Text Only
top_left_image top_right_image
WNC WEU Equality Rights SEU Direct Gov UK Women's Orgs
Mailing list
About Us & Contact Details
The Women Connect Network


Advanced Search
Poptel Technology Poptel Technology


Government challenged to set bolder agenda on Digital Inclusion

publication date: 17 March 2004

The government's aim of promoting social equality is under serious threat if digital inclusion is not prioritised, according to the national charity Citizens Online.

 Citizens Online, which campaigns for equality in the use of information and communication technologies (increasingly known as digital inclusion) has today  published a State of the Nation report, “Digital Equality”, to review progress on the issue. The report makes extensive recommendations for future activity in this key area by Government, Business and the Voluntary sector.

  •  Economic growth, productivity and jobs are increasingly driven by the twin tracks of ICT  innovation and the widespread use of ICT in the general population. ICT use is now acknowledged as the third basic life skill after literacy and numeracy.

    However, despite a raft of initiatives and campaigns, including the creation of 6000 UK online centres, more than a third of Adults have never surfed the WWW and 50% of UK homes don’t have Internet access.
  • Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has recently announced a Digital Inclusion Panel to advise Government on how to reach those not yet online. As members of the working group, Citizens Online are calling for the Panel to take account of the Digital Equality report findings.
  • Industry is also challenged to collaborate in their community projects and to spend more time considering how their new technologies can help tackle social issues such as
    health as well as promoting community cohesion and participation.
  • John Fisher added

    “Through working in eight of the least connected and most disadvantage communities as part of our Everybody Online project, we’ve found that those people who say they aren’t interested in the Internet are generally intimidated by the technology; but given a friendly, tailored approach they can quickly become very excited by everything the Internet has to offer. Its time to scale-up these kinds of initiatives so that nobody is left behind.”


 For further information contact:

Catherine Maxwell, Director of Projects and Marketing

Gail Bradbrook, principal author and Director of Strategy and Partnerships


Notes for Editors:

1. Citizens Online is a registered charity established to explore the social and cultural impact of the Internet on society. We believe that access to the Internet and all of its riches is essential for every citizen in the 21st Century. We are committed to Universal Internet Access and to tackling the issues of the Digital Divide. http://www.citizensonline.org.uk/

2. The “Digital Equality” report from Citizens Online is available for download from: http://www.citizensonline.org.uk/. Contributing authors have come from organisations such as Business in the Community, Age Concern, AbilityNet, Hairnet and The e-Learning Foundation. A number of other organisations have publicly lent their support to the conclusions of the report and are also listed on the front of it.


[WNC]   [WEU]   [Equality Rights]   [SEU]   [Direct Gov]   [UK Women's Orgs]
Community Development Fund cilip  Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals Community Fund: Lottery money making a difference