Fix the digital divide – for good

We call on the UK Government and all political parties to act on digital inclusion. Let’s work together to #FixTheDigitalDivide - for good.

Calling for a digital inclusion action plan

As the UK’s leading digital inclusion charity, we ask the current and any future UK Government to:

This action plan should commit to:

  1. Collaborating with businesses, civil society, and the public sector to fix the digital divide.
  2. Ensuring all adults can get free help with digital skills, confidence, and safety in an age of AI.
  3. Leading by example in reusing appropriate tech for social good through the National Device Bank.
  4. Recognising internet access is essential – innovating so everyone can afford to get online, and it is free for those most excluded.
  5. Signposting from Government and NHS front line services so people can find local support from the National Digital Inclusion Network.

 

Collaborating with businesses, civil society, and the public sector to fix the digital divide.

To break down barriers to opportunity and help to set the UK on the path to sustained growth and prosperity, co-investment of £24.4m a year from Government and businesses together would support five million people – halving the digital divide by 2030.

Our economic report with the Cebr, shows there is a significant £13.7 billion economic benefit to investing in digital inclusion and skills, including efficiency savings of £1.4 billion for Government, and an estimated £2.7 billion generated for corporations through filling vacancies requiring basic digital skills.

Ensuring all adults can get free help with digital skills, confidence, and safety in an age of AI.

The Essential Digital Skills (EDS) framework could be used to reset the public sector support for those experiencing digital exclusion, by extending the EDS entitlement to cover foundational level digital skills, addressing AI literacy, and ensuring everyone can meaningfully participate in the digital world.  

New research found 45% of households with children are below the Minimum Digital Living Standard as defined by members of the public – with children and young people, as well as parents, falling down on practical and critical understanding skills. The UK needs to review its digital and AI skills curriculum and support, and ensure that it tackles all barriers to everyone of all ages benefiting from the online world.

Leading by example in reusing appropriate tech for social good through the National Device Bank.

The UK is the second largest emitter of electronic waste per capita in the world. And the demand for devices outpaces supply by five times in the communities that we support. Redundant technology needs to be re-used for digital inclusion – to tackle climate change and the divide divide.

A UK Government should commit to all of their technology to be reused for good by donating to Good Things’ National Device Bank to breathe life into end-of-use devices and provide them to people experiencing digital exclusion.

Recognising internet access is essential – innovating so everyone can afford to get online, and it is free for those most excluded.

Connectivity data is an essential part of the modern world. We need a Government that ensures communities can access connectivity and mobile data regardless of their background or circumstance, and data poverty is eradicated. Our National Databank delivers free mobile connectivity SIMs provided by Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, and Three UK to ensure those most excluded can get online.

Social tariffs also help many of those on the lowest incomes to stay connected. But they still aren’t affordable for everyone. With savings passed on to consumers, cutting VAT to 0% would ensure many more families are able to stay connected – and an up to £153 million a year saved by people on very low incomes.

We’re exploring our National Databank, broadband social tariffs, and other available solutions to data poverty through our Data Poverty Lab initiative, you can find out more here.

Signposting from Government and NHS front line services so people can find local support from the National Digital Inclusion Network.

The National Digital Inclusion Network is made up of over 5,000 hyperlocal organisations that provide a range of free, friendly, and informal digital inclusion support to their communities. As the NHS and other essential Government public services increasingly digitise, signposting to free digital inclusion support could assure those most in need.

Help us fix the digital divide

Get in touch to speak to us about our policy asks and explore how we can work together to #FixTheDigitalDivide – for good.

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