Phone and broadband provider KC is helping Hull and East Yorkshire households get online by offering them computers for just £24.
KC has teamed up with Microsoft’s Get Online@Home initiative to offer local households that don’t have internet access a PC for only £24 or a laptop for just £74 if they sign up for a KC home phone and broadband bundle.
The Get Online@Home scheme is backed by the Government and aimed at the 10.8 million people in the UK without internet access at home.
The computers come with everything people need to get online, as well Microsoft software for security, documents, emails, messages, pictures and more.
They are high-quality, refurbished computers that have been used before, usually by businesses, but have many years of useful life left in them. Old data has been removed, new software installed and all the hardware has been cleaned and polished for the new owner.
Research carried out by KC and Hull City Council shows that more than half of the households in the city that have never had internet access say lack of a PC or laptop is a barrier to getting online.
With a growing number of products and services now available cheaper on the Internet, and more than three out of four jobs now having online application processes, households without internet access are at an increasing disadvantage.
The issue is likely to grow when an overhaul of the welfare system introduces Universal Credit, which due to be rolled out to Hull early next year. The change will require people to apply for benefits via the internet and manage their claim through an online account.
The inexpensive PCs and laptops are available to people who are unemployed or receive any of a wide range of benefits, including Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Housing Benefit and Carer’s Allowance.
Sue Helmont, KC’s head of marketing, said: “We’re committed to making it easier for local people to get online.
“Throughout the UK, while more and more households have several connected devices and superfast broadband, many others still don’t have even basic internet access.
“This is causing a growing and worrying digital divide. Not having internet access excludes millions of people from vital and valuable services; prevents them from applying for jobs; and means they are increasingly isolated when so many day-to-day interactions are now carried out online.
“This new offer overcomes one of the biggest hurdles preventing people getting online - the cost of buying a computer or laptop. It will mean the thousands people locally who aren’t currently online
can buy a computer or laptop at very low cost, knowing that it has been fully reconditioned and equipped with all the software and security they need to go online with ease and confidence.
“We would encourage anybody who thinks they would benefit from this offer to call us so they can access the growing number of services and information sources that are available online.”
To order a PC or laptop and a home phone and broadband bundle call 01482 602555. For more information visit www.kc.co.uk/getonline.