Affording the internet, as costs of living rise
Unsure how to help if people can’t afford internet access? Emma Stone, our Director of Evidence and Engagement, explains how a new guide - part of our Data Poverty Lab - can help.
Back in April, I wrote about rising living costs and digital division. Within this, I highlighted:
- An additional form of online ‘poverty premium’ – where people with lower incomes have to be more ‘data savvy’ than people on higher incomes to know what speed and packages will meet their needs, and navigate a complex market;
- Lack of confidence among practitioners in providing support to people on costs of broadband or mobile data;
- Low awareness of ‘social tariffs’ for broadband – with Ofcom estimating only 1.2% of eligible customers were using these at the start of 2022, and calling on charities to help promote social tariffs.
That’s why we’ve coproduced this short, practical guide for community organisations, charities and others (Citizens Advice offices, housing associations, local council teams) on Supporting People with Data Connectivity, as part of our Data Poverty Lab with Nominet
Co-produced with one of our network members and Ambassadors – People Know How – and peer reviewed by a range of organisations (APLE Collective, Citizens Advice Scotland, Cwmpas and more), we think this is going to be super helpful for any organisation wanting to support people so they don’t have to choose between dinner or data.
The guide is available in HTML format – plus English and Welsh language PDFs designed for easy printing of sections if needed. It covers:
- Support already available – social tariffs; free mobile data from the National Databank; broadband support for jobseekers
- How to start talking about data poverty in your organisation using ‘CHESS’
- Jargon busters, top tips, and choosing the right package.
There’s no guide like this – so we’re keen it is widely shared and used in whatever ways work. Let us know how we can improve it… and we’d love to hear from you if you’d like to adapt it for your own guides or websites.
Dr. Emma Stone
Director of Evidence and Engagement
Emma leads a team of specialist experts - skilled in service design, user research, evaluation, data insights, marketing, communications, external affairs and advocacy.