Thank you to your team for engaging with us as we discussed the findings of our recent review of ONS’s internet-related statistics, published in two streams as: Internet access – households and individuals, Great Britain and Internet Users, UK.
We recognise the importance of having high quality statistics about internet access and use which serve the public good. We welcome the methodological improvements made relating to the Internet Access statistics with the transformation from face-to-face to a mixed-mode design. It is good that this generated a sufficiently large returned sample that the statistics for 2020 were robust enough not to be affected by COVID-19.
Our review found that ONS’s internet statistics do not cover key topics such as the speed and equality of broadband access, and provision of fibre broadband. In response to our review and the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we welcome your commitment to pause and review your stakeholder requirements for statistics on the digital economy, including access and use of the internet. This provides a great opportunity to work collaboratively with others, and look to harness the power of alternative data sources to deliver greater insights. We look forward to ONS engaging and working with stakeholders to develop these statistics.
I have copied this letter to Phil Davies in your team.
Assessment Programme Lead