Phone and broadband provider CharityTalk has announced plans to join Race Online 2012, the landmark challenge led by the UK’s Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox, which aims to make the UK the first nation in the world where everyone can use the web.
More than 10 million adults across the UK have never used the internet and worryingly, 4 million of this group are also socially excluded. They are all missing out on the opportunities and cost efficiencies that the web has to offer.
Of the 4 million adults offline who are socially and digitally excluded:
39% are over 65 years old
38% are unemployed
19% are in families with children
Martha Lane Fox said ‘Creating a networked nation would mean significant benefits to society and the economy and mark a change for the country as a whole. Race Online 2012 aims to show there is both a moral and economic imperative for the wider business community to take the issue of digital inclusion much more seriously.
As an official Race Online 2012 partner, CharityTalk joins BT, Google, Comet, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Skype, Moneysupermarket.com, Sky and TalkTalk, whose remarkable vision and support has already resulted in a commitment to get a staggering 1.7 million new users online.
Urging all partners to lay down a Digital Promise that will help inspire, educate and train the 10 million people in the UK who are currently offline, Richard Bartlett from CharityTalk said: ‘The macro-economic environment makes the Race Online 2012 challenge an issue of urgency for all businesses, no matter what the size. Creating a truly networked and connected UK will create significant efficiency savings, attract investment, open opportunities and improve work force skills’.
‘We want all our partners to become an official Race Online 2012 partner and be a part of this incredible cross-sector movement which will put an end to the digital divide.
Race Online 2012 wants any organisation of any size to get involved and help tackle the issue. From encouraging business partners to sign up, to teaching friends and family to get online, or by donating old IT equipment locally – there are opportunities for all businesses to make a difference. It’s simple to sign up – it only takes five minutes to register.
All Race Online 2012 partners are automatically entitled to access the Race Online 2012 partner toolkits which include a Race Online 2012 certificate, online media and communication materials to help promote their initiatives and spread the word, plus access to the Race Online 2012 news feed offering 24/7 digital inclusion news updates.