Data is fast becoming a utility like gas or electricity.
It enables access to online learning and essential government services. It enables the unemployed to find work, the housebound to manage their finances, the lonely to communicate with family and friends.
Yet for too many data is too expensive to meet these essential needs.
- 5% of households reduce spending on clothes / food to pay their telecoms bill.
- 1 million households had an affordability issue with their broadband.
- 888 000 children live in households with only mobile internet.
For some the trade off is data or dinner.
In a piece of research, data poverty was defined by innovation charity Nesta in Scotland and Y-Lab in Wales, as: ‘individuals, households or communities who cannot afford sufficient, private and secure mobile or broadband data to meet their essential needs.’
End Data Poverty seeks to ensure all can afford data for essential needs. It will work towards this aim by…
- Raising awareness of data poverty (including the cause, effect, and possible solutions) and influence policy-makers so as to drive positive change.
- Raising money for continued research to better quantify data poverty and identify indicators to measure progress.
- Bringing together people from different organisations to collaborate and share solutions. This would include broadband providers, government and regulatory bodies, voluntary and community groups, academic and research groups.
- Creating an online hub for reports, studies and news on data poverty.