Helping our communities get online

Orbit is committed to helping our customers and communities get the most out of being online. We also know that addressing the complex issues which come under the ‘digital inclusion’ agenda cannot be addressed by working in isolation. Orbit has published the report ‘Access all areas’ (2013) which provides data and analysis about internet access uptake and barriers to getting online faced by Orbit’s customers.

Digital inclusion is about going beyond providing the ‘boxes and wires’ to enable access the internet.

  • It is about helping people to get online and to build the skills and confidence to make the most of the opportunities it offers.
  • It is about helping people to understand how they can use online services to remove or limit the issues that affect them and take advantage of new opportunities available through online routes.
  • It is about making sure that online services are designed to be inclusive - of how people want and need to use them, of the devices and connection speeds that people will have available and of the rich environment of other sources of support and advice that are available online.

Working in partnership

We are keen to find opportunities to work with our business partners and to collaborate with charities and other community organisations who understand the issues our communities face. We also know that many organisations are already delivering digital access and skills support on the ground. If you are involved in digital initiatives that could be relevant to the areas that Orbit operates in and would like to talk to us, you can use the online contact form to get in touch.

How Orbit is helping

Orbit’s internet access and digital skills programme includes:

  • improving provision of shared Wi-Fi in our sheltered and supported schemes
  • building networks of community-based volunteers (Digital Champions) who can help engage and support others to develop their digital skills and confidence
  • developing engagement and support materials that link in with topics and issues that matter to people who are not already online (and may not currently be interested in going online)
  • exploring digital access and skills issues further to make sure we understand and plan to address the real challenges and opportunities.

Orbit is also a founding partner of the Digital Champions Network for Housing (DCN4H).