Jillian Pitt NextGen 09

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Jillian Pitt, Senior Policy Advocate Consumer Focus presenting at NextGen 09 in Leeds on 16 and 17 November 2009

Jillian Pitt, Senior Policy Advocate Consumer Focus presenting at NextGen 09 in Leeds on 16 and 17 November 2009

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  • 1. Are consumers being left behind in the digital race?
    Jillian Pitt
    Consumer Focus
    NGA 2009
  • 2. Consumer FocusCampaigning for a fair deal for all consumers
    Consumer Focus will:
    “ Make a difference to people’s lives as consumers, particularly the more vulnerable, by championing policy changes that put people at the heart of what we do”
  • 3. Consumer Focus – The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007
    Lists:
    (a) disabled or chronically sick individuals;
    (b) individuals of pensionable age;
    (c) individuals with low incomes;
    (d) individuals residing in rural areas
    But not comprehensive or inclusive
  • 4. Who is being left behind?
    Twice as many participants (58%) with a household income of less than £11.5k did not have a PC or a laptop compared to the national average (26%)
    Nearly two thirds (62%) of low income households did not have access to the internet via any device at home compared to 7% of those earning £30k and above.
    Source: Ofcom Nations and Tracker Data Q1. 2009
  • 5. Affordability is an issue
    31 per cent of participants with a household income of less than £11.5k did not have a landline phone to make and receive calls compared to 3 per cent from the highest income bracket (£30k and above)
    29% of lower income households used their landline at home for internet access compared to 69% of those earning £30k and above.
    Source: Ofcom Nations and Tracker Data Q1. 2009
  • 6. Access
    “ In delivering a digital inclusion strategy, the strategy needs, first and foremost, to meet the digital and social needs of the most excluded in society”
    “People need to be at the centre of the whole thing and an emphasis placed on social needs and experiences”
    Source: Delivering Digital Inclusion, summary of consultation responses. April 2009
  • 7. The Good News
    Raceonline 2012 – tackling digital exclusion and setting a target to get 4 million of the most socially excluded online.
    UKOnline Centres – offering people the chance to gain training and confidence in using the internet
    Home Access – Providing financial assistance to low income families with children
  • 8. Is access enough?
    Not just physical access to pipes and wires
    Equipment and software must be easy to use and suit consumer’s needs
    Location dependent
    Trustworthy support for computer maintenance
    Afford on-going costs (especially when things go wrong)
  • 9. What Consumer Focus wants to see
    A Universal Service Obligation that pays due attention to availability, fairness and access
    A debate between all stakeholders on how best to fund NGA superfast broadband technology
    An assurance that consumers will be able to access public services offline as well as online
  • 10. Contact:
    Consumer Focus
    Web: www.consumerfocus.org.uk
    Tel: 020 7799 7900
    Jillian.Pitt@consumerfocus.org.uk
    Thank you for listening !