Earlier this week the Government launched Delivering Digital Inclusion: An Action Plan for Consultation [80 pages, 1MB PDF], a comprehensive "taking stock" of the extent to which "digital exclusion" blights citizens' life chances. Official abstract, which does not do the Action Plan justice:
"The Action Plan outlines the key issues relating to the use of digital technology and argues why digital exclusion is an increasingly urgent social problem. In summary:
- Digital technologies pervade every aspect of modern society. However these opportunities are not enjoyed by the whole of the UK population - for example, 17 million people in the UK still do not use computers and the Internet and there is a strong correlation between digital exclusion and social exclusion.
- There are significant and untapped opportunities to use technology better on behalf of citizens and communities. These include improved service planning, design and delivery, particularly to address the needs of disadvantaged groups and individuals."
There is a rather slow-to-load 8 minute explanatory film available, and pages 73-75 of the action plan contain an Appendix "Technology Futures and Digital Inclusion" by Chris Yapp of CapGemini. The closing date for consultation responses is 19 January 2009.