The latest results on Australia’s Digital Inclusion Index looks at three key areas of digital inclusion: Access, Affordability and Digital Ability. There are no surprises to find that people aged 65 plus, people with a disability or the very low income-earning households score the lowest on digital inclusion.
As older people age, their digital inclusion declines. It’s worth noting that while there are some gains by older people in Access and Digital Ability areas, the Affordability gap is widening. Whilst the price of equipment like mobile phones are becoming cheaper, mobile data is costly. People from lower socio–economic backgrounds tend to only have mobiles. The two key gaps in digital inclusion are between the rich and poor and the older and younger population groups. Exclusion is further exacerbated if you live in a regional or rural area and if you are female.
With an increasing number of services, communications and billing going online the impact of digital exclusion on quality of life is attracting increasing attention from governments and research bodies. New ways of supporting digital inclusion particularly in accessing essential services (health, electricity, water) may include unmetered access and providing secure, public access Wi-Fi.
See our article on a new exciting digital literacy project for bridging the digital divide.