Blackburn families are being connected to free superfast broadband to help ensure pupils and their parents can access online support during COVID-19.
Thanks to a partnership between 6G Internet and , families without home internet are provided with free connections and equipment.
Part of 6G Internet’s commitment to donate 20% of its network to social causes, the scheme aims to give pupils the best chance of progressing at school while they’re stuck at home, while also offering families more opportunities to access support during the lockdown.
Keyworker Nathan Morrison has two sons and was connected to 6G Internet after being contacted by Longshaw Community Junior School, where his eldest, Franklin, 10, attends.
He said: “We’ve always used our phone data at home for our laptop, but it was extremely slow and the data would always run out so quickly.
“Since we’ve had the broadband connection it’s made a massive difference during lockdown. Franklin loves playing outside so it was tough before – but the kids are much happier now.
“Franklin has been able to learn from the school’s website and research projects online. He’s recently been learning about the fashions from different eras like the Tudors and Victorians and he loves it.
“It’s also been a life saver for keeping them entertained while we’re stuck at home.”
The scheme has also helped the family of two boys attending St Michael With St John CE primary school in the centre of Blackburn.
Their father said: “We have never had the internet before, I don’t really know how to use a laptop. But we recognised that as our boys were in school they would need it for online homework.
“I was worried that they would fall behind without it. Since we’ve had the connection from 6G Internet the boys have really enjoyed doing maths games via the school’s website.
“Now I’m trying to learn how to use it myself – I’m hoping to learn through my children.”
Ian Clough, head of digital social inclusion at 6G Internet, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus just how important an internet connection is. Home broadband can be a lifeline if you’re self-isolating and is vital to help pupils access their school work, which is why we are working with schools, charities and other agencies to get families connected at this difficult time.
“However this is wider issue than simply the impacts of lockdown. 6G is committed to a long term aim of ensuring that neither cost nor long term contract is a barrier to a basic internet connection at home.”
Organisations interested in partnering with 6G Internet can enquire at https://www.6gdsi.co.uk/contact