InternetNZ has produced an online, interactive map that it says clearly displays the ‘digital divide’ by showing areas of low, medium and high internet access and broadband penetration, correlated with areas ranked similarly for skills and social wellbeing.
InternetNZ teamed up with the 20/20 Trust and secured funding from the Data Futures Partnership to build the Digital Divide Map. InternetNZ chief executive Jordan Carter said it was important people were aware of the digital divides in New Zealand.
"Some people don't have access to the Internet, some are not skilled enough to use it and some cannot afford an Internet connection. "This is something that we want to see fixed.”
The map has two colours, one representing a combination of infrastructure and access and the other a combination of ICT skills and social wellbeing.
Infrastructure data is taken from the National Broadband Map. Areas are given a score based on the percentage of addresses able to receive broadband: low – 0 percent - 20 percent; medium - 21 percent - 79 percent; high 80 percent - 100 percent.
Access data comes from the 2013 Census, specifically responses to part of the access to telecommunications question in the households section. The same percentages are used.
Skills data comes from New Zealand respondents to the OECD PIAAC Survey in which respondents were asked how often they engaged in various ICT activities at home and work, and whether they had the necessary ICT skills.
Social well-being data comes from the New Zealand Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation produced by the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago.
The map also pinpoints known digital inclusion projects and local community resources to address digital skill gaps. Jordan said: “We hope that by sharing these digital inclusion projects and resources they can act as models and inspiration for other areas.”
InternetNZ says it has some ideas to make the map more useful, and is seeking suggestions, to: email@example.com.