The Post Office has announced Get Connected, a scheme aimed at getting the 16 million people in the UK who have little or no knowledge of the internet.
Over 11,800 Post Office branches will now provide directions to the nearest courses and access points where local residents can walk in and ask for advice on how to get online.
This is powered by a database the Post Office and the Online Centre Foundation co-created. By entering a postcode, the Post Office can find the nearest five addresses of free or low-cost internet access (public WiFi access) and training points for interested residents.
Chief Executive of the Post Office Paula Vennells said:
“It is a real disadvantage being excluded from the better deals and offers only available online. There are also social exclusion aspects such as keeping in touch with friends and family to help combat loneliness and isolation. We are well placed to take on this role, serving around 20 million customers a week.”
The Get Connected campaign is part of the Go ON UK charity which aims at getting those who are missing out on the benefits of the internet on the grid. The plan is to make sure that this digital divide is closed by 2015, when its estimated that 90 per cent of all jobs will require basic ICT skills which the estimated 16 million don’t have.
Go ON UK is also supported by TalkTalk, which currently offers an affordable broadband and refurbish PC deal for just over £30/month.