This scheme temporarily increases data allowances for mobile phone users on certain networks. This is so that children and young people can access remote education if their face-to-face education is disrupted.

Who can get help

Schools, trusts and local authorities can request mobile data increases for children and young people who:

  • don’t have access to a fixed broadband connection
  • cannot afford the additional data needed to access educational resources or social care services
  • have access to a mobile device that uses a participating network
  • are facing disruption to their face-to-face education, or have been advised not to attend school

Children with access to a mobile phone on one of the following networks might be able to benefit:

  • EE
  • Sky Mobile
  • Smarty
  • Tesco Mobile
  • Three
  • Virgin Mobile

Other providers may join the scheme at a later stage.

The amount of data someone will get depends on their mobile network (see below for details). Some networks can’t offer data to Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) customers.

When the request has been processed the customer will receive:

  • a text message when their free data has been activated
  • when their free data will end
  • that this data can be used when tethering a mobile phone to another device for internet access

The Network Offers:

EE

Be aware that until the end of January, it may take EE some time to process requests.

  • The recipient will get 20GB of additional data per month until 31 July 2021.
  • The offer is available to both Pay Monthly and Pay-as-you-go customers.
  • A text message will be sent to the nominated device once the additional data has been added to the account.
  • EE will process no more than 60,000 requests across all schools. If they reach this limit, they will not accept further requests.

Sky Mobile

  • The recipient will get 100GB of additional data.
  • The offer is only available to Pay Monthly customers identified as needing this support. It’s not available to Pay-as-you-go customers.
  • Sky Mobile customers will be able to see the data uplift in their piggybank.
  • Sky Mobile will aim to process the request within 14 days.
  • Sky Mobile will process no more than 1800 requests across all schools. If they reach this limit, they will not accept further requests.

Smarty

  • The recipient will get unlimited data until 31 July 2021.
  • The offer is available to both Pay Monthly and Pay-as-you-go customers.
  • A text message will be sent to the nominated device once the additional data has been added to the account.
  • Smarty will aim to process the request within 14 days.

Tesco Mobile

  • The recipient will get 20GB of additional data per month until 31 July 2021.
  • The offer is only available to Pay Monthly customers identified as needing this support. It’s not available to Pay-as-you-go customers.
  • A text message will be sent to the nominated device once the additional data has been added to the account.
  • Tesco Mobile will aim to process the request within 14 days.
  • Tesco Mobile will process no more than 1,000 requests across all schools. If they reach this limit, they will not accept further requests.

Three

  • The recipient will get unlimited data until 31 July 2021.
  • The offer is available to both Pay Monthly and Pay-as-you-go customers.
  • A text message will be sent to the nominated device once the additional data has been added to the account.
  • Three will aim to process the request within 14 days.

Virgin Mobile

  • The recipient will get 20GB of additional data per month until 31 July 2021.
  • The offer is only available to Pay Monthly customers identified as needing this support. It’s not available to Pay-as-you-go customers.
  • A text message will be sent to the nominated device once the additional data has been added to the account.
  • Virgin Mobile will aim to process the request within 14 days.
  • Virgin Mobile will process no more than 1750 requests across all schools. If they reach this limit, they will not accept further requests.
  • Wi-Fi hotspots are open to all existing customers, including those on Pay-as-you-go. Customers on Pay-as-you-go will need to have a minimum of £5 credit. Instructions to download the app and find their nearest hotspot can be found by going to www.virginmedia.com/wifiapp.

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