A recent report from the Bevan Foundation claims that one in three people in Wales could miss out under a move towards introducing more public services online in the next few years. Those people without internet access already miss out on, for example, cheaper offers for goods and services.
Researchers found that although there were nearly 200 computers available for use free of charge in public libraries in the Caerphilly authority area, there were limitations. For example, access was not available outside library opening hours and some websites were blocked. Victoria Winckler of The Bevan Foundation explains, 'There is a real problem because the people who rely most on public services are the least likely to use the internet.' (BBC, 23 September 2011)
BT is addressing this type of 'social exclusion' across the UK through its social responsibility initiatives with stakeholders. These include helping to make broadband internet access more widely available. Around9.2 million adults in the UKhave never used the internet. BT hopesto address this via its 'Get IT Together' campaign to help people get online. By improving its networks, BT can make acontribution to tackling social exclusion. Enlightened companies like BTbelieve that engaging with stakeholders is part of an ethical approach tobusiness.