Mobile Phone Plans and Digital Inclusion

recent survey reported in iTWire found Australians currently pay $44 a month on average for their mobile phone plans, down from $48 in 2017.

This figure puts the total expenditure in Australia at $9 billion a year. No wonder there are more and more telco providers entering the industry, trying to get a share of the market.

The research highlights changes to the lifespan of handsets. These days, it appears consumers are holding on to their handsets for longer. Data reveals that once their handset is paid off, consumers are more likely to ‘plan hop’, taking their phone with them.

Although prices in the sector have stabilised and competition is strong, 15% of South Australians still do not have internet access from home, according to data just released from SACOSS. This figure is higher than the national average of 13.5%. Businesses and government run the risk of ‘ignoring or disenfranchising’ this cohort, said CEO Ross Womersley, as more and more transactions move online.

In ConnectEd community education sessions, particularly with groups of elderly members of the community living independently at home, we meet participants who do not have computers, not to mention internet access, at home. Digital literacy is a significant barrier for the very elderly and yet it’s not so easy today to apply for concessions if you can’t (and don’t know how to) go online!

Looking for more: see the InDaily article on digital inclusion in South Australia.

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