The article reviewed aims at providing policy initiatives to increase the understanding of the digital divide within the Canadian context (Shade, 2002). The paper starts by explaining digital divide as the gap between individuals that can access the internet and those who cannot.
The article examines what gets meant by internet access by using the “access rainbow”. The “access rainbow” refers to a social technical model that got developed by Shade and Clement (Shade, 2002). The model provides socio-technical architecture for discussion and analysis of access to the internet. The article describes the various dimensions that portray the digital divide, which include the global, social and the democratic divide. The article factors in issues as income, class, and education level disparities as causes of the digital divide in Canada. The global divide that is the gap between the industrialized and developing countries also leads to the digital divide (Shade, 2002). The article also uses secondary data in the form of other studies that have got carried out to measure the digital divide. The article examines measurement of the digital divide by measuring household computer, telephone and internet penetration rates, which got conducted first in the US. In the use of secondary data, the article also reviews attempts used to bridge the digital divide through policies and programs in place in Canada (Shade, 2002).
The paper summarizes by providing policy initiatives, which will help individuals to understand the context of the digital divide in Canada. In North America, efforts get focused at opening up community access points such as libraries and schools. Policies such as the telecommunications act of 1996, which implemented funding to avail internet technology to public schools (Shade, 2002).
Shade, L. R. (2002). The digital divide:from definitional stances to policy initiatives. Department
of Canadian Heritage P3:policy and program forum , 1-17.