University of Aberdeen, dot.rural written evidence to the Commons Select Committee Rural Broadband and Digital-only Services Inquiry for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA)

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Executive Summary
A sizeable minority of the UK population lack access to basic digitally-enabled services and therefore do not yet participate in the Digital Economy. There is a growing social and economic gap between those who are connected and those who are not, the ‘digitally excluded’. This submission outlines available evidence as to the extent of broadband coverage in the commercially hardest to reach
areas and the implications for those who currently are ‘not served’ and ‘under-served’. Drawing on data from the dot.rural Rural Public Access WiFi Service (Rural PAWS) study, designed to promote connectivity amongst ‘hard to reach’ households in a remote rural area, the Internet experiences of our study participants are outlined. The behaviour and experiences of a mid-life farming couple before their participation in PAWS (with a poor Internet connection) and during their participation in the project (with a much faster connection provided to facilitate access to online Government services) is reported. Of particular note are economic benefits and enhanced professional practice directly associated with improved digital connectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputWritten Submission
PublisherHouse of Commons
Number of pages6
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


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