The Data Poverty Lab

We set up the Data Poverty Lab with Nominet in 2021 to find sustainable solutions to data poverty. Together, we want to make the internet affordable for people on low incomes and free for people on very low incomes.

What is the Data Poverty Lab?

The internet is essential. It enables work, friendships, healthcare and more.

But for too many people, it is unaffordable, with two million people struggling to afford their internet access (Ofcom, 2022).

As the cost-of-living crisis bites and people prioritise energy and food, there is a real risk that people will be forced offline.

We set up the Data Poverty Lab with Nominet in 2021 to find sustainable solutions to data poverty.

Together, we want to make the internet affordable for people on low incomes and free for people on very low incomes.

The Data Poverty Lab has built the foundations which will tackle unaffordable internet in the UK. We’ve done this by:

  • Developing the UK’s first National Databank, supported by Virgin Media O2;
  • Launching the Data Poverty Lab Fellowships scheme – to stimulate fresh thinking, advocacy and action on data poverty;
  • Partnering with APLE Collective to co-design solutions with people with lived experience of data poverty;
  • Supporting the APPG on Data Poverty for immediate policy action;
  • Engaging senior leaders in national, regional, and local government.

Our insights

Building a Minimum Digital Living Standard

What is the basic ‘basket’ of digital goods, services and skills that different households need in the UK to live in a digital world? In 2021, the Nuffield Foundation awarded a research grant for a ‘proof of concept’ study to establish a benchmark for a Minimum Digital Living Standard for households – starting with urban households with children.

The project is led by the University of Liverpool with Loughborough University, City University, Critical Research and Good Things Foundation. And, in Wales with funding from the Welsh Government, with Cwmpas and Digital Inclusion Alliance Wales to support research into a Minimum Digital Living Standard for Wales. Nominet is providing additional funding so young people’s perspectives are included.

Partners

Nominet