The UK’s digital divide narrows as result of pandemic | WARC | The Feed
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The UK’s digital divide narrows as result of pandemic
The percentage of UK homes with no internet access almost halved during the past 12 months – from 11% in March 2020 to 6% a year later – but 1.5 million households in the country remain without an internet connection, according to a study by the telecommunications regulator Ofcom.
Why it matters
The findings suggest adults who previously had limited digital skills have, of necessity, embraced online shopping, digital banking and video calling friends and family during the pandemic. But for those still offline, digital exclusion is more isolating than ever.
- Those who are least likely to have internet access are people aged 65 and over, and households and people on the lowest income.
- Nearly half of adults who still have no access to the internet at home say they find it too complicated, or it holds no interest; while a third of say a lack of equipment is the most important barrier for them.
- Of those who don’t use the internet at home, 60% said they’d asked a friend or family member to do something for them online. The most common request was to buy something on their behalf.
The more online-savvy appear to have acted as IT support for new users, helping the less confident navigate online services.
“For many people, lockdown will leave a lasting legacy of improved online access and better digital understanding. But for a significant minority of adults and children, it’s only served to intensify the digital divide” – Yih-Choung Teh, strategy and research group director at Ofcom.
Sourced from Ofcom
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