Data poverty and devices

There are 1.9 million households in the UK without internet access.

4.7 million UK homes have struggled to afford their telecoms bills this year – almost 1 in 5 households (19%), with many households cutting back on spending on food and clothes just to stay connected (Ofcom, 2020)

1 in 6 broadband customers – people who are already online – struggled to pay their bill between March 2020 and January 2021 (Citizens Advice, 2021)

They’re cut off from loved ones. They’re locked out of vital services like online food shopping and banking. Many can’t get access to vital government information meaning physical safety is a concern too.

We can’t assume people with the internet and an old device know how to use them. Even when people have access to these things, they may not have the skills to enable them to access vital services and support. For example, downloading an app to have a GP consultation or to speak to their loved ones.