Telenet Essential Internet

Connecting vulnerable people to the internet and measuring their ICT skills

ICT access and skills
Digital exclusion
Vulnerable people
Telenet Essential

The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasized that several people within our society are still disconnected from the internet and are subject to digital exclusion. These people lack the access or skills to use the internet for essential matters, such as working and studying from home, online banking, online applying for a benefit, etc. Telenet, one of the largest telecom providers in Belgium, is therefore starting a pilot project with basic internet for vulnerable families. From February 2021 onwards, Telenet and social organisations are starting a first test of its 'Telenet Essential Internet' solution: basic internet at a fixed rate of 5 euros per month for vulnerable groups who have no or very limited internet connection at home.

Within this pilot project imec-mict-UGent and imec-smit-VUB will investigate which specific ICT access and skills these families lack in order to use the internet for essential matters, as well as the hampers they experience to cope with ICT problems. Furthermore stakeholders, such as social organizations and local governments, will be involved to invent a sustainable strategy for the installation of Telenet Essential Internet among 10.000 vulnerable families. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods will be employed.

Based on the results of this project, we will make recommendations to the government to improve the ICT access and skills of as many Belgians as possible. 

Partners: imec-smit-VUB; Telenet

Duration: January – September 2021

 Contact: Prof. Koen Ponnet

Telenet