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BT removes mobile data charges for Oak National Academy

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@bt_uk adds to ‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme by removing mobile data charges for @OakNational

  • EE, BT Mobile, and Plusnet Mobile customers to have free unlimited access to Oak Academy content by the end of January
  • Zero rating of popular educational websites forms part of BT’s ‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme announced last week
  • Announcement follows partnership with BBC to zero rate access to BBC Bitesize content

19th January 2021, BT has announced it will increase support for families learning from home by adding zero rating of Oak National Academy content to its ‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme by the end of January. The content will be free for all EE, BT Mobile, and Plusnet Mobile customers, while face to face teaching is paused.

The partnership follows hot on the heels of BT’s announcement last week that it will zero rate BBC Bitesize content. By the end of the month customers of EE, BT Mobile and Plusnet Mobile accessing online lessons in Oak National Academy’s virtual classroom or on BBC Bitesize, can watch as many online lessons as they need, even if they have run out of data.

Marc Allera, CEO BT Group’s Consumer division said: “We’re rapidly boosting our ‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme by zero rating access to BBC Bitesize and now Oak National Academy for all our mobile customers.

“Our inclusive support package means families that need it most can get help to keep learning, with unlimited data, free access to our 5 million WiFi hotspots and now free access to the two most popular educational resources.

And to make sure that we are keeping children across the whole of the UK connected, we’re also asking Ministers in Wales, Scotland and NI to work with us on offering Unlimited data for eligible customers, as well as potential zero rating of other regionalised educational resources.”

BT is doing all it can to help support the nation during lockdown. Last week it unveiled its ‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme, working with the Department for Education to ensure school children can continue to learn online while face to face learning is paused. BT will be giving those children who need it most unlimited mobile data as well as handing out thousands of free WiFi vouchers to schools and charity partners to distribute to families without an internet connection. The vouchers give access to the internet via BT’s five million WiFi Hotspots across the UK.

Zero Rating of Oak National Academy:

Available to all contract and pay as you go customers of EE, BT Mobile and Plusnet in the UK, and commencing end of January (to allow thorough testing of the product), BT will remove all data charges for access to Oak National Academy website while all schools are closed across the nation. There is no registration required.

The scheme will end as schools reopen across the UK.

BT’s ‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme includes:

  • Zero Rating of Oak National Academy and BBC Bitesize: BT has also invited the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish administrations to each suggest one online resource for school children which we will also seek to zero rate, to support their curriculums which differ from English schools.
  • Unlimited Data: Starting at the end of January and available until the end of this academic year (July 2021), the free unlimited data for EE and BT Mobile customers is accessed through children’s schools and allows eligible families to access whichever educational resources are needed whilst face to face teaching is paused. The DfE’s programme is only currently available for families in England.
  • Free WiFi Vouchers: BT was the first telecoms operator to have an offer for families who needed help with home learning, offering BT WiFi vouchers for free access available since June. BT will shortly be offering these directly to schools and our charity partners and increasing the vouchers available. Our estimates suggest around 20 – 30% of homes across the UK are in range of a BT WiFi hotspot, coverage varies. BT distributed some vouchers direct in the summer and had an active user rate of around 10% of vouchers distributed.
  • BT also offers a social tariff for low income families – BT Basic, a £10 per month fixed broadband and phone line service. With priority connection, this long term solution offers low income families a sustainable option that meets their data needs. More information here:
  • Following the successful launch of free home learning resources last year, BT and Computing at School (CAS) have continued to update its Barefoot computing resources to accommodate the shift to home schooling and adapted dozens of activities to support families with their children’s digital skills. 

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