The pandemic has made people more reliant on internet access than ever before and with so many essential services moving online, many people are having to learn how to carry out day-to-day tasks using technology, such as e-learning, job applications, online banking and digital healthcare.
But, research from Ofcom shows that around 1.7 million households in the UK are without home internet access, whilst around 10 million adults (a fifth of the adult population) lack foundational digital skills.
Acting on the findings, the Digital Poverty Alliance has launched a National Delivery Plan to end digital exclusion by 2030.
Digital exclusion incorporates three, intertwined elements of access, ability and affordability. Some people are digitally excluded because they can’t afford technology or internet access, whilst others struggle to navigate the online world due to lack of skills or knowledge.
The National Delivery Plan sets out a roadmap to ensure that everyone receives the support they need through access to devices, skills and connectivity to benefit from the essentials of the digital world.
It focuses on six core missions that include ensuring affordable connectivity and improving skills as well as an emphasis on support at a community level, in response to changing technologies.
Paul Finnis, CEO of the Digital Poverty Alliance and Learning Foundation, said:
“To truly tackle and resolve the issue of digital exclusion requires a national communal effort from the government, industry and communities to support those most in need. The DPA and its alliance of organisations and individuals represented through its Community Board will continue to prioritise local communities as a central facet of the National Delivery Plan as part of this collaboration to ensure that everyone has access to the resources they need in our digital age.”
The Digital Poverty Alliance works with individuals from across business, government, charity and education, with the aim of eradicating digital poverty in the UK.
Photo: Digital Poverty Alliance