Collaborate Research conducted a large-scale qualitative research project for the Communications Consumer Panel to explore people’s digital lives during the pandemic. We found that digital connectivity during the pandemic was a ‘lifeline’ for some people. However, for others the experience of digital challenges added to the financial and/or emotional toll of the pandemic. The problems people faced were not just due to their individual characteristics but also major structural impediments.
Overall, our research demonstrates that now, more than ever, digital connectivity should be viewed as an essential service. The Panel has now published our report along with their recommendations for how policymakers can further protect consumers, citizens and microbusinesses in a digital world.