IRVING, Texas, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today BT delivered a US $100,000 grant to One Economy to help bridge the digital divide by teaching low-income young people to train older adults on using IT and communications technology effectively. Sir Michael Rake, Chairman of BT Group, met with One Economy officials in Washington D.C. and presented the check which will fund the partnership for a consecutive third year.
In parallel with BT Group's company-wide focus on tackling digital inclusion, BT in the US & Canada launched the program with One Economy in 2010 to help both low-income youth and older family and community members develop skills that will help them enter the economic mainstream.
According to One Economy, less than 40 percent of US senior citizens are currently digitally connected compared to almost 70 percent broadband adoption across the general population. Without basic computer skills, people can miss out on important information, less expensive goods and services, health data, and even employment opportunities.
"We are delighted to continue our partnership with One Economy in the US for a third year," said Sir Mike. "The program is an excellent example of how digital inclusion can benefit society and is a natural fit with BT's CSR strategy to be a responsible and sustainable business leader."
BT's funding has enabled the creation of "Net Connectors", a digital inclusion internet platform focused on encouraging young people to teach adults how to use the internet. Since January 2011, the site has received nearly 200,000 page views, including nearly 90,000 in the most recent quarter as traffic to the website has accelerated.
"BT's generous investment will help One Economy continue to provide the training and resources needed to help low-income youth and adults use technology to improve their lives," said David Saunier, President of One Economy. "We're equally as grateful to BT's employees for volunteering their time and expertise to help advance One Economy's mission to help all people, regardless of income or location, join the digital economy."
BT employees have been enthusiastic about volunteering in support of the program. A recent example involved BT field service technicians hosting a group of students at the BT network hub in Philadelphia, offering the young people a valuable look at what it takes to run a global network.
In 2012, the Net Connectors curriculum will be integrated into other adult digital literacy training programs, such as Connect-To-Compete, a broadband adoption program recently launched by the FCC and housed within One Economy. Program content will be available on mobile platforms and will serve to introduce a population of new users to the benefits of the internet.
The grant to One Economy is part of BT's corporate Country Charity Partnership program, a company-wide global initiative and a key component of BT's global CSR program. The US program was the first in a series of pilot programs sponsored by BT aimed at supporting community investment through education and the transfer of ICT skills.
About One Economy
One Economy is a global nonprofit organization that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to low-income people. More than 20 million people have used One Economy's online tools and resources, including The Beehive (www.thebeehive.org) and the Public Internet Channel (http://pic.tv/) to build better lives. One Economy has launched on-the-ground programs in 42 U.S. states, Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The Digital Connectors program is one of One Economy's education initiatives that deliver 21(st) century technology training to young people from low-income backgrounds, who then share what they learn within their own communities. By year's end more than 6,000 youth will have given more than 200,000 hours of community service and will have trained 160,000 people. Learn more at www.one-economy.com.
BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
In the year ended 31 March 2011, BT Group's revenue was 20,076m pounds Sterling with profit before taxation of 1,717m pounds.