The telecoms giant has announced its ‘Help for Home Learners’ initiative for families facing financial difficulty during lockdown.
Virgin Media is partnering with the charity Business in the Community to fund and distribute 1,500 laptops and mobile dongles to families with children who are struggling to learn virtually.
Each laptop will come with a 4G dongle containing 25GB of data per month which can connect home learners to teachers, educational tools and online classes.
Jeff Dodds, chief operating officer at Virgin Media, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, we have been supporting our customers and helping to close the digital gap for those most in need.
“Remote learning can be tough enough without the added pressures and worry of affording devices and connectivity, so we wanted to step up and lend a hand. Our Help for Home Learners initiative will put devices and data into the hands of schoolchildren which, alongside free data boosts and our dedicated Essential broadband package, will mean more pupils can continue their education while schools are closed.”
To boost the number of devices available, Virgin Media plans to set up a scheme where people can donate any spare second-hand laptops and devices through its existing mobile trade-in partner.
Virgin Media announced in December that it would be offering free mobile data for remote learning. This is alongside zero-rating the Oak National Academy portal, which allows children to access online classes and resources without using any of their mobile data.
It is also making a variety of pay TV channels and on-demand programming available for customers at no extra cost. The channels include Animal Planet HD, Crime+Investigation HD, Discovery Science, Eurosport 1 and 2 HD and Sky History.