Together we can end digital poverty once and for all.
Digital poverty: The Facts
children home schooling during the pandemic did not have access to an appropriate device like a laptop.
of young people do not have access to a laptop or similar device.
of people offline can’t afford an average monthly broadband bill.
people are behind on their broadband bills.
Digital poverty impacts poverty
If we’re to solve poverty in the UK, we must address digital exclusion. Whether it’s accessing education, the social security system, job opportunities or cheaper gas and electricity, it’s a core part of how we live.
The growing divide
With each new development in technology, more people are left behind. This also makes existing inequities around race, gender, age, ability and income worse.
This is an urgent issue
The pandemic made us all more aware of the digital divide. Some initial progress was made in response, but we must go much further to address the determinants of digital poverty. Providing access to a device alone cannot end digital exclusion.
How we define digital poverty.
“The inability to interact with the online world fully, when where and how an individual needs to”.
We believe that digital poverty and its definition needs to feature in the current agendas including social mobility and levelling up the UK. We believe that this definition needs to develop and we will iterate over time based on community insight.
We convene, collaborate and increase sustainable capacity within the digital ecosystem. We are a member-based organisation, building collective action, learning and sharing with UK-based and international organisations.
Together we can end digital poverty.
You’re far less likely to have access to the online world if you’re living on a low income. In fact, the lower your income the less likely it is. That means – increasingly so – not having access to the fundamentals of life. From social security, to healthcare, education and training, to finding work and applying for jobs – critical services are more and more online.
So digital inclusion is no longer something that’s ‘nice to have’ – it’s an essential. And being cut off from digital isn’t just an inconvenience – it compounds and exacerbates poverty. That’s no longer something we can ignore if we’re interested in a just society.
Our focus at the DPA
We want to make sustainable change. To do that, we’re connecting the system and supporting partners, champions and people who want to help to deliver holistic solutions for all the determinants of digital poverty and inequality, to those most in need more quickly and more effectively.
We do this by:
- We advocate for action. We call on government, industry and others to create changes needed to end digital poverty by 2030.
- Building the evidence base to create the right policy solutions. We publish evidence, evaluate potential solutions and create recommendations for change.
- Bringing third, public and private sectors together. As part of this we create community spaces where cross sector partners, champions, and people with a diversity of views and experience can come together to learn from one another, share what works, remove duplication, and co-create solutions where there are gaps.
- Taking forward proof of concept projects to demonstrate how we can make long-term change for different communities. This includes our Tech4Teachers and Tech4PrisonLeavers programmes.
Make a pledge
Do you believe that digital poverty in the UK needs action to end by 2030?
Sign up below to show that you care about ending digital poverty – and then learn more about how you can help our mission.
Nearly 15m people in the UK have very low engagement with the internet – with 10m lacking the most basic skills in using a computer or the internet. 6% of the UK population have no access to the internet – with 20% of young people aged 8-24 lacking the ability to get online. We are set on changing this.
Education, employment, healthcare, social security – all of these and more require access to the internet. So join us in our cause, and help us ensure that everyone can access the services they need, when they need them.
The Community Hub: Connect. Inspire. Enable.
Digital poverty is a community issue, and needs community-led solutions to fix it. Previously, there was no one place for the community interested in digital poverty to meet virtually to ask questions, engage in discussion, inspire and arrange collaborations.
As an alliance, we wanted to bring people together in a central location to act as a single source of information, to find out what’s going on and what’s coming up across the UK, and around the globe. Enter the DPA Global Community Hub.
This is a community space. It is a forum where cross-sector partners, champions, and people with a diversity of views and experience, can come together to learn from one another, share best practice and tools, remove duplication of efforts, and co-create solutions where there are gaps.
The Hub facilitates discussion and collaboration, allows members to ask for advice or to propose projects for the DPA community, and supports policy makers in their roles.
The Learning Foundation
While our parent charity, the Learning Foundation, continues to provide support directly to school communities, ensuring an effective, equitable and sustainable supply of one-to-one devices for students, it became clear that working through schools alone would not get families online quickly enough.
Launched in 2021, in partnership with the Institute of Engineering & Technology and Currys plc, the Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA) initiative was born from this realisation that to tackle the digital divide and achieve digital equity, there was a need to achieve systemic, cross-sector and collaborative change. To achieve this, in the next year the DPA will publish a much-needed National Delivery Plan to end digital poverty in the UK by 2030.
The Digital Poverty alliance was delighted to be recognised as ‘internet hero of the year’ at the ISPA internet industry and broadband awards.
This year’s Autumn statement takes place in the context of serious economic challenges. We are concerned that these measures alone will not address the challenges faced by individuals and families who are having to make difficult decisions between food, heating and staying connected.
Improvements to suggest?
We want to ensure this website represents the community it serves, so please do let us know if you have any ideas for improvement.