We increased our efforts to enable school kids to better connect with teachers and online learning, while schools remained closed, with the launch of our Lockdown Learning support scheme. The package of measures includes:
Lockdown Learning support scheme
It's a continuation of the work we have been doing since the first lockdown was introduced in March last year. We were the first telecoms operator to support families who needed help with connecting for home learning, making BT WiFi vouchers for free access available in June.
Families eligible for BT WiFi vouchers are also eligible for BT Basic, giving them fixed broadband for just £10 a month. We're making connecting them a priority.
Affordable packages for disadvantaged families – whether fixed or mobile – is the most sustainable long-term approach for BT to take. It will also bring the greatest benefit to people who need it most. We have a variety of initiatives that we are developing with Government to enable us to better reach these groups with offers that work for them.
Skills for Tomorrow
BT Skills for Tomorrow offers a wide range of free resources and information aimed at helping people feel more confident in the online world. We are working closely with leading social change charity, the Good Things Foundation, to ensure people across the UK – especially older and vulnerable people and those in self-isolation – have the digital skills they need to keep up to date and healthy during the spread of the coronavirus.
With large numbers of people now practising social distancing, self-isolation or confined to their homes, it is more important than ever to ensure that those with low or no digital skills can keep in touch with family and friends and access vital health services. We are sharing the Good Things Foundation’s resources via our pioneering Skills for Tomorrow portal, helping people build their digital skills and work online effectivelywherever they are, through our partnerships with organisations such as LinkedIn Learning and Google Digital Garage online.
The site includes key topics such as how to navigate the NHS website, how to access GP online services, how to make video calls, and how to do online shopping or banking, as well as engaging activities for children aged 4-11 which help to develop their computational thinking skills.
The coronavirus pandemic is a global and a national emergency that is affecting nearly everyone in the country. Many people are dealing with enormous challenges - including ill health and economic hardship.
BT has stepped in to support the National Emergencies Trust, a central conduit for UK fundraising which is supporting grassroots charities across the country through 46 accredited Community Foundations. The Trust’s Coronavirus Appeal will ensure help gets quickly and efficiently to those who are most in need, particularly older and more vulnerable people.
If you’re an organisation looking for funding, please contact your local Community Foundation to apply.
We know that cyber criminals are looking to exploit the fact that so many of us are spending more time online and increasingly relying on the internet for essential tasks. In response, the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently launched their Cyber Aware campaign, which provides clear guidance and tips on how to stay safe online during the current crisis.
BT is delighted to support this campaign, which offers clear advice for people to protect passwords, accounts and devices, as well as on how to securely use video conferencing services. The NCSC have also launched a new Suspicious Email Reporting Service, which will make it easy for people to forward suspicious emails to the NCSC – including those claiming to offer services related to coronavirus. This will allow the NCSC to identify and take down fraudulent sites, reducing the risk of people falling victim to coronavirus-related online scams.