Information Technology Policy and the Digital Divide

Information Technology Policy and the Digital Divide

Lessons for Developing Countries

Edited by Mitsuhiro Kagami, Masatsugu Tsuji and Emanuele Giovannetti

The proliferation of new information technologies throughout the world has raised some important questions for policymakers as to how developing countries can benefit from their diffusion. This important volume compares the advantages and disadvantages of the IT revolution through detailed studies of a variety of developed and developing nations and regions: Argentina, Estonia, the EU, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand and the USA.

Chapter 7: Information Technology: Some Implications for Thailand

Chanin Mephokee

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, innovation and technology, technology and ict


Chanin Mephokee 1. INTRODUCTION The IT revolution has been progressing on a global scale with the rapid advancement of computer and communications technologies. The IT revolution, like the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century starting in England, has changed world society. While the Industrial Revolution changed agricultural society to industrial society, the IT revolution is going to change society into a ‘knowledge-emergent society’. Advancements in information technologies, primarily the Internet, will change the quality of information exchanges and revolutionize relationships between individuals, between individuals and organizations, and between individuals and society, by drastically reducing the costs and time for information distribution. Geographical differences will cease to be a burden for people to communicate as everyone in the world will be living under an identical IT network. Current IT innovations can be divided into those in information processing technology and those in information transmission technology. In terms of the former, the processing capacity of semiconductors has increased by more than 10 000 times over the last 30 years. Information processing technology innovation has opened the way for miniaturization, major price reductions and staggering advances in performance, causing an explosive global-scale expansion in information-related equipment hardware and software markets. In the case of information transmission technology, innovations allowing the high speed, low cost transmission of high volume processed information are also creating new possibilities. The spread of Internet technology and fibre optic-based WDM technology means that large amounts of information can be exchanged among a wide range of people, making possible multilateral...

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