The BTG Initiative


March 12, 2013


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digital divide is an economic inequality between groups, broadly construed, in terms of access to, use of, or knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICT). The divide inside countries (such as the digital divide in the United States) can refer to inequalities between individuals, households, businesses, and geographic areas at different socioeconomic and other demographic levels, while  the Global digital divide designates countries as the units of analysis and examines the divide between developing and developed countries on an international scale.

An individual must be able to connect in order to achieve enhancement of social and cultural capital as well as achieve mass economic gains in productivity. Therefore, access is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for overcoming the digital divide. Access to ICT meets significant challenges that stem from income restrictions. The borderline between ICT as a necessity good and ICT as a luxury good is roughly around the “magical number” of US$10 per person per month, or US$120 per year,  which means that people consider ICT expenditure of  US $120 per year as a basic necessity. Since more than 40% of the world population lives on less than US$ 2 per day, and around 20% live on less than US$ 1 per day (or less than US$ 365 per year), these income segments would have to spend one third of their income on ICT (120/365 = 33%), which is a lot to ask, since the global average of ICT spending is at a mere 3% of income. Potential solutions include driving down the costs of ICT, which includes low cost technologies and shared access through open networks and public WiFi.

The execution of the latter is our Mission!


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