Back to News

Is access to the internet a necessity or a luxury?

There is an issue currently dominating the headlines in education and IT-focused publications and also mainstream news. The main message is: Nearly two million households in the UK do not have the means to access the internet. Therefore, many children are not receiving adequate schooling during the pandemic. Figures shared on BBC Newsround Online suggest

Nick Rawkins
26/02/2021

There is an issue currently dominating the headlines in education and IT-focused publications and also mainstream news. The main message is:

Nearly two million households in the UK do not have the means to access the internet. Therefore, many children are not receiving adequate schooling during the pandemic.

Figures shared on BBC Newsround Online suggest that it’s affecting over 700,000 children.

The BBC article also shared that: when asked, approximately 15% of teachers told The Sutton Trust (an education charity) that “more than a third of their pupils did not have access to an electronic device to learn from home”. School leaders’ union NAHT added to this statistic by saying 70% of secondary school leaders requesting internet access for their disadvantaged students did not receive it (June 2020).

It’s widely accepted that the internet is a portal to the world. It gives children access to knowledge sources and builds digital skills essential in their future professional lives.

The impact of no internet access goes beyond education.

Through access to knowledge, not only does their education improve; as they get older, it helps them make an informed view of their future and the possibilities it can hold.

But we believe the benefits go beyond education.

Without access to the internet, children cannot connect to loved ones or friends in the outside world; without that connection, they cannot build their social skills and become better equipped to cope with life situations or understand the meaning of humanity.

Should access to the internet be a necessity or a luxury?

Today, in our technological, modern world, you would think so, yes. But the reality is,

  • There is a critical shortfall of IT devices available for less well off families
  • Far too many families are unable to access broadband
  • There is likely to be a longterm negative impact on children whose education has all but come to a standstill during the pandemic
  • The result could be that those children are not able to access the level of employment usually recompensed with higher salaries

The overall impact (without even considering the inevitable social and emotional implications) is that we are potentially looking into the eye of the storm.

We believe access to the internet and the devices necessary to facilitate that access should be, if not a necessity, then more readily available to more children, disadvantaged individuals, and families.

The Reconome team is doing what we can to help. For example, among other initiatives, helping to ease the laptop shortage by taking your unwanted office IT equipment; keeping it out of landfills and into the hands of those who need it.

You can help, too, by letting us know if you have devices you want to donate to the O2 / Hubbub Community Calling campaign.