RS2: Britain

DECODING BRITAIN’S DIGITAL DIVIDE

There is a clear distinction in Britain amongst the members of society who currently use technology and those who do not use the Internet. In the United Kingdom, ten million people do not use the internet. Of this number, 40% (four million people) have never has access to the internet for three main reasons – they are poor, unemployed, or due to their old age. The British government has enlisted the help of Martha Lane Fox, the founder of Lastminute.com, in an effort to help this group of four million people to get online with their own email address accounts and Internet access. In addition to the lack of internet skills, there is a study suggesting that 5% of the people living in the UK are not clear of who Steve Jobs and Tim Berners-Lee are, and what they have done to change technology. Although this may make it seem like Britain is way behind the rest of the world on Internet use, that is not necessarily the case. People in the UK spend more than any other European nation on online shopping. One-third of all online sales comes from Britain, and online shopping is 10% of all retail sales in Britain. With this being said, consumers still need clarification on what they are buying. Charlie Ponsonby, the CEO of SimplifyDigital.com stated that “’People are confused by the technology involved in TV, broadband and phone. They’re confused about the providers in the market. And they’re confused by the deals on offer’” (Independent 2010). This website has created a feature called a “Personal Shopper” on its website to help control the disconnect and clarify the confusion that many online shoppers experience.

Not only is shopping heavily done through online technology, but paper banking is soon becoming obsolete. One factor that is causing this is the fact that electronic payments are much less expensive to process. Group that will be most affected by this change are the elderly and the poor. Overall, Simplify Digital is working to try to create an easier way for consumers to order products online. The British government is trying to determine a tax program to increase broadband and upgrade fibre networks. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is investing 300 million pounds to give laptop computers to low income families. Overall, online simplification of the Internet is needed, and easier instructions on computer navigation is essential for novice users.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s