Three has teamed up with the Good Things Foundation to pledge 1 million GB of data to those struggling with data poverty in the UK.
With pretty much everything from remote classes and work to job applications and public services found online these days, those without reliable access to the internet have been left increasingly alienated from the everyday tools many of us take for granted.
In fact, according to a report by Ofcom, around 1.5 million households in the UK – or 6% of the population – were living without internet access in 2021.
In an effort to tackle this issue, the Good Things Foundation collaborated with Virgin Media O2 last year to launch the UK National Databank – a system a bit like a food bank but designed to help reduce the phenomena known as data poverty.
The Databank provides free mobile internet to those in need in the form of free SIMs, data, minutes and texts that are distributed by a network of community partners, the number of which has grown from 9 partners to 34 in the space of just a year.
Now, Three has pledged its own 1 million GB of data to the Databank, with the goal of helping around 40,000 people get connected across the UK.
“With our contribution and the networks coming together in support of the cause, we hope to make a positive impact against data poverty in the UK”, announced the network in a blog post shared on its website.
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Three is the third network to offer a hand to the cause, following Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone.
“We’re delighted that Three is joining the National Databank – which is helping thousands of people to get connected and to do the things many of us take for granted – like accessing the services they need, finding work or staying in touch with friends and family”, said Good Things Foundation group chief executive, Helen Milner OBE.
“With living costs rising, people are having to make stark choices between having the data they need and heating their house or feeding their family. The National Databank is ensuring we aren’t leaving these people behind”.
The Good Things Foundation is now urging other mobile operators to pledge to the Databank with the goal of ending data poverty by 2024.