Scottish Government urges uptake of digital inclusion fund
Funding increased for programme that offers devices and connectivity
Organisations working to support digitally excluded families have three weeks left to seek funding from the Connecting Scotland, the Scottish Government has announced.
The scheme, aimed at providing low-income families with an internet device and 12 months unlimited data and technical support, has now helped around 50,000 people get online, while the recent Programme for Government included an additional £23m in funding support.
Local authorities and third-sector bodies have another three weeks to seek support through the scheme for families and care leavers, with further details on how the additional funding will work expected next month.
Communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “The pandemic has emphasised the importance of digital connectivity – for education, for access to public services and online shopping, and for staying in touch with friends and family. However, it has also heightened the impact of digital exclusion. Over the next 15 months, the Connecting Scotland programme will make a significant contribution towards closing that digital divide by helping many more households to benefit from technology through issuing devices along with offers of support and data.
“By the end of next year, it will have brought approximately 50,000 people online, underpinned by an additional £23m Scottish Government funding. I will be able to announce details of the programme’s next phase, including the groups of people that I believe will be particularly able to benefit in the coming weeks.
“However, it is absolutely crucial that anyone who could benefit from the scheme has the chance to do so, which is why I hope local authorities and our third sector partners will help identify even more people needing this kind of support.”
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