This manifesto is a rallying cry for us all to create a truly networked nation – and a chance to get millions more people online by the end of 2012. This will be an Olympic legacy that will benefit all of us.
The 10 million people in the UK who have never been online are already missing out on big consumer savings, access to information and education. They will be even more isolated and disadvantaged as government and industry expand ever faster into digital-only services. We must change our mindset from one that shields people from using the internet to one that helps empower them to get online and enjoy all the benefits.
We cannot wait for new technology solutions or for better and faster infrastructure. We need to recycle and join up our existing infrastructure and exploit the assets and the skills that we already have.
We need to be ambitious, ‘think internet first’ when we design services, and put the needs of the hardest to reach at the heart of industry, charity and government. There is a social and moral case to make sure more people are online but there is a clear economic case too. We will all be better off when everyone is online.
I would like to thank the Prime Minister for giving me the opportunity to champion this cause, my team who work so hard and with such good humour – particularly Graham Walker, the People’s Task Force and finally all our partners from industry, the public sector and in charities who are helping to ensure that nobody gets left behind.
I hope that you read this manifesto and feel inspired to help build a stronger UK.
— MARTHA LANE FOX, UK DIGITAL CHAMPION, JULY 2010