Recent analysis from the University of Liverpool and the Good Things Foundation, suggests as many as 1.2 million people across Greater Manchester could be excluded in some way from the opportunities that digital brings. Over 700,000 people in Greater Manchester are only using the internet in a narrow or limited way and a further 450,000 classified as 'non-users.'
The Greater Manchester Digital Inclusion Taskforce, which is due to meet for the first-time next week, aims to address the barriers of digital exclusion and the digital divide, in a co-ordinated and focussed way, informed by local needs and sharing learning, resource and expertise.
This joined-up approach which is bringing together key players from across the UK is already having an impact. Earlier this month, Vodafone launched a UK-wide schools.connected programme to address data poverty for digitally-excluded young people in schools providing 250,000 sim only data packages, with unprecedented demand. As a response, Vodafone have announced an extension to their programme now offering data connectivity support to college students.
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