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Technology Revolution

By: Justin Bergknoff

E-mail: jib95878@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu

The technology revolution is upon us. In recent years there have been many

triumphs in technology. Now more than ever, people are able to communicate

over thousands of miles with the greatest of ease. Wireless communication is

much to thank for the ease of communication. What used to take weeks threw

mail, now takes seconds over the Internet. But just like any revolution there are

social consequences, especially when the revolution takes place around the

globe. Since the world does not evolve at the same pace, lesser developed

countries as well as minorities in developed countries have not even come close

to reaping the benefits of a world connected at the touch of a button. The

social argument is that as this revolution proceeds, the gap between the haves

and have-nots will widen to the point of ill repute. Others argue that because of

technological advances the world is a much better place. This seems to be the

debate at hand. The problem domestically is that providing high-speed Internet

services to rural communities is difficult. Tom Daschle, a senator from Senator

from South Dakota highlighted the "digital divide" between those who have

access to high-speed Internet services and those who live in undeserved areas

where such capabilities may not be readily available. The reason that this so

critical to Senator Daschle is because those without access to high-speed

Internet services could be cut off from affordable information on education and

healthcare. The major issue domestically is the distance problem. Rural areas

are so far from the more technologically advanced urban areas that getting

high-speed phone connections to these rural areas is difficult. To help remedy

this problem many phone companies are trying to enter the long-distance

market. By doing this, it will enable telephone companies to make greater

investments in rural areas at a lower more affordable cost. Another option to

connect this distant areas is the exploiting of wireless technology. Wireless

technology can be a way around the distance problem posed by offering these

rural communities Internet access over traditional landlines. John Stanton of

western Wireless says, "Economically, wireless is a better way of providing

universal service." There is also another problem with Internet access on the

domestic front. This problem is that of race. According to a new Federal

survey, African-Americans and Hispanics are less than half as likely as whites

to explore the Internet from home, work or school. This study also reinforces

the fear that minority groups are increasingly at a disadvantage in competing

for entry-level jobs because most of these jobs now require a knowledge of

computers and comfort in navigating the Internet. Donna L. Hoffman, a

professor at Vanderbilt University says, "The big question is why

African-Americans are not adopting this technology, its not just price, because

they are buying cable and satellite systems in large numbers. So we have to

look deeper to cultural and social factors. I think there is still a question of

'What's in it for me?'" Most division in computer use correlates to income

levels and education. Sixty-one percent of whites and 54 percent of blacks in

households

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