[Developing countries] On-line data bases are a segment of the information market that is rapidly growing. To date, most of the on-line data have been produced, transmitted and consumed by institutions of the developed countries, especially transnational corporations. Given the configuration of the transnational telecommunication networks, most developing countries are not linked to these networks, and hence have access to on-line data bases only through long-distance telephone dialling, which makes the use of this information resource almost prohibitively costly. The result, which is further accentuated by the inadequate telematics infrastructure in many developing countries, is that most of these countries do not actively participate in the transborder flow of data originating in on-line data bases. Therefore, they are, [de facto], not in a position to use an information resource whose importance is growing.
[Former socialist countries] The former socialist countries participate only marginally in the international on-line data-base market. As of 1981, only 4 or 5 data bases were internationally accessible in such countries.