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Digital Inclusion for All

Shannen Carroll

Digital inclusion is important throughout all of Australia. For us, Australians using the Internet is an important factor in our daily lives. Though some Australians do not have the same privileges or access to the Internet.

Research conducted in 2018 by ACOSS “Found [that] rural residents, older Australians, people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those who have low levels of education, income or employment, are seen to be left behind.”

There are a few ways that the government can implement so that every Australian can have the same privileges when it comes to accessing the Internet.

  • Affordability
  • Only having access to mobile phones
  • Age gap
  • Geography

 

Affordability is a big issue when it comes to having the Internet or even the technology to use it. Roy Morgan speaks about the inclusion in his article Australian digital inclusion index and states, “Affordability has improved only marginally since 2014 and was in decline through 2014 to 2016 before recovering slightly from 2017.”

He goes on to say, “While value for money spent on Internet services has improved, expenditure on these services has increased faster than increases in

Household income, resulting in a growing share of household income devoted to them (up from 1.00% in 2014 to 1.17% in 2018).”

Australian who only use their mobile phone for access the internet are less digitally included, “More than four million Australians access the internet solely through a mobile connection – this means they have a mobile phone or Mobile broadband device with a data allowance, but no fixed connection (Morgan 2018).”

With the Internet only being around for a short time there is a significant amount of older people who don’t want to use technology or don’t know how to use it. This is a big issue as they are not being able to have the access that every other Australian has.

The further out into the Australian outback you go the less phone reception you get as well as not being able to get access to the internet in your home. This is where Australian aboriginals would struggle if they lived in remote towns. In remote towns, they are not set up like the cities and have less access to phone towers. This is where they are being left out because they have no access to the Internet like the Australians who live close to the cities.

If the government work together with allowing them access to the internet and technology to be more affordable, teaching those who don’t understand or need help to access the internet and providing more phone towers so those who live in remote areas can have the same access as those who live in the cities.

Then every Australian, including aboriginals, would have the ability to access the Internet to seek out education, apply for jobs, to get support, as well as to be able to have access to the world. No Australian should go without the internet, it is a basic need in today’s society and we all deserve to have access to it.

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About the Social Impact Projects

The Griffith University Social Impact Projects address five significant social justice issues faced by vulnerable communities. Expanding on the work done by Project Safe Space, and Project Open Doors, the Griffith University Social Impact Projects bring Community Partners, students and the University together to work collaboratively in the innovative solution design sprints. Initially designed to address Mental Health and Wellbeing of Griffith students, we soon realised this was a much larger issue intersecting across a number of social justice issues for students and the wider community. The Social Impact Projects aim to contribute in some small way to improving these social issues.