Access to super fast broadband is a means to an end - it should enable people to access online services and social media. Having access to the same speed of service is essential if rural dwellers are not to be at a disadvantage to those living in urban areas.
However, it’s not just about the speed of internet access or about having access to computers or tablets – people need to understand the benefits of getting online and know how to use the services.
The UK may have more internet users than any other EU country, but 1 in 5 adults still don’t have the basic online skills to benefit from the web. That’s 9.5 million people across the UK aged 15 and over.
Fast, reliable broadband is essential for homes throughout the country to benefit from online services, and for UK businesses to compete globally. Lack of access to broadband and mobile coverage can lead to increased social and economic disadvantage and is exacerbated in rural communities by the remoteness from those services.
The ACRE Network is playing a significant role by supporting digital inclusion activities and helping in the roll-out of superfast broadband by engaging with local partnerships, helping with demand stimulation and digital skills initiatives.