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Government must bridge the digital divide in Portsmouth – City MP

Stephen Morgan MP called on government to tackle the affordability of internet access in the House of Commons today and for Ministers to take action to bridge the digital divide in Portsmouth.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned digital exclusion is more likely to be faced by those on low incomes, people over 65 and disabled people.

The organisation has also said that when the pandemic hit in March 2020, only 51 per cent of households earning between £6,000 to £10,000 had home internet access.

Meanwhile, according to the House of Commons Library, Portsmouth South only has 38.4% gigabit broadband availability, 7.3% lower than the UK average of 45.7%.

It comes as the Portsmouth MP continues to tackle loneliness in the city, after many vulnerable people with no affordable digital tools or skills were cut-off from the outside world over the last two years.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

Portsmouth has been left behind by this government when it comes to bridging the digital divide and providing affordable access to the digital tools and skills people need.

“Our city is well behind the rest of the country in getting decent internet access, and a far cry from the government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda.

“I will continue to push Ministers to secure the affordable digital access and skills vulnerable people in our city need to help tackle loneliness, and a route to the opportunities they deserve.”