Supermarket giant Asda is distributing thousands of free Dell laptops equipped with Vodafone SIMs to help tackle digital exclusion and ensure that children can continue their online learning during the pandemic.
The supermarket is investing £2m to enable every Asda store to donate at least 10 laptops to a school in need in their local community.
Each laptop will have a tech bundle that includes a headset and a mobile internet dongle with a data allowance of 20GB supplied by Vodafone, Asda’s network partner. The dongle and data allowance has been funded by a £500,000 contribution from the retailer’s charity arm, The Asda Foundation.
The initiative complements Vodafone’s efforts to support home-schooling, from donating 350,000 free data SIMs to schoolchildren and college students, to distributing refurbished smartphones and tablets to disadvantaged families through its Great British Tech Appeal.
Vodafone has also agreed to zero rate the government-backed Oak Academy online educational platform until the end of the school year, and is offering free and discounted access to several educational sites though its VeryMe rewards programme.
Around 9% of children in the UK – between 1.1 million and 1.8 million – primarily from low-income households, do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home, according to Ofcom.
Asda and Dell Technologies expect to deliver the first shipment of 3,500 laptops – pre-loaded with educational software – directly to schools in February, with the remainder to follow in March.
Find out more about Asda’s laptop donation project.
Follow @VodafoneUKNews on Twitter.