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Income Still Determines Internet Access
By: MarkJ - 19 November, 2003 (9:51 AM)

New research from the Greater London Authority (GLA) has found that nearly 90% of high-income (52,000) families have Internet access, yet just 20% of low-income (10,444) couples could say the same:

As Web access is much less important than, say, food and heating, it could be argued that the more financially stretched can't be expected to pay to log on from home. But the GLA points out that the Internet and email can play a vital role in helping socially excluded people to find educational opportunities and to keep in touch. Worryingly, the Authority's research has also found that many online public services are of limited use for the people most in need of them.

The GLA survey assessed Londoners in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, income, and employment status to define those who were socially disadvantaged. Those falling into this category are over 50 percent more likely than the wider population to use the Web for training and educational information, and also more likely to use email.

Livingstone believes that universal domestic access is more important than just expecting people to visit their nearest UK online centre.


More @ ZDNet.


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