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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Digital Inclusion - A few thoughts

Much speak of digital inclusion flies around training people to use stuff.

PLEASE STOP.

If people havent got stuff, and net access theres really little point to that.

Whats needed is a social utility, part of infrastructure.

How simple is , for instance ...
Wifi to estates / let property as PART of the portfolio of provided services, an outcome//benefit/service associated to and run by the landlords?

If landlords provide the wifi by whatever means, tenants wont be spending money on broadband instead of rent when things get tough.
(thats for those who can actually GET contracts, lots cant)

It then removes one obstacle to digital inclusion that is rarely spoken of.

One simple investment infrastructure that effectively enhances contact and engagement with tenants. With the wider social benefit of one hole in digital inclusion being filled.

Wider, working with councils to provide to all?

What do you think? Ubiquetous Wifi?


2 comments:

  1. They do it here on the flats for satellite tv we pay nut included in rent so it could be done!

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  2. I agree. More landlords and housing associations could add greater social value to their properties and their communities by adding wifi or broadband access to their services (or utilities). Whether internet access is provided individually or by creating community hubs, allowing whole communities fair access to information increases, not only the potential for collaboration between provider-landlord and tenant, but also the overall life chances for the participants.

    Some community housing and support agencies such as Stonewall Housing have been providing free wifi access, to its supported housing clients, for over 6 years. We recognise the difference that internet access can make to a young persons educational, social and working life. It is also recognised that in these times of potential community fragmentation and social isolation, local voices can be brought together, and individuals reached, to join-in dialogues about situations and issues impacting their lives.

    Community agencies are challenged to take more responsibility for ensuring that individuals, families and neighbours, of all ages, have the skills necessary to access online information confidently, and perhaps, eventually, feel comfortable passing this skill onto others. This is how networks are formed and new communities, of shared-interest, can grow. Efficient Internet provision and skills become all the more important in light of UK welfare reforms and the administration of Universal Credit. Information poverty could quite easily and literally become real poverty.

    Alex Kylén
    Stonewall Housing

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