Full list of O2 stores that allow struggling Brits to access free mobile data

HARD-UP Brits can get free mobile data from Virgin Media O2 to keep them connected this Christmas.

The telco already offers free SIMs and mobile data, as well as talk minutes and texts, to people struggling to get online through the National Databank.

Customers can get up to 20GB of free O2 data per month for up to six months

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Customers can get up to 20GB of free O2 data per month for up to six monthsCredit: Reuters

It has been compared to a food bank but for internet connectivity data – but the sign-up process can be complex.

But Virgin Media O2 will now help more people in need of free mobile data by running a national databank for the first time on the high street through 10 O2 stores.

Struggling Brits had to find their local Good Things Foundation affiliated community center to get free data.

To ease the process, struggling Brits can now access the National Databank directly on the high street.

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Eligible customers who visit any of the 10 O2 stores can get 20GB of free O2 data per month for up to six months.

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This is enough for about 220 hours of internet browsing per month.

Virgin Media O2 said participating O2 shops are located in towns and cities where free data will help those most in need.

This includes communities where people are likely to be digitally excluded.

Struggling Brits will be able to get free data at the following O2 stores:

  • in childhood
  • Broadstairs (Thanet Westwood Cross)
  • Colchester
  • Hastings
  • Hull (Jameson Street)
  • Norwich
  • Newport
  • Perth
  • Plymouth
  • Stockton-on-Tees (Teesside Retail Park)

Those who are eligible can visit one of the participating stores and ask for a 20GB data voucher from an O2 employee trained to use National Databank’s platform.

Gareth Turpin, chief commercial officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “We are increasing our support during the cost of living crisis to help even more people stay connected this Christmas.

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“Now it’s easier than ever for those who need to access the National Databank directly on the high street through our O2 stores, so they can get online and connect with essential services – from medical appointments to applying for jobs.”

Am I eligible for free data?

To be eligible for Data Boost, you must be at least 18 years old and belong to a low-income family.

You must also qualify in one or more of the following statements:

  • No access to the home or insufficient access to the Internet
  • and/or have no or insufficient internet access while away from home
  • and/or cannot afford their existing monthly contract or top up

How does this work?

Staff and volunteers at selected O2 stores or online centers in the Good Things Foundation’s network assess the needs of people they can support.

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They then use the data bank to get the SIM and then share it.

So to access free data you need to get support from online center first.

You can find details of your nearest online center here.

The amount paid will vary. The decision will be made based on your financial situation and how much data is available.

Support is also provided for those struggling to use the internet, with tools on offer to boost confidence and enhance basic IT skills.

Tackling data poverty in the UK

The databank was first piloted with Virgin Media O2 and has now been rolled out nationally.

In January 2022, the program was expanded to include mobile internet data from Vodafone.

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The Good Things Foundation is now calling on the rest of the UK’s mobile networks to join the National Databank to “end data poverty for good”.

The data boost will be welcome as the cost of living crisis continues to bite millions across the country – with many facing increasing hardship.



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