Events in 2020 have served to illustrate the stark digital divide in the UK, with 1.9 million households having no access to the internet and tens of millions more reliant on pay-as-you-go services to make phone calls or access healthcare, education and a benefits system, Universal Credit, that demands online access. The BBC notes that only 47 per cent of people on a low income have broadband internet at home.
Frontline community groups and charities are warning that the digital exclusion of some of the UK’s poorest and most vulnerable households and communities is having a devastating effect across the country.
The government has recently launched a range of initiatives to try to tackle digital exclusion.
These include pledges to provide some disadvantaged teenagers with laptops and a new campaign, Devicesdotnow
, that asks businesses to donate devices, sims and mobile hotspots.