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Digital Divide In Eastern European Countries

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Engineering Education; An International Perspective

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.436.1 - 8.436.13



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Paper Authors

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Nicolae Dragulanescu

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Carmen Boje

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2560

“Digital Divide” in Eastern European Countries and its Social Impact

Carmen Boje Assistant Professor, Computer Technology, Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis, USA

Nicolae-George Dragulanescu, Ph.D Former Fulbright Visiting Scholar, University of Pittsburgh, USA; Associate Professor, University Polytechnics, Bucharest, Romania


“Digital divide” is a concept coined a decade ago by Larry Irving, Jr., former US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Telecommunication and Communication, in order to focus public attention on the existing gap in access to information services between those who can afford to purchase the computer hardware and software necessary to participate in the global information network, and low income families and communities who cannot. Some progress in closing the “digital divide” has been made20. Until recently, however, attention has not been given to how to solve the Eastern Europe “digital disparity”. The goal of “digital inclusion” should be one of the most important concerns of our time because Information and Communication Technology influences many aspects of our lives.

This paper provides a comparative study of different “Digital Divides” existing between emerging democracies (or new market-oriented economies) from Eastern Europe as well as between them and developed countries (e.g. Western Europe, USA). Several factors which influence the “digital divides” will be analyzed and evaluated. Several factors like the organizational failure of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, suppressed in 1990, whose main goal was to organize economic specialization and cooperation of member countries16, multi national security for the acquisition of high technology, governmental priorities, restricted access to PCs, PC versus mainframe technology and current influencing factors like disparity of the cost of PCs and Internet access world wide, language barriers, 90% of information resources located in the western hemisphere will be analyzed and evaluated. Some possible solutions like considering Non Profit Organizations that could enable “have-nots” to receive free or low cost, new or used computers from “haves” and computer training programs in the Eastern European Countries are considered.


Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Dragulanescu, N., & Boje, C. (2003, June), Digital Divide In Eastern European Countries Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11743

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