The earliest use of the term digital divide in the New York Times was in 2000 in an article talking about how we're not all connected yet and that is it expected that low income families will soon get online to close the digital divide between those online and those offline thanks to President Clinton. The Chicago Tribune has some mentions of this in 1973. Although instead of talking about the internet, the article references cable tv and whether it's necessary or not for the price. The LA times doesn't really mention the term as the database only extends until 1990. Overall though all mention the digital divide as being a class divide between upgrading digitally to become more of a part of the modern information society.
In proquest the first article is in 2000 and just like the NYT article mentions how Clinton is planning to do whatever he can to close the digital divide. The other scholarly article databases do much to analyze the digital divide and what to do to end it.
The digital divide is a term that has not really changed much over the years and is most relevant to the 21st century and the information age where there is a clear class divide between those that can and cannot get online that is known as the digital divide.