The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


e-Society: Digital Differentiation: Consumption Profiles of Fracturing Digital Divides

As the e-society matures, the key distinction through which society was classified into the digital haves and have-nots is radically changing. Variation in awareness and usage is no longer best represented as the crisp and well-defined digital divides that were posited a decade ago.

Today's key issues concern emergent patterns of digital differentiation within the population. Such differentiation is becoming manifest in terms of access to different types of goods and services, in the speed and convenience of access, and the availability of new technologies in public and private domains. In new and subtle ways, high-speed networks, new hand-held and desktop devices, interface and system design and Internet service providers are having important impacts upon productivity, work and social interaction.

In this project, we are working on the detailed nationwide analysis of consumer access to new ICT, a classification of households in terms of their type of use and access to digital technologies, and areal profiling of where different groups reside and the kinds of services that they require.

The focus of this research is on developing a national classification of use and awareness of new information and communication technologies (ICTs). This classification is being developed using a wide range of public and private sector datasets and the project team will investigate how individuals and households use ICTs to source information, to conduct transactions and to participate in on-line decision making.


  • Chao Li