The Digital Divide, Olympic-Style

From The Independent on Sunday, in an article on Lord Coe

What we did not know then was that the man who masterminded the greatest hi-tech sports event in history was a techno philistine. Lord Low-tech, as he calls himself, doesn’t tweet, has never sent a text or an email, or even used a computer. “I have no technical skills at all – my lack of technological understanding is legendary,” he laughs. “I use a phone as a phone.”

Now the British Olympic Association’s chairman, he recalls how a few weeks ago he was in a hotel abroad where, to his absolute horror, everything was operated by iPad. “I slept with every single light on, the television going, the air-conditioning blowing. I kept thinking: ‘Oh please, someone just give me a fucking light switch!’ At one point I tried to sleep in the bathroom! It was the only room that didn’t have 27 lights on!”

On this theme, there are some figures on the digital divide in the UK here, including:

  • 1 in 4 adults in the UK have never used the internet
  • £560, the amount digitally excluded households are missing out on per year from not shopping and paying bills online
  • a third of households in the UK don’t have the internet
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