How to Fix the Digital Divide – for Good

We're calling for the Government to act on digital inclusion. See our three Government asks below to #FixTheDigitalDivide - for Good.

Scrap VAT on broadband social tariffs

Social tariffs help many of those on the lowest incomes to get online. But they still aren’t affordable for everyone. With savings passed on to consumers, cutting VAT to 0% would ensure many more families are able to stay connected.

Eligible people will save about £36 a year if social tariffs had 0% VAT. The cost of removing VAT on social tariffs is approximately £1.98m for the current 55,000 people who have taken them up, or approximately £151.2m if all 4.2m people who are eligible took them up.

With VM02, Vodafone, and Three UK, we’ve set up the National Databank which provides free mobile connectivity data to those in need. Our Databank, alongside social tariffs, are outlined in our Connectivity Guide, made with People Know How. The guide is a bespoke tool for community organisations that are supporting people to get online.

All technology to be reused for good

To tackle climate change and the digital divide, Government should commit to all tech being reused for good. Good Things Foundation have set up the UK’s first National Device Bank, providing donated, refurbished devices from businesses and other orgs to excluded people across the UK.

Our National Device Bank is an initiative set up with sustainable tech refurbisher Reconome, to breathe life into old devices and redistribute them to disadvantaged communities. If you’re an organisation or individual that is interested in donating to our Device Bank, please fill in our online application form here.

Invest to fix the digital divide – to boost productivity and leave no-one behind

The digital divide is holding back our productivity, and our economy as a result. Every £1 invested in fixing the digital divide yields a £9.48 return. For all corners of our nation to prosper, we need to invest in a network of digitally included, digitally capable communities.

The pandemic demonstrated the indisputable importance of digital, including the skills and confidence to get online. Our recently commissioned economic report with the Cebr, supported by Capita, shows there is a significant economic benefit to digital inclusion and skills, including efficiency savings of £1.4 billion for Government, and an estimated £2.7 billion generated for corporations through filling vacancies requiring basic digital skills.