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The lack of a digital divide

One of the big issues in the 1990s was the digital divide -- would computers and the Internet be widely available and accessible. And this was a real issue for agencies. If you are at the IRS, for example, how much do you really press forward with e-filing if many of the people who are supposed to use that service don't have computers or Internet access?

So I was interested this morning when I got my WSJ.com e-mail newsletter and this was the quote of the day:

Quote of the Day
"What digital divide?" basketball legend Magic Johnson asked rhetorically in an interview with the New York Times about his new Internet campaign deal with Ford Motor's Lincoln Mercury division to use the Internet to promote cars to black prospective buyers. 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, the Times reports.


Here is the nut of the NYT's story:

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.


So there is one issue you can rest easy about.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Mar 31, 2006 at 12:15 PM


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