Study claims UK Digital Inclusion Strategy missed targets

A new study published by Rouge Media revealed that the UK government may have missed the targets of their 2014 Digital Inclusion Strategy, which sought to reduce the number of people offline by 25% every 2 years. According to the study, only a 16% reduction was achieved. ‘It’s clear that while positive work has been done, an enduring digital divide remains. Internet costs have been rising steadily over recent years, while speed and reliability are still major issues affecting many regions. Until the UK’s digital infrastructure is fit for purpose nationwide, we won’t be able to unlock the full social and economic potential and make greater strides in addressing the inequalities that remain,’ highlighted Rouge Media Director Andy Woods. The study found that while the South West showed the most progress in closing the digital divide by 28%, the least progress was reported in London, with the number of internet non-users (aged 16+) only falling by 4% in the last 2-year period. Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of internet non-users – 13.2% or 194,000 people and only achieved a 16.7% reduction in its digital divide between 2017 and 2019.