You can…Help bridge the digital divide.

At a time of social disconnection during this global crisis, people need to get online to stay healthy, educated, connected and safe but around 40% of households lack internet access worldwide. This digital divide is particularly acute in low income developing countries and it’s also very gendered. A report from GSMA, found that in low- and middle-income countries women are, on average, 26% less likely to use mobile internet. The biggest barrier is cost. 

To bridge this digital divide, we’d encourage you to call on your government and tech companies near you to waive their fees and support people to get connected and to recognise the gendered impact of any inaction on this. To help you to get inspired, we’ve started to compile a list of different initiatives that are already in place on this issue. 

But if you know of more initiatives like these or have decided to start one yourself – especially if outside Europe or North America,  let others know by commenting below. 

In Chile

The government and the companies that provide mobile and broadband internet services have activated a “Solidarity Plan” allowing users to maintain connectivity even if they cannot pay their bill. 

In Italy

You can access free digital services being offered by businesses and organisations as part of the government’s ‘digital solidarity’ initiative.

In Kenya

Airtel have waived their transaction fees, so you can send and receive money by mobile for free.

In Qatar

Ooredoo and Vodafone have doubled the speed of internet for existing residential customers and doubled the mobile data for residential and business customers, free of additional charges. 

In South Africa

You can support the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) who have written to licensees in an effort to ensure that they make communication services available to all South Africans.

In the UK

You can follow Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulators’ advice to ease the pressure on the UK’s network as part of their Stay Connected campaign.

Or join the Operation Wifi campaign to call on the UK government and businesses to convene the necessary experts in the tech world to bring free wifi to everyone in the UK. 

In the USA

Altice USA and Charter Communications are opening more than half a million wifi hotspots and offering free broadband and wifi access to families with school or college students as well as educators who may need internet access to teach students at home.

In California, google are going to provide 100,000 free WiFi hotspots to serve California households in need and are also sending 4000 chromebooks to students without computers at home. 

New York City will also be providing 25,000 iPads equipped with T-Mobile data plans, so that students who don’t have access to Wi-Fi at home will still be able to access the internet.


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You can…Help bridge the digital divide.

by wearerestless Reading time: 2 min