The West Midlands Digital Roadmap identified increasing access to digital opportunities for everyone as a key opportunity. Currently 45% of people in the West Midlands are either using the internet infrequently or not at all.
The digital divide has been thrown into sharp focus by the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting issues around lack of devices and/or connectivity, the latter often due to ‘data poverty’, the inability to afford the connectivity options available.
For others, some people may use digital for entertainment such as using social media, but they may not have the skills needed to get a better-paid job or to use technology to help with their finances such as switching online to a cheaper utility provider or banking online.
The West Midlands Coalition for Digital Inclusion is bringing together partners representing the public and private sectors and voluntary, community, and faith organisations to share best practice and to use partners’ collective voice to secure investment to help close the digital gap.
A first step is to ask groups for their input into creating a map of device and connectivity availability across communities in order to identify any gaps (and develop ways of filling them).
There’s a short questionnaire that’s available for completion – HERE – and return to: firstname.lastname@example.org