Digital divide in ASEAN countries: Explaining the gap
Book chapter, 2010
Currently, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is a vigorous engine of economic growth. While the penetration rate, investment and development of technology have increased considerably, the gap between people in society regarding access, use and benefit from ICT is increasing. In particular, there is unequal access to ICT even though the sector is rapidly diffusing. The present study examines determinants of this digital divide in ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam). To explain the evolution of the ASEAN digital divide, the study focuses on potential causes which are the GDP per capita, the urban proportion of the population, the competition level and the independent regulator. Statistically, the first three of these factors explain the divide in the region concerned while the role of independent regulator is not statistically significant suggesting the need for the more effective role of regulator in conducting the market.