More recently, some have used the term to refer to gaps in broadband network access. The term can mean not only unequal access tocomputer hardware, but also inequalities between groups of people in the ability to use information technology fully.
Given the range of criteria used to assess the various technological disparities between groups/nations, and lack of data on some aspects of usage, the exact nature of the digital divide is both contextual and debatable.
Lisa Servon argued in 2002 that the digital divide is a symptom of a larger and more complex problem -- that of persistent poverty and inequality. Mehra (2004), identifies socioeconomic status, income, educational level, and race among other factors associated with technological attainment, or the potential of the Internet to improve everyday life for those on the margins of society and to achieve greater social equity and empowerment.