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Are consumers being left behind in the digital race? Jillian Pitt Consumer Focus NGA 2009
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”
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
Contact: Consumer Focus Web: www.consumerfocus.org.uk Tel: 020 7799 7900 Jillian.Pitt@consumerfocus.org.uk Thank you for listening !