Nominet and Good Things Foundation partner to tackle the UK’s digital exclusion problem at the grassroots

Nominet is donating £4.5m over three years to Good Things Foundation to help fix the digital divide.

Nominet, the public benefit company that operates and protects UK internet infrastructure, is donating £4.5m over three years to Good Things Foundation to accelerate our strategy to fix the UK’s digital divide – for good.

Nominet’s funding will allow us to continue to support the National Digital Inclusion Network, which creates impact at scale, working with community groups, small local charities, libraries, social enterprises, housing associations and much more to distribute free data and devices and provide help to build basic digital skills and confidence. 

Through the National Digital Inclusion Network, Good Things Foundation provides support and services including the National Databank, which has been dubbed ‘like a foodbank, but for mobile connectivity’. The funding will also support Good Things Foundation’s National Device Bank, which delivers new or refurbished devices to people experiencing digital exclusion, benefiting both people and the planet. With Nominet’s support, the charity will continue to tackle accessibility through its digital skills platform, Learn My Way, which helps people with low or no digital skills to gain confidence and learn how to use the internet and digital technologies.

The original partnership between Nominet and Good Things Foundation was forged early in 2020, when they teamed up to respond to the critical shortage of digital access during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns with the ‘DevicesDotNow’ emergency appeal.     

In 2021, Nominet supported Good Things Foundation to launch the ground-breaking Data Poverty Lab, set up to find sustainable solutions to data poverty. The project aims to make the internet affordable for people on low incomes and free for people on very low incomes. The Data Poverty Lab has supported the development of the National Databank. The project also successfully launched a Fellowship scheme producing multiple innovative reports exploring ideas, advocacy and action on data poverty that have engaged senior leaders in national, regional and local government.

Paul Fletcher, CEO, Nominet, commented:

“Digital exclusion means a lack of opportunity, and holding people back from the benefits digital services deliver in terms of accessing healthcare, education, and essential services. Those that face digital exclusion are best supported in their community – by people they can trust.  This localised approach has been proven to work and we’re excited about helping Good Things Foundation scale its work across the UK.”

Helen Milner OBE, Group CEO, Good Things Foundation, said: 

“We’re delighted to continue to partner with Nominet and gratefully accept this generous funding, helping hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people in communities to get connected through our National Digital Inclusion Network’s combined offer of devices, data and digital skills support. 

“With 1 in 20 UK households having no home internet access, and 10 million adults lacking the most basic digital skills, collectively we all need to do more to help the most vulnerable people in our society connect with all things digital. That’s why we’re asking for more ambitious and far-reaching change as we scale up and expand our work in the UK. Together, we can fix the digital divide – for good.”