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BT Offers Cheap Shared Internet Service to UK Housing Associations

Thursday, Oct 9th, 2014 (10:31 am) - Score 1,409

BT Business has today announced the launch of a new service for housing associations (i.e. council style homes for those on low incomes), which among other things will allow tenants to share Internet access in order to help reduce monthly rental costs.

The service, which includes training and support for tenants, delivers an Internet connection and an “affordable device” to help manage the service. After that Housing Associations get to choose the best option for each facility, which could include charging on a per unit basis or making wifi available in communal areas (link in some care homes).

Meanwhile tenants don’t have to worry about things like credit checks and BT anticipates that many housing associations will also include the installation cost in their pricing.

Graham Sutherland, CEO of BT Business, said:

There are currently 6.4 million adults in the UK that have never used the internet, with 4.1 million of those in social housing. This not only affects their employment prospects and access to education, but also how they gain access to essential services. As a result, it’s crucial that they have access to go online – and that’s why we’re working with housing associations to help ensure those on low incomes or who are unemployed, elderly or disabled have access to the internet.”

As part of the new service BT says they’ve already worked with the Wheatley Group and the Scottish Government to offer affordable wifi to more than a hundred households in one of Glasgow Housing Association’s multi-story properties at Kirkton Avenue. Apparently this involved using Archos97 Tablets and Samsung Google Chromebooks to allow 138 homes to access high speed wifi throughout the building, linking back into the main BT network via a single BTnet connection.

BT’s press release said, “As a result of the scheme, two thirds of tenants are actively seeking employment online, with four per cent gaining employment in the first six months of the study. A third of tenants also believe they saved money as a result of internet access, with 65 per cent saving more than £100, according to the Wheatley Group, the parent of the Glasgow Housing Association.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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