Paul Murphy MP addressed the SOCITM Annual Conference 2008, on 13th October, to set out his task force’s Digital Action Plan, which will be published shortly. The conference took place in Newport, South Wales from 12-14th October.
There was also be a workshop dedicated to digital inclusion which allowed delegates to debate and discuss digital equality, share good practice and exchange experiences with this issue. This workshop was facilitated by SOCITM Consulting who are conducting a project to monitor how this issue is dealt with by local authorities and partner organisations.
This action plan was due to be released in the summer, but was delayed due to the fact the Digital Inclusion Task Force had only just been created a number of weeks earlier, and it was agreed that the timescales were too tight. Everyone preferred a plan that was realistic and achieveable, rather than rushed and not researched.
The Government currently believe that 75% of the socially excluded are non-internet users, and are unaware about how to find out more. These are the people the Digital Action Plan will focus on, while trying to reduce the “digital divide”. Let’s hope the plan can make a different to these peoples’ lives – both on a social exclusion and digital inclusion basis. Many people working in the digital inclusion field are eagerly anticipating this action plan, as it will truely confirm the Government’s attitude towards the “digital divide” and what they intend to do to combat the problem.
Digital technology is essential in the 21st Century, as it is fast becoming the digital age, everyone deserves and needs to be a part of it and hopefully this action plan will assist this endeavour.