Pandemic shows up digital divide
Pandemic shows up digital divide

Northumberland’s Labour group says the pandemic has shone a light on the digital divide in the county.

Labour Group leader Susan Dungworth said: “When Labour said broadband for all was a necessity not a luxury they were ridiculed for it. However, we’re now seeing that this is, in fact ,the case. Whether it’s someone running a small business, people working at home and young people being educated we know none of this can happen without good connectivity.

“Seven per cent of the country’s¬†households only have internet access through a mobile device, so much more must be done to ensure that children can access online learning without data charges.

“And it’s not just connectivity we need. The government has had nearly a year to put this right but there is still an acute shortage of devices for children. Nationally well over a million children have no access to a device for home learning.¬†We recognise the critical importance of reducing the spread of the new variant of Covid-19, but while children are forced to learn remotely it is vital that the government supports schools to deliver excellent online education which is accessible to all.

“This pandemic has divided the county and the country into the digital haves and have nots. If the government is serious about levelling up, it has to do something about it otherwise half the population are at a disadvantage.”

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