Tackling digital poverty with the world’s first databank: The O2 Data pledge VCCP and VMO2


O2 are founded on the belief that connection is as vital to life as oxygen - a belief that gained precedence during the pandemic.

Yet in the UK, 1.5 million homes have no access to the internet (Ofcom, 2021) – and this digital divide is growing.

Living in digital poverty means not only isolation from friends and family, but from education, opportunity and key resources. A whole sector of society is left behind.

O2 wanted to challenge this inexcusable fault line in our society - to champion inclusion and use their platform to help people in digital poverty to live better.

This year, O2 made a pledge: To connect the disconnected.

In partnership with charity Good Things Foundation, VMO2 were able not only to raise awareness of the problem, but to actively bridge the digital divide, creating the country’s first ever national databank - like a food bank for data.

Bringing their raison d’etre to life, ‘Our Data Pledge’ leveraged a truth about humans and their need for connection, shone a light on those living without it, and challenged ourselves and the nation to help change it.

O2 facilitated a data donation of nearly 22 million GBs – enough to connect 358,280 people, tackled the problem on the ground by connecting hundreds of Big Issue sellers so they can accept card payments, and compelled other corporations to get involved in our initiative too.

Because it’s one thing to talk about purpose, but it’s another to turn it into a force for social change.