Accessibility options
 
inspiring learning through technology

Help families get online

Mind the Gap

 

Families who cannot go online at home will usually fall into one of four categories:

  1. Not in fixed accommodation
  2. No telephone line or broadband
  3. Have a telephone line but no broadband
  4. Live in an area of poor Broadband coverage (e.g. rural areas)

 

The solutions for these situations include:

Not in fixed accommodation

  • Encourage parents to provide their child with a pre-paid or Pay as you go dongle to plug into their computer
  • Internet-enable the mobile computers you supply as a school e.g. buy a few 3G versions
  • Work with your local Council or Housing Association providers where your children tend to live to persuade them to provide wireless/Wi-Fi access to the Internet to their tenants
  • Mifi unit*: Provide the family with a mi-fi unit that allows up to 5 devices to access the Internet wirelessly without the need for a telephone line. In effect the unit allows a family to have their own Wi-Fi “hot spot”.

This is a particularly good solution where there is more than one child in the family. Price options include a monthly rental or outright purchase and then Pay As You Go.

No telephone line or broadband

  • Encourage parents to provide their child with a pre-paid or Pay as you go dongle to plug into their computer
  • Internet-enable the mobile computers you supply as a school e.g. buy a few 3G versions
  • Contact your local Council or the Housing Association providers where your children live to see if they provide wireless/wi-fi access to the Internet to their tenants.
  • Mifi unit: Provide the family with a mi-fi unit that allows up to 5 devices to access the Internet wirelessly without the need for a telephone line.

Have a telephone line but no broadband

  • Broadband deals: Encourage families to sign up for the special deals currently available (see www.getonlineathome.org for the best current deals). Some offer 6 months free, others a whole year of rates at about £3 a month. This gives families the chance to work out how they can save money once they are on the Internet, and perhaps then realise it can pay for itself. (And of course Universal Credits are coming in nationally from October 2013 and have to be managed online).
  • Plug in dongles: Encourage parents to provide their child with a pre-paid or Pay as you go dongle to plug into their computer.

Live in an area of poor Broadband coverage (e.g. very rural areas)

Also called “not spots”, areas with traditional poor access to Broadband will have to wait for 4G services to come to their area. OFCOM currently expect everyone to have access by the end of 2017 – and we have to hope that the prices will drop as they are currently very expensive.


* Mi-fi units can be purchased from major electrical stores such as Dixons, and also online from Happus who also offer low cost recycled laptops and PCs, with extra discounts for those on State benefits.

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