The digital divide prevents billions of people from having access to the internet – especially in rural areas. But thanks to modern satellite mapping technologies, it’s easier than ever for telecommunications companies to know where and how to provide internet services.
At a glance:
- The telecommunications industry has a vital role in bridging the digital divide
- Developing countries, rural areas, and remote islands are among the worst affected
- Learn about options to close the digital divide
- Find out how geospatial data and RF mapping can make internet infrastructure deployment projects more efficient
Access to high-speed internet could transform the lives of the billions of people who currently lack it. Imagine a farmer, who could find out how to adapt his crops to a changing climate. Or an ambitious rural student who wants to learn more than her school can teach. Or a businesswoman who discovers an export market for her artisanal handicrafts.
Today, however, the digital divide prevents countless people from accessing the information and opportunities available online. According to the World Economic Forum, 2.9 billion people lack meaningful access to the internet, and only 53% of humanity has access to high-speed internet. This lack of access is most acute in developing countries, but it persists in the developed world too. In the US, 39% of people living in rural areas can’t get high-speed internet at home, while in many countries of southeast Europe, more than a fifth of the population has never used the World Wide Web.
Telecom firms provide the vital infrastructure that allows people to access the internet, and so play a vital role in bridging the digital divide. While they’ve been highly successful at connecting urban areas, it’s much harder (and more expensive) to connect sparsely-populated rural environments. But with very detailed mapping, it’s becoming much easier for them to plan out where and how to reach those missing billions.