Delivered by BT Business, the scheme is specially designed for housing associations, which will be able to offer services such as shared Internet access between residents to reduce monthly rental costs, affordable devices and training and support for tenants.
The firm claims social housing providers will be able to choose the best option for each facility, such as charging on a per unit basis or making wi-fi available in communal areas in place such as care homes.
It adds that this will give tenants easy Internet access without the need for credit checks and many housing associations will be able to offer installation costs within their pricings.
“There are currently 6.4 million adults in the UK that have never used the Internet, with 4.1 million of those in social housing,” claimed BT Business CEO Graham Sutherland.
“This not only affects their employment prospects and access to education, but also how they gain access to essential services.
“As a result, it’s crucial that they have access to go online – and that’s why we’re working with housing associations to help ensure those on low incomes or who are unemployed, elderly or disabled have access to the Internet” he added.
The plan to offer a shared Internet service are part of BT’s Connected Society Programme that aims to improve access to the Internet and help people develop the confidence and skills needed to make the most of it.
The firm claims to have worked closely with housing providers and related organisations over a number of years to understand their needs and those of their tenants.
“There are a number of drivers for us to provide Internet at home to our residents, including the forthcoming implementation of Universal Credit, which means people have to be online – or at least have access to the Internet,” claimed Richard Troote, head of ICT, Wales and West Housing.
“There are also a number of barrier that, until now, have prevented many residents from having broadband at home.
“Working with BT business has allowed us to go a long way towards eliminating those allowing us to provide cost-effective Internet access, as well as the training and technical support our tenants need,” he added.
Easy Internet access and education in how to use it are not the only barriers to success for Universal Credit – last week a public sector payment solutions provider said claimants also needed clear and simple information surrounding payment methods.