What We Do

Increasingly, the future of the internet will be determined in Asia where two billion users are gaining access to broadband. This access could be helpful or harmful. Invited by Asian governments, Digital Divide Institute works with Asian stakeholders to make sure the internet becomes usable, affordable and empowering to low-income, remote citizens.

Linking Asian Stakeholders

Though our model emerged from a joint Harvard/MIT task force led by DDI founder Craig Warren Smith, our research focus is now in the field. We operate from test-market locations in four nations of deployment to conduct research on “five domains of innovation,” as indicated in the chart. 

Advisory Services

Digital Divide Institute is an advisory service. Our focus is Meaningful Broadband. FAQ We do policy research, activate local test markets, do economic modeling, do best-practice assessments and form synergistic alliances. Our networks in each nation span the separate silos of business, government, academia and nonprofit sectors. We do not serve proprietary or political interests but help institutions and leaders align their strategies with the public good. In each case our aim is to integrate “digital divide” themes into their policies, strategies and initiatives. Sometimes we put them in clusters, as when we got help of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create a coalition of 12 big international foundations to collaborate on Digital Divide. Go inside to learn about our partnerships within national governments, intergovernmental agencies, universities, corporations, and philanthropic foundations.

Broadband Ethics

DDI is contributing to worldwide efforts to build methodologies for a new academic field called Broadband Ethics. We do not assume that broadband in itself is a “public good” like air and water — the more the better. Rather, we focus on optimizing broadband so that its harm is reduced and its benefit is strengthened. Like other academic fields tied to new technologies (bioethics and media ethics), broadband ethics is needed to help the world’s policymakers understand the ethical implications of the introduction of broadband technologies to all planetary citizens. Based at our own Center for Ethics of Science and Technology of Chulalongkorn University, we work with Association of Internet Researchers, UNESCO, leading neuroscientists and ethnographers on this theme.