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Digital divide deepening according to inclusion index

George Nott | Aug. 7, 2017
Australians who have lower levels of income, education and employment far less likely to be online.

"If we think it important to subsidise essential utilities such as electricity for low-income Australians, we may need to consider whether an allowance for internet access for essential services might also be necessary," he wrote.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows around three million Australians are not online.

 

Alliance formed

A newly-formed group - The Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance (ADIA) - established by not-for-profit Infoxchange with support from Australia Post, Google and Telstra and 100 other organisations, held a discussion event prompted by the research in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Although those organisations have not been named, they are understood to include The Australian Council of Social Service, children's charity The Smith Family, Anglicare Australia and The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network.

The alliance has faced criticism this week for not inviting digital rights groups or activists to participate. Journalist Asher Wolfe, writing in Crikey, said the alliance "conspicuously excludes" digital rights organisations.

"The ADIA seeks to harness the collective skills, knowledge and capabilities of organisations across the country to reduce the digital divide and enable greater social and economic participation for all Australians", said David Spriggs, CEO of Infoxchange and chair of the ADIA at the alliance's launch event.

"Unless we work together with a strategic approach we won't succeed in achieving an Australia where everyone can participate in the digital world," he added.

 

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