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Committee to kick-off new inquiry by exploring digital exclusion

5 November 2020

The COVID-19 Committee is to start taking oral evidence in its new inquiry looking at the long-term impact on wellbeing of an increasing reliance on digital technology

The Committee will hear from 100% Digital Leeds, Carnegie UK Trust, Good Things Foundation and Ofcom to explore people’s access to digital technology, as well as current levels of digital inclusion and digital exclusion.
During the session, the Committee is hoping to learn more about the distribution of broadband services, internet access, digital skills and internet use throughout the UK, as well as discussing specific projects and initiatives that aim to improve digital inclusion, both nationally and regionally.


Witnesses

Tuesday, 10 November 2020 at 10:00am, Virtual meeting

  • Richard Hart, Deputy Head of Libraries at Leeds City Council. 100% Digital Leeds is a Leeds City Council led initiative working to improve digital inclusion across the city.
  • Douglas White, Head of Advocacy at the Carnegie UK Trust, a charitable foundation that aims to improve wellbeing. The Trust’s work is focussed on four key themes – Digital Futures, Enabling Wellbeing, Flourishing Towns and Fulfilling Work. Carnegie UK’s work on Digital Futures explores how the rapid advances in digital technology can be exploited to optimise improvements in wellbeing.
  • Helen Milner, CEO of Good Things Foundation, a social change charity that supports socially excluded people to improve their lives through digital.
  • Ian Macrae, Director of Market Intelligence for Ofcom. Ofcom is the Government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries in the UK. Ofcom has undertaken research on many aspects of broadband, including broadband speed and performance, the economic impact of broadband and improving broadband standards.

Themes for discussion

  • The distribution and speed of broadband services across the UK;
  • Internet access and usage across different groups and communities;
  • Digital skill levels across different groups and communities;
  • The affordability of digital equipment and broadband services, particularly high-speed broadband and mobile data;
  • The impact of COVID-19 on digital inclusion;
  • The impact of COVID-19 on what it means to be digitally excluded;
  • The practical implications of moving from digital exclusion to digital inclusion;
  • Current interventions to tackle digital exclusion;
  • The barriers to progress in tackling digital exclusion and the steps that must be taken to improve digital inclusion.

Further information