For most of us life without the internet is hard to imagine. The internet underpins everything we do. It helps us keep in touch with our friends and families, entertains us, helps educate and creates job opportunities. With 2.4 billion web users worldwide it may come as a shock to you that 21% of the British population lacks basic digital skills and the capability to realise the benefits of the Internet. That’s 21% of Britains that are missing out on what many believe to be a basic human requirement.
The Digital Inclusion Act
A full digital take up could add up to £63 billion to the UK economy and has infinite benefits to those connected. The digital inclusion act is about ensuring citizens and businesses benefit from the digital age and underpins economic growth. The government is committed to working with partners from the public, private, and voluntary sectors to help people get online. In 2013, 36 million adults (73%) in Britain accessed the internet every day. Those who are offline and not capable of using the internet risk missing out on the benefits that the internet can offer.
Benefits of getting everyone online
Being online and connected has obvious benefits for individuals and organisations. For individuals, it could mean finding a job or maintaining contact with friends and relatives. It can also mean cutting your household bills, which is vital for those on low incomes. Those on low incomes, renting from housing associations or the council, could save up to £415 a year on their combined bill if they switched to an online pre-payment account. Most housing associations are now switching over to an online only payment plan so, for these tenants, being online is imperative. Households offline are generally missing out on savings of £560 per year. This group, whose children may face challenges at school, are often seeking work.
Being digitally excluded affects some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society.
- Those in social housing
- Those on lower wages or unemployed
- Those with disabilities
- Older people
- Young people
For all these groups, adult digital and literacy skills are a sizeable challenge. Being able to improve adult digital and literacy skills is at the heart of getting people online.
Tackling digital inclusion can’t just be done in our community centres and libraries. The real solution is broadband enabled housing and apartments and that’s where the MyAirangel solution comes in.
The MyAirangel Solution
The MyAirangel management platform allows building managers to have complete control over their wireless infrastructure and are designed to get your residents online with ease, providing a revenue stream where appropriate. Traditional solutions only have access to a shared network, limiting their functionality. MyAirangel supplies tenants with their own personal access key to their private networks. Having a personal network allows guests to connect multiple devices such as wireless printers and media streaming devices which would be unable to connect on a traditional shared network.
If a manager chooses to charge for their guests WiFi service, then payments can be taken online so there’s no lengthy contracts to content with. If a resident leaves then the payment stops. The solution has options to upgrade to greater speeds and building managers can use other connected devices to have more control over their building such as access to CCTV, control of heating and content filtering.