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Evidence of a growing digital divide
Wednesday 25 October 2006 17:37:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Generally people think of the digital divide as those suffering dial-up connections since they cannot get broadband, but there is a more fundamental one. As millions get broadband and find tasks like bill paying are easier, and often cheaper if you opt for paper-less billing there are still millions who are yet to access the Internet at all from home.

The analysis carried out by can be viewed here. Two main questions were asked of those households without internet access which are reproduced below:

  • How important is it for you to have access to the Internet?
    1. Not important at all, 44.8%
    2. Not very important, 29.8%
    3. Fairly important, 13.9%
    4. Very important, 8.5%
    5. Don't know/no answer, 2.9%
  • How likely is it that you will get access to the internet from home in the next six months?
    1. Not at all very likely, 53.7%
    2. Not very likely 16.2%
    3. Fairly likely, 11%
    4. Very likely, 6.6%
    5. Don't know/no answer, 2.9%

As of early 2006 it was estimated that around 11.2 million households (44%) had no internet access at home. As more services move towards an electronic interface and offer discounts for online ordering (e.g. car insurance) it may prove more costly to have no basic level of internet access at home. The irony is that very often it will be those who need the discounts on products and services that have no access to the internet, possibly due to the costs of a computer or monthly subscription fees, or lack of knowledge of the benefits.


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