Information Gaps: Myth or Reality?


Compaine, B.M. (1986). “Information Gaps: Myth or Reality?”. In Telecommunications Policy, 10 (1), 5-12. London: Elsevier.

Work data:

Type of work: Article (academic)


Digital Divide | ICT Infrastructure


The rising importance of information technologies is said to threaten ever wider gaps between groups in society. This article considers to what extent the warnings are valid. The author traces the history of the introduction in the USA of the telephone, electricity and other innovations and finds that all have followed the same pattern - access was limited in the early stages. He concludes that there is no need to act precipitously to improve access to information technologies and, in any case, the type of action needed is not at all obvious. As the world’s work force becomes wealthier and technology costs decline, the differences in all aspects of living standards will decrease.