Digital divide

According to the Scottish Household Survey published in August 2015 eighty per cent of Scottish households have internet access at home, an increase of almost 40% from a decade ago. More people are using mobile devices (compared to laptops and computers) across a wide range of ages and socio-economic groups.

However, around one in five adults do not use the internet at all. The main reason given is that they don’t like or need the internet or technology.  But there are still a significant number of people in Scotland who report that it is because they do not have the skills.

In addition, there is a substantial number of ‘ordinary’ users who don’t make the best use of digital technology or who don’t use it very well. These people also contribute to maintaining a digital divide.

Although, correctly, there is a focus on the digitally excluded in terms of those in society who are the most socially and economically disadvantaged, people from all socio-economic groups may also be non-, or inadequate, users of ICT. To effectively deal with eradicating a digital divide in Scotland we need to ensure that as well as achieving basic digital skills, people are also able to become more digitally proficient and gain confidence in using technologies in school, in the workplace and at home.


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