What is data poverty?

A rapid research review and stakeholder consultation to understand and define data poverty in Scotland and Wales
5G telecommunications Digital access Broadband Digital communications Digital inclusion Mobile internet Mobile telecommunications Scotland Wales
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What is data poverty? 1.87 MB

People living in poverty have fewer opportunities to engage fully in the online world. And COVID-19 social distancing restrictions have only increased our reliance on online access.

Access to the internet is now essential. Many vital services such as education, welfare, health and work are now online, and those who cannot access enough data for their needs are data poor.

This report is the first phase of research into data poverty in Scotland and Wales, and explores, in consultation with stakeholders from both countries, the barriers people face to accessing the data they need.

Key findings:

  • Data poverty is a common problem among disadvantaged groups in Scotland and Wales.
  • Barriers to people accessing the data they need include low income, not being able to get a data contract, lack of privacy and local infrastructure.
  • The impact of these barriers is greater in combination and for those who have higher data needs.
  • More research is needed to understand the costs of data, how many people are data poor and which groups are most vulnerable to data poverty.
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