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New ISP Association Commitments to Help Fix UK Digital Divide

Thursday, February 10th, 2022 (12:49 pm) - Score 1,056
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The UK Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA), which is a trade body for broadband providers, has today partnered up with the Good Things Foundation, a digital inclusion charity, as part of a fresh attempt at helping to fix the digital divide so that more people are willing and able to get online.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), some 6.3% of adults in the UK had never used the internet in 2020 (down from 7.5% in 2019) and that equates to about 3.36 million people over the age of 16. Naturally, there can be many reasons for this, such as issues of affordability, age, disability, network coverage, lack of skills and not to mention that not everybody wants to use the internet (they shouldn’t be forced).

The ISP industry is no stranger to this challenge. Some providers already offer a Social Tariff to financially vulnerable customers or provide low-cost entry-level broadband packages – and ‘unlimited’ data is generally provided as standard. In addition to this, many ISPA members are helping to address the digital divide by donating free data or devices to charities or work in local communities through schools, voluntary organisations.

However, there is always more that could be done, which is why the ISPA has partnered up with the Good Things Foundation in order to build on and complement existing industry efforts by raising the current level of support across the breadth of the sector. As part of that, the organisation has today made a series of commitments for 2022.

The ISPA Commits to..

  • Encouraging members to donate used devices to be cleaned of data, refurbished and distributed to digitally excluded people who need them.
  • Setting up a dedicated donation page for financial donations for members who want to donate money instead of, or as well as, devices.
  • Gaining a clear picture of how ISPA members and the broadband sector is helping to fix the digital divide at a national and local level.
  • Raising awareness of the challenges of digital exclusion within industry members, and how they can help through fundraising/device donation.
  • Identifying and championing the best Digital Inclusion initiatives through the Digital Inclusion Award at the 2022 ISPA Awards.
  • Providing opportunities to feature at ISPA’s events throughout the year, featuring in appropriate panel discussion, exhibiting or featuring branding at the event.
  • Identifying national and local initiatives by ISPA members, such as running workshops with Good Things Foundation’s community partners.

Andrew Glover, ISPA Chair, said: “I am really pleased that ISPA is partnering with Good Things Foundation to help play our part in overcoming the digital divide. ISPA was delighted to crown Helen Milner, CEO of Good Things Foundation, our Internet Hero in 2021 and we are pleased to build on this and take the digital inclusion message out across our membership. We are excited about what we will deliver together with our charity partner across the year.”

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