Over seven million people in the UK yet to access internet

The majority of people in the UK will take internet access for granted. If they’re at work and need to check their e-mails, on the way home and want to check the latest news via their smartphone or want to chat to their mates via social media, they can do it with little fuss. Sadly, for millions in one of the world’s leading economic powerhouses, this isn’t the case. A recent study revealed the surprising statistic that some 7.1 million people in the UK have never used the internet before. In the same piece, it was later revealed that among that group were a large number of elderly and disabled people who either don’t have the means or the know-how to take to the web with ease.

Internet access

Internet access

Connecting everyone

As it happens, there are a myriad of problems that have stood in the way of universal internet access in the UK becoming a reality. Disabled and elderly people in particular will know that the following has made it hard for them to access the net:

  • Lack of money – connecting to the internet privately can, with line rental, be more than £20 a month, which for people on state benefits and basic pensions can be too expensive
  • Ergonomic issues – some computing equipment can be inaccessible or at least difficult to use in a variety of ways. Braille keyboards or large text might be useful solutions, as can adaptable mice.
  • Lack of awareness about the benefits of going online. This is another major problem that has yet to be resolved in full

All the aforementioned issues can seem hard to resolve, especially in these troubled economic times. Despite that, a little investment or help from the government, in tandem with tech firms who can offer their expertise in connecting people to the net can make a big difference.

A helping hand

For the time being, individuals who have elderly relatives might be able to do their bit to improve internet use among the older generation. They could simply buy them a second-hand laptop or desktop, get a cheap internet connection or something temporary like a USB flash drive for a short period and take them through the net step by step. Showing them useful websites for news, weather or local government services might raise their interest, while visiting sites relating to what they enjoy might be useful too. An introduction to online shopping might be handy as well.

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