The Digital Divide

“The APLE Collective is concerned that people experiencing Poverty will be excluded further digitally because of increased costs of energy and food. We need a system that pulls families out of hard times and that creates opportunities.”

The APLE Collective, a collective of organisations and individuals committed to addressing poverty through lived experience, is concerned that people experiencing poverty will be pushed further into digital exclusion and isolation because unavoidable spending on energy and food will take up the lion’s share of their budget. Internet access will become a nice to have rather than what it is, an essential in the modern-day UK- and that’s just not right.” 

Discover our EXCLUSIVE Digital Divide Briefing Paper, now accessible for both reading and downloading right below.

Campaign Asks

In the short term, we believe that steps can be taken to tackle this digital divide by:

  • Encouraging the telecommunications industry to lift the data caps on a pay-as-you-go and rolling pay monthly tariff.
  • Making mobile ‘hot spots’ available free of use and accessible to all.
person taking picture of a ferris wheel
photo of people near wooden table

In the longer term, we ask for participation, voice and connection.

  • We ask for free Wi-Fi for Low-Income Groups.
  • The opportunity to discuss how people with lived experience of socioeconomic disadvantage and who directly face this challenge of digital division are able to ensure support packages to build skills, knowledge and confidence are designed to the best effect.

Data Poverty APPG State of the Nation Report 2023

Read and download our 2022 briefing paper here:

Over the last few years, the APLE Collective Campaign to address the digital divide has gained traction and has taken action in various settings to amplify the voices of people with lived experiences of Poverty.

APLE Campaigning on the Digital Divide has involved writing to MPs, meeting online with MPs and linking with key partners such as The Good Things FoundationOperation WiFi and Local Trust to amplify the voices of people with lived experience of poverty within wider campaigning on the digital divide. Our work was recognised by the UK Parliament Awards, as Digital Campaigner of the Year.

The Campaigns and Communications sub-group has focused on campaigning on the digital divide. The work of the sub-groups has included research for fact sheets and briefing papers, stakeholder mapping and participatory campaign planning alongside writing to MPS, meeting with MPs, liaising with APPGs and presenting at a wide range of conferences.

“Being part of the APLE Campaigns sub-group has been inspirational. The collective effort and skills that led the Digital Divide Campaign were effective at highlighting and challenging the real issues that poverty brings and engaging people in strategic positions with the problems and potential solutions. It seemed all about speaking out and asking to be listened to. I witnessed the power of the collective voice and how, if we come together, we can challenge inequalities and help create change, brilliant stuff!”

Our Digital Divide blog posts:


Check out the awe-inspiring accomplishments of our past campaigns as we strive to bridge the gap of the digital divide.


Our participatory webinar: Solving the digital divide with lived experience.

Briefing Paper

Read our 2021 Digital Divide briefing paper.

Socially Distanced Activism

Voices of Lived Experience of Poverty During COVID-19

Collaborative Policy Press book 

Release Date- June 21st 2021

How would your experience of the COVID-19 pandemic have been different if you had no access to the internet? 

Drawing on case studies from Thrive Teesside, ATD Fourth World and Expert Citizens (APLE Collective organisations), this book interrogates the term ‘lived experience’. It critically investigates how knowledge gained from lived experiences of poverty is integral to developing effective COVID-19 policy responses.