National Databank on the High Street this Christmas

Virgin Media O2 and Good Things Foundation are piloting the National Databank at 10 O2 stores across the country, so more people can access free data and stay connected this Christmas

With the cost-of-living crisis deepening and around two million UK households at risk of digital exclusion, Virgin Media O2 in partnership with Good Things Foundation is helping more people in need access free mobile data by piloting the National Databank for the first time on the High Street.

The National Databank, founded by Virgin Media O2 and Good Things Foundation, is like a foodbank but for free mobile data, texts, and calls. Virgin Media O2 has committed more than 61 million GB of free O2 data to the initiative by the end of 2025.

Now ten O2 stores across the UK will offer free data – 20GB of free data per month for up to six months so people can get online and stay in touch with loved ones. That’s enough for around 220 hours of internet browsing per month.

The O2 stores taking part in the pilot are in towns and cities where the free data will help those most in need. This includes communities where people are most likely to be digitally excluded or places where people have not been able to access the National Databank in their area before.

The National Databank can also be accessed via a network of more than 650 community partners in the Good Things Foundation network nationwide.

Giving the gift of data this Christmas

On top of this, Virgin Media O2 is also providing an additional 1 million GB of free O2 data to help even more people stay connected this Christmas.

Special ‘O2 Christmas SIM Cards’ are available in O2 stores nationwide and online, while stocks last, helping those who need it access 7GB of free O2 data.

The ‘O2 Christmas SIM Card’ can also be gifted to anyone who needs it, and they can get a free O2 SIM card if they need one, to ensure they can use the data and get online.

Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial at Virgin Media O2, said:

“We’re stepping up our support during the cost-of-living crisis to help even more people stay connected this Christmas.

“It’s now going to be easier than ever for those in need to access the National Databank directly on the High Street via our O2 stores, so they can get online and connect to essential services – from medical appointments to applying for jobs.

“And with our additional 1 million GB of free data available via special Christmas SIM Cards, Virgin Media O2 is helping more people get the data they need, so they can stay in touch with loved ones over the festive period.”

To help raise awareness of these measures, O2’s Christmas campaign for 2022 brings to life the support that is available to keep people connected over the festive period with an animated TV advert, ‘The Snowgran’, which combines the spirit of the festive season with the power of connectivity.

Helen Milner OBE, Group Chief Executive, Good Things Foundation, said:

“Having sufficient data in our increasingly digital society is not a nice to have, it’s an absolute essential. If you’re not online you can’t save money on products and services, help your children to participate in home-learning, and apply for jobs.

“With two million households struggling to afford internet access in the UK today – and 10 million adults lacking the most basic digital skills, everyone needs to do even more to build a movement for digital inclusion that leaves no-one behind. This underpins our 2022-2025 strategy, making sure we go further to Fix The Digital Divide – for Good.

“This extra support is a perfect example of industry innovation making a huge difference to people’s lives, and will mean more practical help is available for those on low incomes to get online and access the endless benefits of digital connectivity.”

These measures build on Virgin Media O2’s £2 million strategic partnership with Good Things Foundation to help disadvantaged people across the UK get online and gain vital digital skills.