And, in an era of self-isolation where schools are closing to contain the spread of COVID-19, many families are being plunged into homeschooling for the first time and aren't always equipped with the technology and WiFi that is crucial to connect students with virtual lessons, their teachers, and their classmates.
To counter the issue of internet unavailability in disadvantaged households, Optus has launched the Donate Your Data scheme in partnership with the Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN) to provide disadvantaged secondary school students with a free Optus Prepaid mobile plan
To start with, Optus will work closely with principals of typically 'high needs' schools in NSW to distribute free SIM cards and help support 6,000 disadvantaged students from low socio-economic communities. The SIM cards provide unlimited national standard talk and text plus 10GB data for use in Australia, which is topped up with further data when donated by Optus customers.
If you're an Optus customer, here's how to donate your data...
Step 1. Open the Optus app
Step 2. Click the 'Donate your data' menu option and hit 'Donate now'
Step 3. Choose how much you'd like to donate - you can donate up to 10GB of unused data every 12 hours
At the of writing, Optus is the only service provider in Australia offering this initiative. If you're not an Optus customer, we encourage you to write to your own service provider to suggest they implement a similar program to help homeschooling children in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.