Image source: Digital Poverty Alliance
The Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA) has set out a number of actions and six core missions as part of a strategy to end digital poverty in the UK by 2030.
They are included in its newly published National Delivery Plan, which sets out a roadmap to ensure that everyone can access the benefits of digital and that local organisations are empowered to support people to get online.
At the centre of the plan, the DPA and the alliance of organisations on its community board call for a new entitlement that everyone at risk of digital exclusion can access free devices, connectivity and support. Doing so would enable people to obtain economic, social and personal benefits through the online world.
It also identifies the need to help millions of households struggling to afford broadband and mobile bills, advocating action to ensure more of them can access social tariffs and for a new settlement for a co-funded, industry-wide social tariff.
It outlines how cutting the VAT rate charged on broadband and mobile bills to 5% and replacing it with a digital inclusion levy could help fund these proposals. It says this would help deliver support to people in greatest need.
This is all underpinned by a call for the UK Government to create a new digital inclusion strategy, for public, private and third sectors.
The six missions cover:
- increasing awareness of the need for sustainable action to end digital poverty;
- ensuring affordable connectivity and guaranteeing full digital access for people in need;
- improvement standards of accessibility, safety and inclusiveness across digital products and services;
- by 2030 reducing the number of people without essential digital skills and ensuring the skills are expanded in response to changing needs;
- enhancing knowledge of digital poverty among all stakeholders;
- and increasing local capacity to provide joined up digital inclusion support.
Paul Finnis, CEO of the Digital Poverty Alliance and the Learning Foundation, said: “The National Delivery Plan is a unique and revolutionary strategy to tackle the issue of digital poverty, calling on an urgent and collaborative effort between the Digital Poverty Alliance, government, industry leaders, and community organisations.
“Together, we can work towards ending digital poverty and ensuring that everyone has the skills, resources, and access they need to thrive in the digital age. This flagship strategy set out by the DPA is designed to have a tangible impact on those most impacted by a lack of essential access to the digital world and the alliance is committed to delivering this support alongside our partners and fellow community.”