For Jean-Noël Barrot, the situation has not improved in three years with a “digital divide which has tended to progress rather than decline since 2020”.
“The digital divide is a social and even civic phenomenon (…), the feeling of digital relegation is reflected in particularly high abstention rates”analyzes Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister Delegate, in charge of the Digital Transition and Telecommunications, about his study on the relationship of the French to digital that he presented on Friday April 7 in the program “Ma France” on France Bleu .
According to the report, 16 million French people over the age of 18 are far from digital, i.e. 1 in 3 French people. “It’s a real social issue.said the minister. This digital transition will only be successful when no one is left by the wayside. This presupposes a general mobilization of the State, the associative world, local elected officials”.
“The digital divide tends to progress”
In three years, the situation has not improved according to the minister: “This digital divide has tended to progress rather than shrink since 2020. And above all, it’s not just a generational phenomenon but a social phenomenon that begins at an early age and we see the gaps widen from middle school. , warns the Minister. One in five young people under the age of 25 is far from digital.”
“A distance that is found twice as often among workers than among managers, among graduates than among non-graduates and then more in rural communities than in the Paris region for example.”Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister for the Digital Transition and Telecommunications
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And this fracture is found at the polls, according to his study: “The digital divide is a social and even civic phenomenon because it has been observed that in the municipalities where digital remoteness is most marked, the feeling of digital relegation results in particularly high abstention rates, forgotten people who turn away civic life”.
The minister has initiated a digital tour of France, he has already passed through the Somme or the Ain then he will go to the Sarthe. On fiber: “There are still areas where connectivity is still a bit difficult“, recognizes Jean-Noël Barrot who adds all the same: “On telecommunications infrastructure, we have been rather very successful, because the State, local authorities and telecom operators have worked hand in hand for fiber. It started ten years ago, we said to ourselves we are going to ensure that 97% of homes can be connected to fiber. We have met the objective and without financial slippage”.
The Minister believes that “it’s not over, there is still a long way to go, one in two French people is not connected but only 20% of French people cannot be connected. Fiber can reach 80% of homes but only 50% of French people have chosen fiber at this stage”. And he warns: “we will have to reassure these 30% of French people so that they switch from copper, ADSL and telephone to fiber, because we are not going to maintain two networks in the long term, it would not make economic sense and ecological”. On mobile networks, Jean-Noël Barrot welcomes a “real difference for five years. We have erased 3,500 white areas in five years”.