The growth of digital technology has brought about an increasing awareness to individuals who do not have access to internet, computer, or mobile telephones. The difference between those that have access and those that do not have access is the digital divide. Over the years the gap between the “haves” and “have not” has decreased but it still exists. More schools are assigning homework that must be access online or require a computer to complete. Having access to information and the newest technology has become a necessity rather than the luxury it was less than a decade ago. Those who live in communities with limited internet or computer access are being left behind.
The digital divide can be traced back to the beginning of the personal computer. Apple introduced the Apple II in 1977. The Apple II offered an ease of use as well as many features that were manageable for the everyday user. In 1980, the Apple II was being installed in many schools for students to use (Compaine, 2001). Starting in 1983 a survey found that two-thirds of wealthy school districts had computers (Compaine, 2001). This can be considered the beginning of the digital divide since less than 20% of poor school districts, at this same time, had access to a personal computer.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration was created in 1978. They work closely with the Executive Branch of the government by providing information that helps determine future telecommunication and information policies (NTIA, 2010). The first time a government survey was conducted regarding the telecommunication issues was in 1994 (Compaine, 2001). The NTIA produced a report called “Falling Through the Net: Defining Digital Divide”. This report was compiled from information that was received from the US Census Bureau. This information was used to determine the size of the digital divide that existed at the time as well as what could be done to decrease the size of the gap....