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National Databank to bring free internet to low income Greater Manchester residents

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The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has announced that it is working with Good Things Foundation to deliver the National Databank locally.

The Greater Manchester Databank will help support residents on low incomes from becoming at further disadvantage by being unable to access the opportunities digital access brings.

The National Databank is a ‘food bank for connectivity data’, helping thousands of vulnerable people to get connected by giving community groups and charities access to free data. The Databank allows organisations to provide free SIMS and mobile data (as well as talk minutes and texts) to residents in need via Good Things Foundation’s network of local community partners. The National Databank has enough data to help 500,000 people nationally thanks to donations from Virgin Media O2, Vodafone and Three.

The Greater Manchester Databank will draw down this available data from the National Databank to enable registered community organisations across Greater Manchester to support residents locally with a free SIM and mobile data.

Mayor Andy Burnham is currently working with community organisations to establish a network of Online Centre’s which are registered to receive data from the National Databank.

Residents eligible for support will be able to access between 7-24GB of data for 12 months from their local participating Online Centre. An online centre could be anything from a foodbank to a local library.

To be eligible to receive data from the National Databank, the individual must be 18+ years old , from a low income household , and either have no access or insufficient access to the internet at home, no or insufficient access to the internet when away from the home, or cannot afford their existing monthly contract or top up.

Greater Manchester community organisations are invited to apply to access the databank via the GMCA website.

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