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

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Jillian Pitt NextGen 09

  1. 1. Are consumers being left behind in the digital race?<br />Jillian Pitt<br />Consumer Focus<br />NGA 2009<br />
  2. 2. Consumer FocusCampaigning for a fair deal for all consumers<br />Consumer Focus will:<br />“ 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”<br />
  3. 3. Consumer Focus – The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007<br />Lists:<br />(a) disabled or chronically sick individuals; <br />(b) individuals of pensionable age; <br />(c) individuals with low incomes; <br />(d) individuals residing in rural areas<br />But not comprehensive or inclusive<br />
  4. 4. Who is being left behind?<br />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%)<br />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.<br />Source: Ofcom Nations and Tracker Data Q1. 2009<br />
  5. 5. Affordability is an issue<br />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)<br /> 29% of lower income households used their landline at home for internet access compared to 69% of those earning £30k and above.<br />Source: Ofcom Nations and Tracker Data Q1. 2009<br />
  6. 6. Access <br />“ 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”<br />“People need to be at the centre of the whole thing and an emphasis placed on social needs and experiences” <br />Source: Delivering Digital Inclusion, summary of consultation responses. April 2009<br />
  7. 7. The Good News<br />Raceonline 2012 – tackling digital exclusion and setting a target to get 4 million of the most socially excluded online.<br />UKOnline Centres – offering people the chance to gain training and confidence in using the internet<br />Home Access – Providing financial assistance to low income families with children<br />
  8. 8. Is access enough? <br />Not just physical access to pipes and wires<br />Equipment and software must be easy to use and suit consumer’s needs<br />Location dependent<br />Trustworthy support for computer maintenance <br />Afford on-going costs (especially when things go wrong) <br />
  9. 9. What Consumer Focus wants to see<br />A Universal Service Obligation that pays due attention to availability, fairness and access<br />A debate between all stakeholders on how best to fund NGA superfast broadband technology<br />An assurance that consumers will be able to access public services offline as well as online<br />
  10. 10. Contact:<br />Consumer Focus <br />Web: www.consumerfocus.org.uk<br />Tel: 020 7799 7900<br />Jillian.Pitt@consumerfocus.org.uk<br />Thank you for listening !<br />

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