The digital divide and COVID-19: impact on the socioeconomic development in Asia and the Pacific

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global economic recession. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread to every part of the world, governments released policies to restrict people`s socio-economic activities to limit the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic and related measures have great impact to consumption, investment, manufacture, trade among socioeconomic activities which lead to slow economic growth and even recession. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some activities changed to online from offline which has resulted in unprecedented growth of Internet traffic. Most of Internet traffic are carried by broadband network, and global Internet bandwidth rose by 35 percent in 2020 which was the largest one-year increase since 2013. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the critical importance of telecommunications and the information and communications technology ( ICT) infrastructure in the continuation of businesses, governments, and education.