Commenting on the survey, the annual tracker report has shown that consumers are exercising more choice in how and what communications technologies they use, and that has to be a good development. However, it can be concerned that there is a worrying gap in owning and using communication technologies between people on low incomes and older consumers and the rest of the population. Older consumers, in particular, continue to shy away from owning and using communication technologies.
Further, the report shows that 61% of people are worried about security and safety on the web. It was highlighted that the public was nervousness about the complexity of communications services, costs, service quality, including broadband services, and predicted that this is set to increase further.
There are key findings which consumers and the communications market.
More and more people in the UK are not only using digital TV, the internet and broadband at home, the independent voice for the consumer interest in communications, shows. They are also exercising more choice in how and what communications technologies they use.
Findings from the Consumers and the communications market:
Survey reveal that ownership of home internet is now at 61%, and over a third (36%) of people now own a mobile, internet and digital TV. Levels of switching landline provider are on the increase too, and have risen by 8%. This could be driven by the growth in ‘bundled’ broadband and fixed line services. However, people on low income and older people are being left behind. Far fewer access the internet at home at only around a third compared to the UK average of 61%. Digital TV ownership is lower too at 67% of people on a low income and 57% of older people compared to the UK average of 74%.
With an increasingly ageing population, the UK could find that many older people are cut off from all sorts of services because they are not using the internet. This new research is a move by the Consumer Panel to understand what makes some older people use communications technologies, and what the barriers are for those who do not.
The UK Government has just committed to solve the gap in Internet usage by 2010 for groups at risk of exclusion such as older people.
Attitudes towards Internet access are more complex and varied than anticipated. The research revealed four distinct attitudinal groups:
Absorbers had learnt to use computers at work and are now part of the digital age.
The diverse range of self-starters, who had no training at work, demonstrated that factors such as age, income, location and health did not appear to be barriers to take-up.
Non-users were largely consistent in the reasons they gave for not using the Internet: many were afraid of the unknown, of their ability, of breaking the PC, or of appearing foolish. The majority of non-users are the ‘disengaged’, and they showed an unexpected interest in going online. The minority, the ‘rejecters’, from busy grandmothers to contented hobbyists, saw no benefit in using the internet.
Many older people do not use the internet and are unable to access many critical online services. But, new research finds that certain groups of older consumers would get connected if they are given the right kind of support to help them overcome their fears.
The technology they used was very poor and was less complex than it is now. Older people find it very difficult to interact with others using their mobile phones especially when they find that the phones can be very fragile and may need repairing often. The latest phones on the market are manufactured with glass, which is likely to break if you drop it on a concrete floor. This is why broken screen repair services are so easily available, however, we recommend doing necessary researching before choosing a company.
Take a look at their credentials, who approves them, their reviews and their history. This will give you an idea of how trusted they are. Prices are also a key indicator of their honesty. See: Cost of Replacing Samsung Battery.
The Right Attitude
The “Older people and communications technology” qualitative research shows that older people’s attitude and character are the key determinants of whether or not they are online. The research suggests that the many older people who initially rejected using the Internet may get connected if they had the right support, assistance and learning environment.
They said that courses designed for and run by older people, together with mentoring schemes would encourage them to get online.
Many of us are not as engaged in today’s rapidly evolving communications world as other people. With more and more local and central government services online, as well as the best deals for commercial services, people who are not connected will find themselves increasingly excluded in today’s world.
Figures indicate that as many as 60% of people over 65 don’t understand the term broadband, and over half do not take up Internet access because they see no benefit being online or using their phones.
The lack of home internet access can seriously disadvantage many children living in low-income households. The independent voice for the consumer and citizen interest in communications markets.
Children and the internet found a stark social contrast between children from low income households who have internet access at home and those who do not. The report, which looks at the attitudes and opinions of children and their parents to home internet access, is being launched today at a high-level roundtable discussion in London that brings together key representatives from government, think-tanks, the third sector and industry. The round table discussion will consider national policy solutions to help remove the barriers to take-up.
From about age ten most children believe that internet access is a ‘must have’.
Children in the survey said that having the internet at home is important for social networking and developing their own identities.
“MSN is my life. I’m on it all the time”, a 13-year-old girl told us.
One 11-year-old boy explained that he liked it because he could “be really creative on the internet”. While another girl of 11 told the research team: “You can get better knowledge in your head when you use the internet for school work.”
While many parents recognise that an internet connection at home is key to their child’s education and future success, others set up barriers against having it. Cost puts off some parents, but the overriding barrier is parental fear: fear of being left out and isolated within the family; fear that unsuitable content will start to enter their home; and fear that they will not be able to understand or control the computer.
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