A new campaign has been launched aimed at improving internet access for school children in Leeds living below the poverty line.
According to Ofcom, 17% of households do not have home broadband access, which the Learning Foundation has found can result in school children’s exam results being reduced by an entire grade.
In 2016, broadband access was recognised by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Loughborough University as an essential part of home life for school children, given the increasing requirement that they use the internet as part of their homework.
Wireless broadband provider 6G Internet aims to increase online access by offering children on free school meals the opportunity to enjoy unlimited internet at home for four hours every day at no cost, through its Internet for Everyone programme.
6G plans to donate 20 per cent of its network to social causes and has already successfully partnered with Leeds City Council to trial free internet for social housing tenants.
As well as helping students to complete their studies, the campaign aims to provide households with more opportunities to reduce their cost of living through better deals that can only be found online.
Chris Baldock, chairman of 6G Internet, said: “In 2015, the House of Lords recommended that internet access be treated as a utility, in the same way as water, gas and electricity. There is no doubt about its importance to children’s education and we want to reduce the barriers that are preventing families living in poverty from getting the support they need.
Councils, schools and any other public sector organisations who wish to participate in the scheme can contact 6G Internet online via 6ginternet.com/contact.