Initially referring to the gap in ownership of computers between certain ethnic groups, the term came into usage in the mid-1990s, appearing in several news articles and political speeches. President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Goreboth used the term in a 1996 speech in Knoxville, Tennessee. Larry Irving, a former United States head of the National Telecommunications Infrastructure Administration (NTIA) at the Department of Commerce, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and technology adviser to the Clinton Administration, noted that a series of NTIA surveys were "catalysts for the popularity, ubiquity, and redefinition" of the term, and he used the term in a series of later reports. During the George W. Bush Administration, the NTIA reports tended to focus less on the availability of the necessary hardware, more on Internet access, broadband in particular, and the disparity of access between the developed and developing worlds.
There is considerable accountable literature on the subject (info) that predates common usage of the term, thus it is more of a "new label" for what was already a distinct concept.