To a veteran broadband user the notion of being without the technology is now almost as frightful as being denied access to water. However Ofcom's chief executive, Ed Richards, warns that 55% of people still remain unconvinced by the technology even though many can now afford it:
"Even though people are bombarded by messages about the range of benefits of being online - whether buying cheap insurance or catching up on last week's soaps - there seems to be millions of people who are not yet persuaded," stated Richards to the London School of Economics yesterday.
"We need to tackle this challenge as much as tackle the challenge of low-income households who can't afford access. We need first to examine the reasons why so many people, nearly 40% of households, do not even have basic Internet access."
Frustratingly this issue is nothing new and countless operators and government bodies have pledged to plug the gap without much success. The Telegraph's article notes that Ofcom intends to release new research on the matter later this week.
Richards highlighted that its forthcoming study had already found that 30% fell into the category of being financially excluded from broadband (can't afford it). Meanwhile 15% were dual excluded because they did not want broadband and or didn't have the resources (money, computer) for it anyway.
Elsewhere he also took a moment to comment on plans for a 2Mbps minimum universal service obligation (USO), noting that the solution for some homes could just involve a "cheap" improvement to in-house wiring rather than new networks. That may be true for some locations but such work is rarely cheap when conducted through BT.
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