Sky Will Tackle Digital Inequality and Enhance Skills of 250,000 People With £10M Fund to Address Digital Exclusion
Sky is today setting an ambitious new goal to tackle digital inequality and provide support to a quarter of a million digitally excluded people through a new £10m fund.
The new program – Sky Up – will support people to succeed in a digital age, ensuring that those who are most at risk of being digitally excluded are given access to the right skills, technology, and connectivity. The program will see £10m invested to level up communities in the markets that Sky operates in and ensure no-one is left behind in the digital world.
Sky Up will be targeted directly at supporting the two groups who are most at risk of digital exclusion in our society, ensuring they are not held back by a lack of digital equity.
Digital connections can unlock opportunities for those who are most excluded. Sky Up will give people in need a chance to create a better future.
Sky Up will deliver 100 new Digital Hubs, powered by Sky’s broadband network and partner with local and trusted charities in the heart of the community to provide free internet access and digital skills support. Sky Up’s first two Digital Hubs will be located in Hackney, East London, and Leeds in Yorkshire, and will be delivered in partnership with Badu Sports and Age UK respectively.
Alongside Sky’s ambition to create 100 new Digital Hubs, Sky Up will include:
Sky’s ambition is part of parent-company Comcast’s ‘Project UP’ – a comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and build a future of unlimited possibilities. Backed by a $1 billion commitment to reach tens of millions of people over the next decade, Project UP encompasses the programs and community partnerships across our organization that connect people to the internet, advance economic mobility, and open doors for the next generation.
The Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, Chris Philp MP said: “Everyone, no matter their age or background, should be able to enjoy the huge benefits of digital technology - from learning, entertainment, shopping and doing business. I welcome Sky's ambitious skills program to tackle digital exclusion and help thousands of people up and down the country access the growing benefits and opportunities of going online."
Nana Badu, CEO and founder of Badu Sports, said: “During lockdown we all truly understood the gap in digital equality for the most underserved communities. The new Sky Up digital studio in Hackney is an important solution to start closing that gap. We are delighted to be partnering with Sky who are seeking deeper impact when it comes to tackling digital inequality.”
Iain Anderson, CEO of Age UK Leeds, said: “We are very grateful for the support provided by Sky. This is a fantastic opportunity to support many older people to become digitally connected and to develop new skills. By having this facility, we will be better placed to reduce loneliness by enabling older people to remain socially connected and to assist them in accessing a range of services which are increasingly only available online.”