Digital Inclusion for Britain

It’s been 26 years since Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s innovation was launched in to the world. The World Wide Web has come a long way in that short amount of time; allowing businesses to grow, our knowledge to expand and enabling the world to be better connected. But research has found that 21% of the British population don’t have the skills required to make full use of the internet – which is why by 2020 the Government are aiming for digital inclusion across the country.

The speed at which the web has evolved is pretty incredible. Whilst television took 13 years and radio took 38 years to gain a fraction of 2.4+ billion users – the WWW achieved this number in just 4 years. Now connectivity to the internet is par for the course, particularly for the younger generation, with over 89% of this age group using a smartphone or tablet.

A whole plethora of jobs have been created thanks to the introduction of the web, in fact UK schools are preparing for jobs that haven’t been invented yet – so fast is the development of technology. Opening up a range of possibilities, and enabling us to do things faster and more productively, those that don’t have the skills to enable them to make use of these features are greatly missing out; both on a personal and professional level.

Working towards Businesses Inclusion

With the problem not lying just with individuals, but with SMEs too, the economy could be missing out on additional revenue due to the lack of education in the digital field. One example of this is that around 33% of SMEs don’t have a website – this means that they are missing out on potential customers and thus decreasing their ability to make additional profit. With such a digitally focused world, those that aren’t online will inevitably end up missing out.

Whilst these issues could be down to the need for more people with the appropriate skills to evolve SMEs, the lack of suitable connectivity can also be the reason that businesses are lacking behind. The introduction, and subsequently the success, of schemes such as Superconnected Cities have helped to lessen this issue. Allowing businesses access to superfast broadband with a grant to assist with installation costs, many businesses that previously wouldn’t have to been able to afford such a commodity can now get online faster and have a more reliable connection from which to operate from.

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he government aims to achieve digital inclusion across Britain by 2020, and if they do they will have made a massive difference to individuals and businesses across the country. Increasing the number of British people that are online would be an incredible achievement and assist in boosting the economy in more ways than one.

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