Choosing help with internet access

The Get help with technology programme offers 2 ways to help children and young people connect to the internet if face-to-face education is disrupted.

We can provide:

  • extra data for mobile devices
  • 4G wireless routers

Schools, colleges and further education institutions can request one type of support per pupil or student.

To choose the best option, use the information here to compare the two schemes.

Extra data for mobile devices

Schools, colleges, further education institutions, local authorities and trusts can request an increase in mobile data for someone who has an existing mobile contract with a participating network if they are unable to access broadband internet at home. Most providers have additional conditions that account holders must meet.

The recipient will get an increase in mobile data on a monthly basis until July 2021.

Choose this option if:

  • the account holder is with a participating network and meets the conditions set by the provider
  • the child or young person can use the mobile device’s internet connection on a device suitable for learning (this is known as tethering)
  • the owner of the mobile device will be at home when the child or young person is learning remotely
  • the mobile phone has a strong signal at home

There’s no content filtering with mobile data increases, so if the child will be unsupervised while using the internet, it may be better to choose a 4G wireless router.

If you’re unsuccessful in applying for a data increase

If your application for a data increase is unsuccessful, we recommend requesting a 4G wireless router instead.

4G wireless routers

4G wireless routers are compact digital devices, sometimes referred to as ‘dongles’ or ‘mobile wifi’, that provide an internet connection wherever there is access to mobile networks. Router SIM cards will remain active until the end of July 2021.

Choose this option if:

  • the extra data for mobile devices option is not suitable
  • there’s more than one child or young person in the household who needs to learn remotely
  • a mobile phone or tablet (tethered or not) is not regularly available for the child or young person’s use
  • the child or young person is likely to access the internet without supervision