New research highlights challenge of digital exclusion in the North East

A new report published by the Northern division of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR North) highlights the growing problem of digital exclusion in the North East as digital access becomes more important than ever before.

Having conducted interviews with people across the region, IPPR North argues that the North East is likely to have higher levels of digital exclusion than anywhere else in the UK. Its research shows that although the causes of digital exclusion are complex, it has a disproportionate effect on certain groups of people, including people living with disabilities, asylum seekers, and people experiencing poverty. These people often struggle to access digital devices, and many lack the skills necessary to use them effectively.

Erica Roscoe, co-author of the report, suggests that digital exclusion is not simply an IT issue – it also impacts “productivity rates, mental health, wellbeing and educational attainment”. She calls for an ambitious strategy to tackle exclusion that establishes a series of new rights, including the right to minimum broadband speeds, regardless of income, and the right to digital skills. IPPR North makes the case for joined-up action to tackle digital exclusion, asking government, employers, tech companies and others to play their role in providing support to those that need it.

To find out more about the report and read it in full, visit the IPPR North website.