There are several aspects of Digital divide :
- Availability and quality of access to digital media and the internet;
- Awareness of the possibilities, opportunities, and risks inherent in the internet;
- and skills that enable the best use of the internet.
The causes of a digital divide are typically poor infrastructure investment by the state, local authorities, and business entities; the absence of economic resources; low level of education; inadequate skills; limited job opportunities; and conservative social attitudes. In 2016 and again in 2017, ISOC-IL conducted surveys in order to check the internet access and use of technology in Arab society in Israel. The surveys revealed improved access to the internet via mobile phones as well as significant gaps in physical access to desktop computers and supporting infrastructures, and relatively low familiarity with the latest tools and skills compared to the Jewish society. The report shows a distinct contrast compared to the Jewish population (including among young people) in terms of maximizing the potential of the internet and its practical benefits.
This digital divide preserves and even widens the socio-economic gaps; while the digital divide between Arab and Jewish societies is linked to- and based on – other differences, the paper suggests that investment in internet access and usage can, in fact, serve as a powerful tool in supporting the Arab society in Israel and contribute to narrow the gaps in other contexts.