Leeds and 6G Combat Digital Exclusion
Leeds City Council brings free internet access to social housing tenants to combat digital exclusion.
12:17 13 September 2018
Leeds City Council and broadband provider 6G are bringing free internet connection to two Leeds tower blocks, the Grayson Crest in Kirkstall and Clyde Grange in Armley. The project is part of the 100 per cent Digital Leeds programme that aims to address the digital divide in the area. The council believes that the technology can help bring positive outcomes, including reduced isolation, financial savings, better employment prospects and improved health and wellbeing.
The 14-month trial will see 6G’s wireless internet streaming via radio antenna and offering fiver Mbps that residents can access whenever they want.
Oliver, a resident of Grayson Crest, was able to secure a job on Gumtree after he gained access to the internet service.
He said: “It’s the difference between being on £46 a week benefit and earning a good wage. £46 just goes in a day – I couldn’t do anything with my kids. Now I can take them swimming or to the seaside. I’ve started saving money for a better car and I can meet my friends without worrying about money.
“Without an internet connection I was searching for a job by buying newspapers or going to the library. After three years it gets disheartening – you just give up. Phone credit wasn’t cheap – if you want unlimited internet you’re talking £30 a month, so it was even difficult being able to talk to friends on social media. Now I can use my laptop at home. It’s made a big difference.”