internet in our daily lives will only continue to grow. To create a globally progressive world, we need to bridge the digital divide and promote internet education.

These efforts will not only promote equality within and between countries but also contribute to the overall well-being of society. Larus Foundation believes in a world where everyone has access to universal Internet education. Join us in making this vision a shared reality.

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