We will help 500,000 people who are cut off from the internet with a route out of data poverty, in partnership with Virgin Media O2.
We’re now looking for others in the industry to come on board and support us too.
We need to develop long-term sustainable solutions to data poverty if we want to fix the digital divide. If we all work together, we can fix the issue once and for all.
Building on the work of the Data Poverty Lab, we have developed the UK National Databank to help thousands of vulnerable people in communities across the UK to get connected. The databank platform has been built with support from the O2 lab, and with data donated by Virgin Media O2.
The people being supported by the UK National Databank are cut off from the basic daily activities most people in our country take for granted. They are cut off from contacting loved ones, from job interviews, from finding essential health or other information online, and cut off from digitised public services. We believe that no-one should be left behind. The UK National Databank brings free mobile internet data connectivity to people who can’t afford it and who are often also experiencing multiple inequalities in today’s society. The Databank provides free sims and mobile data (as well as talk minutes and texts) to people in need via Good Things Foundation’s network of local community partners. It’s like a ‘food bank’ but for internet connectivity data.
Following a successful UK-wide pilot with Virgin Media O2, the National Databank is rolling out to 25 more local partners increasing the total taking part in 2021 to 35. In January 2022 the programme will expand to include even more community partners across the UK.
We want this to be just the start; we’re calling on the rest of the UK’s mobile networks to join the National Databank, working together to end data poverty for good.
Vouchers through the UK National Databank are currently only offered to people already supported by the local community partners involved. In 2022, we will be expanding the number of local places where sims and internet data can be provided.
It’s great that you want to be involved – we now need cross-sector support to ensure we find long-term, sustainable solutions to Data Poverty. Let’s start talking – click the button below.
Vouchers through the National Databank are currently only offered to people already supported by the project, although we will roll out the Databank more widely in 2022.
Keep an eye out in 2022 for further info.
You can get help through our network of Online Centres. Find your local centre by clicking the button below.
You can find details of your nearest Online Centre here. Our Learn My Way and Make It Click websites can help you increase your confidence and basic skills – click the button below to find out more.
Staff and volunteers at the 35 Online Centres currently taking part in the programme will assess the needs of people they already support. They will use the Databank to obtain data voucher codes that can be loaded onto existing O2 top-up SIM cards. They can also provide new O2 SIM cards for those who need them.
If you are already a member of the Online Centres Network, look out for updates in a future newsletter. If you are not a member of the Network, you can find out more about it below.
The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the digital divide. People are facing an unthinkable choice between mobile data and food. Making a financial donation today could help transform someone’s life through digital. Together we can fix the digital divide.
The National Databank data voucher has taken away some of Paul's loneliness and made him feel more positive about the future.
Virgin Media O2