Feeds

Digital divide becoming chasm, research reveals

Work on bridging the gap has stalled

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Movement on the digital divide has stalled with only marginally more people online today than three years ago.

UK online centres, managed by the University for Industry, have issued a report which says that bridging the digital divide is the responsibility of the public, private, and third sector working together.

Conducted in association with researchers FreshMinds, Understanding digital inclusion is claimed to be the first report that comprehensively maps the correlation between digital and social exclusion. It reveals that three in four people counted as socially excluded are also digitally excluded in not having convenient access to the internet.

These people are missing out on the opportunities, choices, savings, and services that computers and the internet provide. Neither government policy, market forces, nor demographic trends are making any significant inroads to bring more people online, the report finds.

"Technology is opening new doors and new worlds for 61 per cent of the population, connecting them to better paid jobs, instant information, new forms of communication and social interaction, community infrastructure, government services, consumer power, and convenience," commented UK online centres managing director Helen Milner. "But for a stable 39 per cent, those benefits remain firmly out of reach. And it's unacceptable those already at a disadvantage are three times more likely to be the ones missing out."

The research, which has already informed the government's upcoming digital strategy review, brings together information from more than 80 sources, including research into digital skills, ICT usage, and internet penetration from the Office of National Statistics, Ofcom, the Oxford Internet Institute, and government departments.

Milner welcomed the creation of the new Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills, because of the emphasis it places on adult skills, but stressed the importance of cross-sector partnership. "The public, private, and third sectors must work together in order to affect the level and pace of change now needed to achieve digital inclusion," she said.

"This research gives us both the information and opportunity to make a significant difference to the digital divide. Let's make sure those who stand to benefit most from technology are not left behind."

The research will be officially launched at a parliamentary reception on 10 July. It will be available to download from the same date.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.