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BT Claims Broadband Refusenik Missing Out on £1k in Benefits

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 (1:55 pm) - Score 711

BT claims that more than 99% of homes in the United Kingdom are within reach of a basic broadband connection and yet around 6.4 million people still aren’t online (ONS figures). This is important because their latest “independent study” claims that the social benefits of going online for the first time could be worth as much as £1,000+ per year.

The results, which reflect the impact from a combination of benefits like financial savings, improved employment opportunities and remote working etc., apparently draw on an analysis from one of BT’s own UK digital skills programmes (Get IT Togetherhttp://www.bt.com/connectedsociety). In some cases it’s even claimed that the benefit could be worth up to £3.5k per year.

Just Economics, which conducted most of the analysis, further calculated that the Social Return on Investment (SROI) in the Get IT Together programme is £3.70 of social return for every £1 invested in digital skills.

Anna Easton, BT’s Connected Society Director, said:

This research reinforces the critical role the internet plays in society today. We will use these findings to help shape our future digital inclusion plans. We are publishing both the research and the supporting methodology in the hope that other organisations will seize the opportunity to evaluate their own programmes and help build a rich database of information to help get the 6.4 million unconnected people online for the first time.”

According to the most recent ONS data, just 37% of adults aged 75 years+ (1.8 million people) have used the Internet (around 47% of those who have never gone online – 3 million people), while another 3.5 million disabled adults have also never gone online.

However it’s also important not to forget that some people, especially much older individuals, still have no real desire to engage in the online world and many of those would also be a bit past the job hunting stage anyway (i.e. assumptions about employment and work income quickly become moot); though they could save in other ways (access to cheaper goods and services etc.).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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