Italian Analog Divide

Il digital divide e il progressoThis is the first in a series of translated posts from the previous entries in my blog. They will be seleceted for the topics that may prove of major interest to a wider audience, thus translated into English. Well, let’s start.

There a lot of debate about ‘digital divide’, but the reasons for which so many people live at the fringe of society in Italy are of a deeper ‘analog’ nature.
Italy is, still today, a rural Country, let’s admit it, with all the technological disadvantages deriving from it. People living in cities and principal towns aren’t aware of the frightening size of ‘human mass’ spread into smaller built-up areas where everybody suffers for a shortage of jobs, technology, prospects… it’s true, the big cities’ stress and pollution are also missing in those places, but their inhabitants suffer for a different kind of stress factors. For example, the miles (sometimes several dozens) they must travel to reach public offices and obtain documents made necessary by the abnormal Italian bureaucracy or the miles needed to attend a higher school, the weak (or even missing) signal for mobile phones or television (satellite dishes are a must), or the absence of broadband Internet connections or even difficulties in obtaining a simple phone line at home.
Statistics are very clear: on a totalof 8.101 Italian municipalities there are over 6.000 of them counting less than 5.000 ‘citizens’, while 3.644 of them host about 2.000 ‘souls’ (we’re talking about almost half of Italian municipalities!). But there’s more, because these few thousands of citizens don’t even really exist: yes, it’s true, and it’s because nobody’s taking the trouble of counting the citizens really residing in those municipalities where they ‘officially’ live (for a reason or another). If you don’t know about these ‘rural’ (a very suitable definition, in this case) Italian communities there’s a solid chance you’re asking where are the ‘missing citizens’ resulting in the official counting. Continua a leggere