Digital Divides in the Pacific Islands

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By virtue of their physical make-up, their cultural and linguistic diversity, and the relative isolation and spread of their population, Pacific Island countries are faced with a multitude of challenges in the delivery of information services. This article reviews the nature of the digital divides that exist in the Pacific region, considering divides within countries, between the countries, and between the Pacific region and the rest of the world. The varied but generally high costs of Internet access (in part brought about by national telecommunication monopolies) are exacerbating the digital divide along socio-economic lines; but they also create regional imbalances, with certain countries effectively isolated. Nonetheless, community-based systems can work to offset this, as shown on Niue. Within these countries at present, no structures are even envisaged that would address digital divides, nor the implications of the technologies on traditional rank, status and power structures, which are fundamental matters in Polynesian and Micronesian societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-65
Number of pages20
JournalIT and Society
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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