A fifth of the UK population still don’t have access to basic internet services.
The Carnegie UK Trust and Broadband Delivery UK have published a seven-step guide, aimed at local authorities, landlords and other public and voluntary sector organisations, that could bring the internet to poorer households.
The guide comes not too long after research found that a fifth of the UK population still don’t have access to basic internet services.
Leadership at a local level is critical to tackling digital exclusion, according to the guide. Local authorities should use their power and status to set out a vision, focus on policy statements and bring other partners on board.
Other organisation in the public, private and voluntary sectors also have a key role in delivery. Housing associations, health services, colleges, charities and community services should be encouraged to identify what activity they are best placed to contribute.
3. Implementation plan
A coherent and detailed implementation plan is essential to bring more people online. In particular, the report asks authorities to research people’s engagement with the internet overtime, so they can find out if their strategies are effective.
4. Focus on personal hooks
As partners aim to deliver a range of activities in the implementation plan, there should be a clear focus on specific interests, hobbies and other potential benefits to encourage more people to go online.
5. Address multiple barriers
Local authorities must recognise and address a number of issues that prevent people from accessing the internet. Barriers may include connection costs, fears or concerns about technology and a lack of digital skills and equipment.
6. Involve people and communities
The report encourages the authorities to use the social connections that already exist between people and listen to the ideas of their community. This approach ensures that these activities meet the needs of those they are designed to help as well as creating a sense of community.
7. Be innovative and make it fun
There’s lots of great content on the internet that people can interact with, so it’s important to show people the visual, social and fun aspects of being online.