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Digital Divide

The term digital divide refers to inequality in access to computer-based technologies by socioeconomic or demographic status. This entry discusses trends in digital divides in education and at home and the importance of access to technology for economic and educational outcomes.

Providing universal access to communication technology has been a goal of the United States since at least 1934, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Communications Act. Improvements in computer technology and the belief that they would create a revolution in communication, education, and the economy generated concerns about equitable access to digital communication technologies by the late 1960s and use of the term digital divide by the mid-1990s. Although private sector investments are no doubt responsible for many of the improvements in access since ...

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