Digital divide is a frequent and popular topic. The general feeling is that it is something negative that should be fought against, and diminished as much as possible. But is there a consistent and generally accepted definition of digital divide? One that would enable us to measure digital divide, evaluate it, compare, discuss etc.? Or is digital divide more like a Yeti (the Abominable Snowman) in statistics? Something that everybody talks about, but nobody has really seen it and knows much about what it really is?
The usual understanding is that “digital divide” is the imbalance between something that has to do with ICT. And once those numbers, describing such an imbalance do exist, the amount of digital divide (or: level, ratio, coefficient or whatever we call it) can be exactly calculated, using traditional statistical methods.
But the real problem is somewhere else: what exactly should we measure, if we want to evaluate digital divide? Is digital divide the difference in Internet penetration between various countries? Or the difference in fixed phone penetration, mobile phone penetration, PC penetration etc.?