PERSPECTIVES

How COVID Changes the Digital Divide Debate

2020-12-03


By exposing the worst elements of our digital have and have-not world, COVID-19 has shone light on how the divide can and should be bridged.

The digital divide has been a topic of much debate and concern for long — and rightly so. The pandemic has highlighted the adverse and systemic shortcomings that separate those with access to modern digital tools — and those who do not. These include digital gaps in education, healthcare access and citizen engagement.

As a result of the initial shock of what has been a prolonged pandemic, the crisis has inspired the search for low-cost solutions enabled by advancements in digital communications technologies such as 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). These includes building on top of existing sensor networks and using broadband “white space” to enhance access to digital services.

These, combined with broader efforts to improve inclusivity — such as improving data interoperability and enabling digital citizen services — could show the way forward in creating a level digital playing field.

For more insights on how Cognizant is addressing the digital divide, visit the Cognizant U.S. Foundation or contact us.