New manifesto targets 10m 'digitally excluded'

Digital champion plans to get whole UK online

Digital champion Martha Lane Fox has launched a manifesto that sets out plans to get everyone in the UK of working age online by the end of this Parliament.

The ‘Networked Nation’ manifesto was unveiled at Downing Street today, to the support of Prime Minister David Cameron.

The PM said: "I’m delighted to have Martha Lane Fox on board to help drive forward this important agenda. In the internet age, we need to ensure that people aren’t being left behind as more and more services and business move online. But this issue isn’t just about fairness – as Martha’s work shows, promoting digital inclusion is essential for a dynamic modern economy and can help to make government more efficient and effective."

Lane Fox’s plans outline how government, industry and charities can help everyone in the country get online, including the unemployed, over 65s, parents and children. She claims 10 million Britons have never used the internet.

Suggestions in the manifesto include networking vendors and retailers creating tailored packages for people on low incomes and the elderly, with low up-front costs, affordable monthly payments, and ongoing support.

“By getting more people online, everyone wins. Businesses are competing for more online customers. Government needs to deliver better for less. Charities want to support the people they serve better. So we are calling on them to work together and tackle the unfairness and lost opportunities caused by digital exclusion, and deliver positive social change,” Lane Fox said.

She would also like to create more ‘digital champions’ in businesses, local government, job centres and public libraries.

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