Currys research shows digital poverty has worsened during cost-of-living crisis
New research conducted by Currys in partnership with The Digital Poverty Alliance and YouGov has revealed that one in three UK adults have cut back their spending on digital access during the cost-of-living crisis.
Findings from the study show that 27% have switched to a cheaper, less comprehensive broadband or mobile phone plan, whilst one in five have downgraded their phone or laptop devices by purchasing cheaper models, delaying upgrades, or starting to share devices with friends and family.
Furthermore, 52% of those who had reduced their spending on tech said they feared missing out on essential services such as accessing doctor appointments or social housing opportunities as a result. In addition, 44% said they were concerned about being left socially isolated.
The Digital Poverty Alliance is an initiative of the Learning Foundation charity, Currys, and the Institute of Engineering and Technology. The organisation was established to work towards ending UK digital poverty by 2030.
Paula Coughlan, chief people, communications and sustainability officer at Currys, said: “Whilst it’s important we continue to spotlight this issue via new research, it’s also critical that we provide the financial backing to help support those in digital need in the short-term. That’s why this winter, we implemented a number of fundraising initiatives to generate vital funds that will support those without access to technology.”
Over the festive period, Currys organised a range of fundraising initiatives across its stores, which generated over £70,000 in donations to tackle digital poverty.
Coughlan added: “The proceeds raised by generous customers, colleagues and donation matches by Currys will all go to the Digital Poverty Alliance, which in turn will distribute tech items – such as laptops – to families who do not currently have them. Our purpose, to help everyone enjoy amazing technology, has never been more important for those who cannot access essential tech, and we are committed to doing everything we can to help.”
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