During the election and since the access to broadband Internet has been a big part of my daily post. For most of us the Internet is a part of everyday life. Indeed there are 30 million of us who use the Internet everyday in the UK. More than half of all leisure travel is now booked online, 90% of all new jobs require basic Internet skills and seven million jobs were posted online last year. That is why I champion increasing access to broadband across rural Britain, in places such as my constituency of Hexham.
However the problem is a wider one. Even were access isn't the problem, there are still 10 million people in the UK who have never used the Internet, and are missing out on the benefits, opportunities and savings it can provide. What’s more, the problem is worst for those already at a disadvantage. The facts are if you’re older, disabled, or on a low income, its far more likely you will be off-line - and thats not fair.
I'm always keen to support anything that helps change this situation for the better and have already signed up to support Race Online 2012.
In October, www.ukonlinecentres.com/getonlineweek will be running a joint campaign with Race Online 2012, the BBC, Post Office and mobile phone network Three to help people gain the skills and confidence they need to get started online.
People can also learn the basics without paying a penny by visiting www.myguide.gov.uk
In the mean time I'll be keeping up my campaign to increase the availability of broadband Internet to my constituency.