Global Connectivity & Access

Global access and Connectivity: Global access to digital information and technology is very important and must be provided to everyone regardless of their region, religion, race, culture, age, ethnicity or disability. Things that impact on global access to digital information and technology are the following: 1) Digital Divide 2) Cultural norms 3) Government Policies and infrastructure.

1) Digital Divide: Digital Divide refers to the gap between people who have access to digital information and technology and those who don’t, such as seniors who cannot read small prints of long contracts. Also, remote communities don’t have access to all kind of modern technology such as ATMs, big shopping malls, post offices etc. Homeless people have no access to internet, landlines or even mobiles which means even, no contact to family members. Digital access allow people to communicate with each other and not to feel left alone in society and may help them to overcome their weakness such as disability and allow them to feel like a normal person who can move and interact with other members of society but unfortunately, most parts of the World lack this facility for their people especially, in developing World and also, some in developed countries, as in situations mentioned above but policies such as Ontario government’s policy can help overcome such issues; http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/info_comm/index.aspx 

2) Cultural norms: Preferences for social networks may vary around the globe as Facebook or Twitter may be popular in North America but not in China or Russia as they prefer to use QZone(China), VKontakte and Odnoklassniki(Russia). Social norms dominate the use of media across the world, same media is used in different way depending on culture and its people, even, our search language and results change depending on part of the world where we connected from. 

3) Government Policies and Infrastructure: Availability of different technologies or software also impacts global access such as developed world has well-established infrastructure of telephone lines which developing world lacks which is why most of the internet penetration is from developed world, and that is also leading to growth of mobile internet in developing world. Other factors to global access include government involvement or censorship to what people can access and what they cannot, for example, Chinese government’ internet censorship: http://www.cfr.org/china/media-censorship-china/p11515 or in Canada: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/blogcategory/71/161/  but government can also make laws that may give digital access to everyone based on equal rights such as Ontario government’s policy mentioned above. 

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