Digital technologies are now taking a key role in our economic and social life, yet large numbers of people don’t have the online access or capability to help them with job hunting, education and training, social interaction and other supports that could improve their lives.
As more people, more businesses and more government services go online, the disadvantages of being digitally excluded increase - the digital divide becomes narrower but deeper. This digital exclusion reflects and compounds other areas of disadvantage, with people on lower incomes, older people, people living with disability all likely to be less included in the digital world.
The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) measures three key dimensions of digital inclusion (access, affordability and digital ability) on the basis of a range of survey questions relating to internet products, services and activities. The answers are then benchmarked against a “perfectly digitally included” individual, a hypothetical person who scores in the highest range for every question. In almost every iteration of the Index, South Australia scores poorly by comparison with the rest of country.
In 2021 and 2022, SACOSS is calling for a commitment to a set of digital inclusion goals (outlined in our Policy Brief) and significant ($120m) state government investment to implement a strategy to reach those goals.
Details of the SACOSS proposal can be found in the Digital Inclusion Policy Brief
Further information on Digital Inclusion
See SACOSS' work on Waged Poverty and Telecommunications Affordability
SACOSS Fact Sheet Digital Inclusion in South Australia: Regional Data, published November 2021.
SACOSS (2016), Connectivity Costs: Telecommunications Affordability for Low Income Australians, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Sydney.
Inclusion Index mapping people's access to digital technologies, interview with Professor Julian Thomas (author of the Australian Digital Inclusion Index) on Small Change, Radio Adelaide aired 14 March 2017.
Digital Inclusion for CALD and Older Australians, interviews with Christine and Ruth on Small Change, Radio Adelaide aired 14 March 2017.
People on low incomes face exclusion from digital technologies, interview with Susie on Small Change, Radio Adelaide aired 14 March 2017.