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Minimum Digital Living Standard pilot to take place in Wales

Leading the way in digital inclusion, Welsh Government has announced an upcoming pilot for the Minimum Digital Living Standard (MDLS) in the social housing sector. Digital Inclusion Alliance Wales (DIAW) is excited to host the MDLS research team and Welsh Government representatives at our next Network meeting on 20 June, where we will delve into the latest research findings and find out more about the pilot.

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Digital Inclusion Alliance Wales (DIAW) is a collaborative network with over 100 dedicated members, working together to tackle digital exclusion across Wales. One of our pivotal focus areas is the research and advocacy for a Minimum Digital Living Standard (MDLS) for Wales. Since the release of the first edition of the “Agenda for Digital Inclusion: From Inclusion to Resilience” in March 2021, supporting the development of MDLS has been one of our top five priorities. Many of our members actively contribute to the research efforts, participating in the team, focus groups, and surveys. We utilise our collective voice to raise awareness of this work.

The MDLS research by teams from Loughborough and Liverpool Universities and the Good Things Foundation, is regularly showcased at our Network meetings. Recently, we partnered with the MDLS team to hold an event in Wales which gathered stakeholders from Welsh Government, public and voluntary sectors, and communication providers, to discuss the research and the implications and opportunities of the MDLS.

“A minimum digital standard of living includes, but is more than, having accessible internet, adequate equipment, and the skills, knowledge and support people need. It is about being able to communicate, connect and engage with opportunities safely and with confidence.” – Minimum Digital Living Standard

The MDLS is not just about surviving, it’s about thriving in a digital world. Currently, 7% of the Welsh population is digitally excluded, and 22% lack some of the essential digital skills needed to engage safely and confidently. Alarmingly, recent UK research from the MDLS team indicates that 3.7 million households with children fall below the MDLS.  That means 40% of the households with children from across the UK are not communicating, connecting and engaging with opportunities safely and with confidence.

Implementing the MDLS across Wales is a complex challenge, but it is essential for fostering a digitally inclusive and thriving nation. We need to do this together; no single sector or organisation can achieve this alone. At the recent event, discussions focused on the actionable steps for adopting the MDLS, potential hurdles, and collaborative strategies to overcome them.

These discussions are at the heart of DIAW’s mission. We connect organisations from various sectors across Wales to develop collaborative, homegrown solutions aimed at ensuring digital well-being for all.

To participate in these crucial conversations and contribute to Wales’s digital future, we invite you to join our Network. People not part of the DIAW Network are encouraged to learn more about the MDLS pilot by joining the meeting on 20 June as an observer. Email