The Connectivity Access Scheme provides digitally excluded residents with access to free connectivity solutions for a specific time frame. The scheme is primarily funded by Kent County Council, through it's Helping Hands Scheme under the Digital Inclusion & Capabilities funding stream. The funding has been available through various COVID-19 Grants by the government. Additionally, we have secured funding from NHS Kent & Medway to support patients and improve health outcomes.
Hi, I'm Robyn!
I am the person that helps with the Connectivity Access Scheme. If you need help, you can see if we have the answer below, otherwise you can drop me an email or give me a call on the details below.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 03000 410 950
Operational Support Coordinator
We are providing SIM Cards. These are provided to Kent County Council by the National Databank delivered by the Goods Things Foundation. The SIM Cards will only be able to be used for SIM-enabled devices, we do not provide routers as part of the scheme.
We only have limited number of data packages available, therefore, we will be distributing these as fairly as possible, targeting those that most need the support. Therefore, it may take longer to processes referrals on the scheme.
You will have data allowance as part of the SIM (dependent on availability) and may be required to reactivate the SIM card each month. As part of this, clients may be contacted by the Good Things Foundation and their partners to monitor and evaluate impact.
We are providing Wi-Fi vouchers. These are provided by Kent County Council and funding from NHS Kent & Medway. The Wi-Fi Vouchers can be used for all Wi-Fi enabled devices.
Once the someone has been referred into the scheme by a professional (or by self-referring) using the Connectivity Access Referral Form, they will be individual assessed against:
- the eligibility criteria (outlined below)
- the reasons for the referral (guidance below)
If approved, the Connectivity Access Scheme will deliver a SIM Card to the client's address provided or send the Wi-Fi voucher details in an email.
Important Guidance for Professionals
What we mean by digitally excluded
The definition of digital exclusion in the context of the Connectivity Access Scheme is essentially an individual not able to use the internet, due to restricting their internet usage/data usage (for example due to cost). Which by providing them with a connectivity solution, it could enhance their lives and contribute to them overcoming other disadvantages with they might face.
How can I give my referral the best chance of being approved?
The quality of our decision is based on the quality of the referral. The best way is to provide detailed context around the client, their circumstances and how receiving a connectivity solution could help them overcome challenges that they currently face. As our stock of connectivity solutions is limited and we want to be able to support those residents in the most need, please ensure that a full and valid reason for referral is included. All referrals are assessed by a human, although we may use automation for routine tasks, like the email updates.
Examples of detailed reasons are what the beneficiary will use the solution for; how it will benefit them now and, in the future; whether they already have any devices available to them either at home or within local facilities they can use; which eligibility criteria they meet and how they meet the digitally excluded criteria. Such details must be included with every application.
If we receive reasons that are limited and with little detail, then applications that are made on behalf of your clients are more likely to be declined, as we are unable to make an informed decision due to lack of information. Please do not use copy and paste reasons for referrals, as this again gives us little to work from to ensure we are maximising the benefit of the scheme
Frequently Asked Questions
You cannot refer yourself or someone in your household. Only professionals can make a referral, examples are below:
Please note that Councillors or elected officials cannot make referrals.
Depending on demand, we usually provide a decision within 10 working days of the referral being made to either progress or not progress. If we do not progress the referral, you will get an email outlining this. If we do, the referral is put into 'Conditional Approval' stage, which allows 14 days for the client to complete and return their Baseline Assessment form. After this, if we have a completed assessment form returned we will make the final decision on whether they're approved or declined. If we do not receive a form within this timeline, we will decline the referral.
Currently no. We are looking at how we can do this in the future, such as a Wi-Fi voucher (dependent on availability).
No. We unfortunately cannot guarantee the availability or level of service, as it is dependent on multiple factors. We will try our best to check that the solution we will provide is appropriate and usable, but cannot guarantee.