A new report from the US Federal Communications Commission has shown that when it comes to the ongoing development of online service delivery it is important to remember that not everyone is so readily able to join in.
The survey of 5005 Americans taken in late 2009 found that 78 percent of adults were Internet users, and 65 percent were on broadband. But another 8 percent indicated that they would like to be online, but lacked the financial resources, while a further 10 percent had no interest in being online at all. You can read more about the findings in this story on Mashable.
It is easy to forget that the World Wide Web is a relatively new phenomenon, and that not everyone has jumped on board. If you are reading this blog, then you are clearly not in either of the groups mentioned above, and while you are in the majority, it is far from absolute.
Over time it is likely that the percentages will change, as access becomes more affordable, and those who do not want to be online come to see the value in it.
As online service delivery improves, and becomes in many cases the preferred means of interaction with customers, it is important that we don’t begin to exclude those members of the community for whom cost of access is a prohibiting factor.
Faster broadband services should always be intended to make life better for the population in general, not to relegate some members to second-class service.