March 21, 2022

Mobile Operators join the UK’s National Databank

Good Things Foundation, National Data Bank
  • Mobile operators Three, Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone join the UK National Databank, run by digital inclusion charity the Good Things Foundation, set up to tackle issues of data poverty in the UK.
  • Over one million gigabytes (GB) of data has been donated, which will help an estimated 40,000 people to get connected.
  • People in need can access mobile data through local partners in Good Things Foundation’s community network.

Mobile operators Three, Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone have joined forces to support the Good Things Foundation’s National Databank, which aims to help people in data poverty to get connected.

One million gigabytes (GB) of data has been pledged which will help an estimated 40,000 people to get connected.

The announcement came off the back of research from Ofcom, that shows up to a fifth of UK households have struggled to pay their TV, internet, and phone bills in the last year, with some having to cancel services or cut back spending on essentials such as food and clothing to make payments.

Good Things Foundation’s National Databank gives community groups across the UK access to free data – either via SIM cards or vouchers – that they can share with those who are digitally excluded and need support. Following a successful pilot in 2021, the programme has scaled up nationally, and will continue to grow in 2022. Community groups who are already a part of the Good Things Foundation’s network can apply for the connectivity later this month via the Online Centres Network website. The Databank is also open for new applicants, and community groups and charities interested in joining can find out more about joining the databank.

The pandemic has highlighted the huge issue of digital exclusion in the UK, with the greatest impact felt by the most vulnerable in society. In the UK, 1.5m households, or approximately 6% of the population, are living without internet access, and this has been exacerbated by rises in the cost of living

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

“We’re delighted that the mobile operators are joining forces in 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. 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”.

About Building Mobile Britain

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Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

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