5 Sink or Surf? Social inclusion in the digital age

Alex MacGillivray and David Boyle

Introduction

Can't surf, won't surf? Not for long. The government has set itself the goal of ensuring that everyone in the UK who wants it will have easy, affordable access to the internet by 2005.1 If you're not wired up via a home computer, DTV, mobile phone or personal digital assistant (PDA), then you should at least be able to surf at work– if you have a job – or in a handy UK Online centre. A stubborn or unfortunate minority will not ‘want’ access; we estimate that these will total about 10 per cent of the population in 2010, mainly well-to-do and elderly people, those with extreme disability, and the most hard-pressed of the socially excluded. However, ...

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