Anatoly Klyosov was a Russian biochemist in the 80's, who had the privilege of interacting with other scientists of his field from all over the world, all because of the magic that was the internet. Back then, it was indeed a privilege to be able to share important discoveries with your contemporaries, but it is not a big deal anymore. In fact, the use of the internet has changed a lot over time. Its easy delivery to the public has shaped its usage quite differently and now, people are using it not only for sharing outstanding ideas but also for gaining all types of help in household chores as well as professional development. It is also used for socializing and e-commerce. Thanks to the internet, the world has now become a global village. Surprisingly, with all the claims that everybody is now connected through the internet, there is still a large population, mostly in the rural parts of the world, which has no access to the magic of the internet. Therefore, the biggest challenge is to make the dream and claims come true. For that, it is essential to address the problems we have in providing equal internet opportunities for all.
Given below are a few problems and their solutions:
The government is not doing enough to ensure internet access for everyone. There should be support in the form of laws and policies to encourage foreign investments as well as domestic development. The provision of high-speed internet should be on a higher priority when working on the public policy. All countries should be internet ready according to Paul Harwood, a Google representative.
Presence of mountains as in the case of the Himalayas passing through Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, and China in Asia and scattered Islands all over the Pacific often makes internet provision almost impossible because of the costly infrastructure. The difficulty of running fiber optics in such areas has made the internet unaffordable in these areas.
There is no way we can deny the importance of literacy when it comes to computer and internet usage. It only makes sense that people who know how to read and write would benefit more from the privileges of a computer and the internet technology. Therefore, these two go hand in hand.
To allow involvement of more people, it is necessary that they should be comfortable with the language being used. Otherwise, it would not be possible for them to generate local content. We often confuse having a command over English with basic literacy, which is two completely different things. There is no standardization of language, and it is essential that desktops and mobile operating systems support a larger number of languages. People should be given the freedom to read as well as write in their native languages since language barrier is an impenetrable hurdle to local content generation.
In various countries where the internet is available, the issues of speed are so widespread that not many people use the internet. Moreover, the high-speed connection in such countries is so costly that not everybody can afford to have it. Therefore, access to high speed and not just the internet is essential for the citizens to put their two cents in the development of the internet.
Literacy is not the only parameter on which internet success depends. While basic literacy is essential for the consumer to be able to navigate their way through the internet, digital skill is equally if not more important. A person who possesses some digital knowledge will be more adept at handling and thus benefitting from the internet than a layman. Therefore, a basic digital know-how can go a long way in the world of the internet.
According to studies, the three to four billion people who are now left without internet access belong to a poor socio-economic background. In order for them to have easy access to the internet, it is necessary that unique business models be designed. Both the government and the private sector should work on making the prices of mobile data, broadband, and devices more affordable.
The ever-increasing cyber crimes have acted as a deterrent to the internet popularity. People, who are not very adept at understanding the cyber world, often find themselves a target of some scam and with every fraud, there is a decrease in the usage. It is crucial that the internet usage is made more secure and comfortable. The following three strategies should be implemented:
E-payment is often considered a major obstacle when it comes to e-commerce. More comfortable and regulated methods of e-payment should be initiated so that e-commerce can flourish. Laws for e-payment should be made and implemented in order to literally make the world a global village. Online investment and making e-payments should feel like handing money to someone standing right in front of you.
Data protection and privacy laws, electronic payment laws, cyber-security laws and other such laws are essential to ensure that a person has online protection. It also allows the digital economy to grow and develop by making investments easier since large corporations will not participate in economies if there is no legal protection. Therefore, creating a legal framework is important for the digital world to flourish. These are a few challenges that the internet world is now facing and which need to be addressed in order to increase the internet access. The idea is to make the internet more available to the rural population as well to ensure better connectivity worldwide.