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Want to Understand the Extent of the World’s Digital Divide? Look at These 3 Charts

– World Economic Forum

How restricted data access in developing countries affects people’s livelihoods

With illustrative graphics, this article outlines the poor data infrastructure and literacy in countries in the Global South. This means that many people cannot afford to connect to the internet - or even when they can, a huge 40% of people who have access to a mobile signal do not use it.

“At the same time, without access to broadband infrastructure at the local level, people cannot gain access to the wealth of data that exists, nor can data about those people be captured—so that their needs and preferences can be taken into account in the design and provision of public and private services.”

Efforts to institute better data policy will mean that millions more people can access remote work and education through online channels. Methods for this include allowing data to be exchanged locally rather than having to travel overseas, improved data literacy, and affordable smartphones.

Going forward, global efforts on universal access — based on goals set by the UN Broadband Commission — will play a critical role in making the data economy more equitable by ensuring that all have affordable, reliable, and high-speed internet service

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