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35% of kids don't have internet at home

Report says no web access leads to lower earnings

More than a third (35 percent) of children in the UK do not have access to an internet connection at home, says Point Topic.

Research by the broadband intelligence firm revealed that a lack of access to the web during childhood could result in a loss of earning potential and increased social costs during adulthood.

Point Topic said without a broadband connection at home, children "can't do their homework properly, they can't join in the social world of their peers, and they can't gain the internet skills and knowledge they will need to live comfortably as adults".

The firm estimated the losses could total £500-a-year per child, which based on a 40-year lifespan would amount to a combined loss of £80bn in the UK.

However, Point Topic said of those families with children that don't have a broadband connection, just 3.6 percent live in an area where internet access is unavailable.

"This social gap has appeared not because broadband is unavailable but rather because families have not chosen to buy it, whether for reasons of cost or otherwise. It is far bigger in its effects than the geographical divide," said Point Topic.

The research also revealed the areas with the greatest digital deprivation are not working class city-centres. Instead, they are "less prosperous country constituencies" including Derbyshire Dales, Berwick-upon-Tweed and Sedgefield in Durham.

Point Topic said these area often have "less choice and higher prices" when it comes to broadband connections.

The organisation highlighted that these areas are usually not covered by cable services or operators that unbundle the network "because the population density is too low".

See also: Free PCs for disadvantaged kids rolled out to 270,00 families


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