Access is probably best considered in terms of availability, affordability and design.
The role of place in digital adoption is often overlooked (Williams, 2016; Farrington, 2015; Philip,2016), partularly important with Scotland's rural landscape, where internet usage is lower than in the rest of the UK (Cas, 2018). 18% of adults in the Highlands have never been online and 37% of households in Scotland do not receive broadband speeds of at last 10MB.
From the CAS (2018) survey two of the three most common barriers preventing respondents from using the internet were financial. 18% reported that broadband cots were a barrier. 17% reported that people and data costs were a barrier.
For those without a computer or internet at home, relying on libraries, or other people such as friends or family creates it's own problems. Timings are particularly relevant for anyone with caring or work commitments (CAS,2018). Having the ability to explore the internet or get comfortable with a computer or device at home can help with the development of digital skills (UWS,2017)
Many people access the internet without using a computer, often only through a smartphone, so important that content is suitable for access and use on mobile devices.
Design of devices, services and content is also important for digital inclusion. 5% of those not using the internet reported that their disability prevented them from doing so (ONS, 2019).
For those with disabilities, or older people, this might mean taking sight or hearing problems, or physical dexterity (difficulties using a mouse or keyboard for example) into consideration (Friemel, 2016) complicated presentation of information, colours, size and layout of text, can be off-putting, or make websites and services unusable (Reform, 2019).