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ECT News Community   »   E-Commerce Times Talkback   »   Re: E-Commerce: Deepening the Digital Divide

Re: E-Commerce: Deepening the Digital Divide
Posted by: Paul A. Greenberg 2001-08-25 11:23:27
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Aside from its obvious commercial potential, the greatest promise of e-commerce has
always been its potential to be an all-inclusive forum. All of the interpersonal
exchanges that seem to slight certain ethnic or minority groups offline were supposed to
be less of a problem when doing business electronically, right?

Not so fast. While it is true that personal bias may play less of a role in an online
transaction, something much more pervasive has apparently taken its place. Call it
technological bias -- and consider that before lower income population groups or
minorities can participate in the new world of e-commerce, all citizens must have
access to the technology.

Re: E-Commerce: Deepening the Digital Divide
Posted by: tech advocate 2001-08-27 14:42:51 In reply to: Paul A. Greenberg
Blaming the continuing disparity of the digital divide on e-commerce is ludicrous. E-commerce
certainly exemplifies the divide based on the quoted demographics, but it does not exacerbate it.

It is the responsbility of the municipalities to provide the connectivity to homes and businesses that will
then attract a competitive list of broadband ISPs to market to their citizens. When ISPs have to
invest in the city infrastructure, it creates a monopoly and costs too high for low-income residents to
afford. Rather than providing the service like water or electricity, local governements should focus on
providing the broadband "roads" and leave the consumer to buy & select the "cars" or service providers that will transport them to the Internet.

Jump to:
How important is social media to the success of your business?
Highly -- Social media is essential to our business model.
Somewhat -- We do see benefit from social media, but without it our operations would continue.
Minimally -- We're on social media because that's expected, though it's influence on our success is negligible.
Not at All -- Social media is not useful to our business.