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Topics of focus - 2020

Topic: The types of issues and impacts that communications consumers living, studying or working in rural areas face

Participants discussed rural connectivity and Ofcom representatives provided an overview of UK connectivity initiatives such as the Broadband USO and Shared Rural Network; and representatives of the devolved governments provided an overview of Nation-specific initiatives.

Key messages from stakeholders across the UK:

  1. Some rural areas lack access to digital infrastructure and require affordable and reliable connectivity interventions across mobile and broadband to help rural consumers get digitally connected.
  2. Consumers lack awareness of UK and Nation-specific connectivity schemes and how these could apply to their circumstances. Inclusive information on initiatives should be available from trusted sources in clear, jargon-free terms.
  3. The needs of rural consumers should be considered at development stage of connectivity policies across the UK to achieve inclusive design and ensure that communications work for everyone.
  4. People in vulnerable circumstances need to be safeguarded in the communications sector, particularly where lack of digital access can have detrimental effects.
  5. Some consumers and micro-businesses in rural areas lack a choice of provider, may be socially isolated and are at risk of being left behind. The pandemic has highlighted that digital access is essential and consumers who are digitally excluded need additional protections.
  6. Not all consumers and micro-businesses with access to digital possess knowledge of how to utilise its capabilities. Upskilling is essential to help consumers digitally transition.

Please click here to read a summary of our discussions, who took part and further information on available connectivity initiatives across the UK Nations. 

Topic: The impacts of scams on consumers, citizens and micro-businesses

In December 2020, we published research on scams and fraudulent activity, exploring how consumers have been targeted across communications channels. Our discussions with Hub participants in July on the impacts of scams on consumers, citizens and micro-businesses fed into our research recommendations. 

Click here to access our cover report, recommendations and full research findings. 

Topic: The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on communications consumers

In early 2020, during the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, we discussed the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on communications consumers. Please click here to read a summary of our discussions. 

If you have any difficulties accessing content on this page, please email us at contact@communicationsconsumerpanel.org.uk