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With the UK now plunged back into lockdown and all schools closed, most children are being forced to join school remotely. Online learning can be a struggle as not everyone is lucky enough to have a fast and reliable connection to the web but two of the UK’s biggest mobile networks are offering help to those who may need it the most. EE and Three Mobile have both partnered with the Department of Education to offer free data to disadvantaged families.
EE says that it is giving customers who are struggling to stay connected a 20GB boost per month. This free upgrade is available until the end of this academic year (July 2021) and is accessed through children’s schools. It’s hoped that this will allow eligible families to access whichever educational resources are needed whilst face to face teaching is paused.
If you are a Three users then there’s also help at hand with the network offering totally unlimited data upgrades to disadvantaged school children in England. Three says that where a child is identified as not having internet access at home, their school can request free, additional data through the DFE’s Get Help with Technology programme.
The unlimited data will also be applied until the end of the school year in July.
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Speaking about the unlimited data, Elaine Carey, Chief Commercial Officer, at Three UK said: “Education is crucial for everyone in society and it is vital no child misses out. Three UK wants to support those families that need access to connectivity to support their child’s learning needs during the pandemic”.
This latest EE and Three updates follow a similar idea from Vodafone.
The UK network launched a programme late last year which is giving free connectivity to 250,000 children across the UK.
Schools can order the data SIMs to give to pupils who find it difficult to access education from home because they don’t have the right connectivity. Each SIM has a 30GB data allowance valid for 90 days.
Nick Jeffery, CEO, Vodafone UK, said: “Our focus throughout this crisis has been keeping the UK connected. We know many hundreds of thousands of children in the UK can’t access education from home because they don’t have the right connectivity – this means children already at a disadvantage could fall further behind.”
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