The digital divide: Why the "don't-want-tos" won't compute: Lessons from a New Zealand ICT project

Barbara Crump, Andrea McIlroy

Abstract


Why, when computing is available in a socially situated, convenient environment, at no cost, do people choose not to compute? This paper describes a community-based project that wired four computing centres (hubs) in a lower socio-economic urban area in Wellington, New Zealandos capital city. One of the hubs is situated in a city council high-rise apartment block and after six months of operation it was apparent that many of the residents were not using the free computing facilities. A survey was designed and administered to the non-users in this apartment block. Responses centered on the themes of access, awareness and factors that would encourage residents to use the hub, but the majority stated they were "not interested." Analysis explores the impact of the social context within which the hub is situated and suggests reasons why some people choose not to compute.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v8i12.1106



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