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Digital Broadcasting

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how his Department (a) defines and (b) measures digital inequality; and if he will make a statement. (306996)

This Department does not define digital inequality. Instead, we define digital inclusion as

“the best use of digital technology, either directly or indirectly to improve the lives and life chances of all citizens, particularly the most disadvantaged, and the places in which they live”.

On measurement, Government stated in the Digital Britain White Paper its intention to evaluate the work of the Consortium for the Promotion of Digital Participation using the following metrics:

1. Reach: access; number of households online, and numbers using the internet outside the home;

2. Breadth of engagement: modes of usage and consumption (communication, retail, content consumed, public services used);

3. Depth of engagement: user contributions, comments, joining networks, user generated content, self publishing, content creation, photos uploaded and shared, etc.; and

4. Social and economic impact: particularly the impact on economic recovery and benefits for disadvantaged groups and communities.