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DG has the biggest digital divide in Scotland

By Fiona Reid
DG has the biggest digital divide in Scotland

DUMFRIES and Galloway has been found to have the largest digital divide in Scotland with 20.9 per cent of residents either lapsed or internet non-users.

Although the digital divide in Scotland has shrunk from 10.3 percent of the national population in 2019, to 8.7 percent last year, this areas is lagging behind.

And in 2020, Dumfries and Galloway had the country’s largest percentage of lapsed and internet non-users in Scotland, with 20.9 percent of residents living offline – up from 10.3 percent the previous year.

From 12,000 lapsed and internet non-users in 2019, the region now has 26,000 people who have either not accessed the internet in the last three months or never at all.

The data analysis by web design and development agency Rouge Media also highlighted poor internet speeds in parts of the area – 43.69 percent worse than the United Kingdom national average of 32.98 Mbps, leaving some rural residents unable to connect or with frustratingly slow access.

Researchers believe the local age demographics could also be responsible for the digital divide, with 16–24-year-olds being the smallest age bracket in Dumfries and Galloway, while 26 percent of the population is over the age of 65.

Commenting on the findings, Rouge Media director Andy Woods said: “It’s been really interesting to study Scotland’s digital divide and the progress being made in reducing the number of residents living offline, especially at a time when internet access has never been so important.

“It’s clear that while positive progress has been made, an enduring digital divide remains nationwide which appears to be impacting older residents and poorer households unequally.”


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