The Reboot project is an outcome of DevicesDotNow, an emergency appeal in response to COVID-19 which aimed to connect the unconnected.
DevicesDotNow brought together Nominet, Accenture, Lloyds Banking Group, Good Things Foundation and other commercial and charitable organisations as part of a coalition led by FutureDotNow. Together, they worked to provide devices and connectivity to society’s most vulnerable, especially the 250,000 people who were shielding with no access to the internet.
For those people
Life on the wrong side of the digital divide was suddenly much harder. Unable to easily organise food deliveries, take part in remote medical consultations or socialise online, the gift of a device and a connection from DevicesDotNow was truly life-changing.
However, they were just the tip of the iceberg. There are over 1.9 million households in the UK without internet access. Across all our communities, there are millions of people for whom a lack of connectivity is a barrier to learning, socialisation and vital services. The digital divide spans entire generations, from young school children who risk falling behind their peers to the elderly who feel cut-off and lonely. As more services go online, and new generations grow up ‘thinking digitally’, the divide between the ‘digital haves’ and the ‘digital have nots’ widens.
These people - the ones who need the technology the most - are those least likely to be able to afford new devices and connections.
That’s why we’re committed to building a sustainable, long-term solution. The Reboot project will enable communities to help isolated, vulnerable and disadvantaged residents by restoring and re-homing unused devices - a huge part of the cost associated with digital inclusion. With your help, we really can narrow the digital divide.
If you’re not yet able to start a Reboot scheme, please consider donating to DevicesDotNow and/or supporting a Rebooter near you.