Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 28th September 2021.

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Photo of Holly Lynch Holly Lynch Shadow Minister (Home Office)

What steps she is taking to help prevent people from becoming digitally excluded.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), Minister of State

The Government has worked closely with providers to put in place social tariffs. These provide low cost landline and broadband services for people on means-tested state benefits. We are encouraging providers who do not currently offer social tariff packages to do so. The telecoms industry has also removed data caps on fixed broadband packages, and provides free or low cost data boosts on mobile services to support vulnerable consumers.

In February DCMS also launched a £2.5 million Digital Lifeline Fund to reduce the digital exclusion of people with learning disabilities.This fund has provided tablets, data and free digital support to over 5,000 people with learning disabilities, enabling them to connect with friends and family, and access services and support groups, promoting overall well being.

The Government has also introduced a digital entitlement for adults with no or low digital skills to undertake specified digital qualifications, up to level 1, free of charge.

Finally, around 2,900 public libraries in England provide accessible locations offering free Wi-Fi, computers, and other technology. Library staff, often supported by volunteers, can provide library users with digital support.

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