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1.5m homes in the UK without internet access – Ofcom

Saf Malik
April 28, 2021

Number of homes without internet has fallen from 11 per cent in 2020 to 6 per cent

Research from Ofcom has shown that six per cent of households in the UK remain without internet access. 

This number has fallen from 11 per cent in March 2020 when the UK entered a national lockdown for the first time. 

The research also indicates that digital exclusion during lockdown is likely to be more disempowering than ever. 

Groups least likely to have home internet access are those aged 65+, lower-income households, and the most financially vulnerable.

Almost half of adults who remain offline say they find the internet too complicated, or it holds no interest for them. More than a third of people lack the equipment to get online.

However, six in ten who don’t use the internet at home say they have asked someone to do something for them online in the past year.

Research on parents and children found nearly all children of school age had online access in the home, 4 per cent relied solely on mobile internet access during the pandemic with 2 per cent only able to get online using a smartphone. consumer telecoms analyst Dan Howdle said: “It may be surprising to many that so many homes still do not have access to the internet. As one might expect, these tend to be concentrated among older people, and those living below the poverty line.

“Of course, there is little to be done about those households that simply do not want it. However, with the government consistently espousing promises of fast internet for everybody, there is plenty it could be doing for those who cannot afford it.

“With the UN declaring internet access a basic human right all the way back in 2016, free broadband seems an obvious choice for inclusion in various welfare schemes – a move that would undoubtedly provide a boost those who are struggling financially, and help those who are unemployed to find and apply for work more easily.”



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