Insights from the UK and beyond
Is Britain being too slow in promoting broadband?
A new report from Ofcom, reveals that more than 30 percent of homes in Britain don’t have basic broadband service.
The study will become part of the government’s Digital Britain report, which is intended to help keep the UK economically and culturally competitive by promoting broadband access.
“We hope the research will help assist an informed debate on the options available to society to help ensure that the social and economic benefits of the Internet are spread as widely as possible,” the media regulator said in a statement.
“The inclusion of everyone into the digital world has emerged as an important principle in our society.”
The research identified three main groups:
- Those intending to get the internet in the next six months: Two in 10 people currently without the internet said they were likely to get connected in the next six months. They are more likely to be younger, regular internet users outside of the home who are working and have children.
- The self-excluded: 42 percent state lack of interest or need as their main reason for not wanting to take up the internet. The self-excluded tend to be older and retired and 61 percent have never used a computer. This group shares a sense of indifference, with many struggling to come up with any reasons why they should have the internet at home.
- The financially/resource excluded: 30 percent of people stated that the internet was too expensive or that they didn’t have the knowledge or skills to use it. Three in 10 respondents in this group said the cost of a computer was the main reason for not having an internet connection, while 37 per cent said it is too expensive.
Ofcom’s research explores ideas to encourage internet use – including half-price computers and discounted monthly tariffs.
What steps, if any, should be taken to ensure that all British residents get access to broadband if they want it even if they can’t afford it?