Donating data for students in need

Optus Pty Ltd

Monday, 23 October, 2023

Donating data for students in need

Internet access has become a problem for many families, with one in five worried that their children won’t be able to use it for schoolwork this year.

This was revealed in a recent survey by The Smith Family of parents and carers of students participating in its Learning for Life education support program.

“Many of the families we work with don’t have reliable, consistent access to the internet, but the internet is now essential for learning. If students don’t have all the tools they need, they can fall behind in their education, and it’s of major concern they won’t develop the digital skills needed for the jobs of the future,” said Wendy Field, Head of Policy, Programs and Strategy at The Smith Family.

To help address the problem of internet access, Optus created the Donate Your Data program in 2019, in collaboration with The Smith Family. Since its inception, the partnership has provided 37,500 students and their family members with free SIM cards loaded with calls, texts and data, which has supported children with online learning and education. The program has expanded to include additional charities, and to date, over 44,500 people in total have received support with free calls, texts and data. This equates to $30 million of equivalent value delivered across the life of the program.

Optus customers can donate their unused data as part of the Living Network’s Donate Your Data program. Optus customers have donated over 55 million gigabytes of data since 2019, which has equated to more than six million donations since launch.

“We know that being digitally connected and digitally skilled is critical for education, business success and staying connected to friends and family. We are dedicated to supporting the next generation in achieving their potential in this digital era and are proud that the Donate Your Data program is making an impact four years on,” said Matt Williams, Optus Managing Director.

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