Greater Manchester Tackles Digital Exclusion
The pandemic has heightened the digital exclusion in many parts of the United Kingdom.
21:46 02 December 2020
Based on recent figures, there are currently 1.9 million households that do not have internet access and tens of millions who have to rely on pay-as-you-go services to access council services or even make phone calls.
Addressing the growing digital divide is the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), which has recently launched an ambitious programme designed to make the city region 100% digitally connected and provide residents access to any digital tools they may need. Greater Manchester’s Local Full Fibre Network Programme has already connected more than 1,500 public sites to date.
GMCA confirms £150,000 investment in digital kit bundles to help digitally isolated young people so they’ll be able to stay in touch with their teachers, friends and family during the pandemic. It is also currently offering accessible routes into digital employment particularly to people wanting to return or begin a career in the tech industry through its Fast Track Workforce Digital fund.
In the healthcare arena, Greater Manchester has played a pivotal role in the digitisation of early years assessment, allowing parents and carers to efficiently complete the process online and access records instantly and securely. The move also helps in eliminating the need for parents to go to hospitals to free up the time of medical personnel so they can help patients with more pressing needs.
Elsewhere in the North of England, 6G Internet ( 6Gi ) continue to provide free internet access that helps support disadvantaged communities and schools.