Maybe the figures are no surprise given the lower average weekly income? But they cerainly point towards some people within a geoprahy experiencing a digital divide, perhaps at a range of levels.
Well, in an article the commentator Roger Darlington suggests:
The reason that low income households do not connect to the Net is not primarily economic. Such households typically spend more on digital television than it would cost to buy a cheap PC and an Internet subscription.
It is more a matter of culture: such households are headed by parents who often are less supportive of their children’s education than many middle-class households and such parents themselves are not naturally attracted to an overwhelmingly text-based medium.
It may be cultural, and it may be income related, but it makes a difference to real people in society.
As a child at school, you’re less likely to have a PC and internet at home to research your homework assignments. (Anecdotally, I know a family who send their kids around to the local library to access the internet.)
When does a technology become so pervasive that teachers will assume that everyone has access to it? Ignoring those who still have no way to engage and benefit.