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Commissioner ranks Norfolk as slow for internet speeds

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Fears that some Norfolk pupils are missing out on home-schooling during lockdown due to poor internet access have been highlighted by a study from a watchdog.

The data from it has ranked the county in the bottom five per cent across England.

Norfolk was ranked in the lowest five per cent in the country for the number of children living in homes with internet speeds which were below 10mbps.

This speed is considered to be suitable for just one or two users.

The county was also ranked in the lowest eight per cent for the number of children living in homes with internet that was below 2mbps, according to a children’s welfare watchdog.

The data – part of a study by the Children’s Commissioner for England on vulnerabilities faced by the UK’s youngsters during the Covid-19 crisis – highlighted the issue of ‘digital inequality’, with a councillor warning that children from the poorest families in the county face being at risk of “being left behind”.

The figures from the nationwide study also revealed that 3.2 per cent of under-17s have no internet above 10mbps in Norfolk, compared to 1.3 per cent nationally.

It also showed 7.8 per cent of zero to one-year-olds live with a parent suffering from domestic abuse, compared to 7.1 per cent across England.

And that five per cent of children aged from zero to one lived with a parent who is alcohol or drug dependent, compared to 4.4 per cent nation-wide.

But the study did rank the county highly in terms of housing, with just 2.3 per cent of Norfolk homes deemed overcrowded versus 4.6 per cent nationally.

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