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Study of Internet Diffusion and Digital Divide in Italy

The Internet has become the protagonist of our days. Starting from a simple definition that analyzes the Internet diffusion process, “any entity (household, individual, or firm) is considered connected to the Internet if it has the capability of communicating with other entities (information in and/or information out) via the physical structure of the Internet” (Greenstein, Price 2003). The net has undeniably entered our everyday life forcefully, ceasing to be an instrument used by a limited circle of academics to become a new and versatile mass media. This research project has been carried out by the IIT for a few years, in order to study Internet Diffusion in Italy and it utilizes the domain name indicator as an endogenous metric. Its main purpose is the analysis of the Internet diffusion among individuals, firms, self employed persons, non profit making organizations, public bodies and so on. This research analyzes and compares also Internet penetration rates among Italian geographical areas, as well as the factors contributing to the existence of the Digital Divide.