Creating a better Aotearoa and playing our part to achieve greater digital inclusion
There’s a growing digital divide in Aotearoa, which has been exacerbated by the impacts of Covid-19. Use of digital tools and services has been dramatically accelerated, and the ability to access services online is now almost as essential as running water.
While New Zealand is extremely well-served for internet access by global standards and Vodafone offers a range of low-cost mobile and broadband plans to suit all budgets – and with the Vodafone network covering 98.5% of where Kiwis work, live and play – the growing strain on people's finances is evident.
Addressing digital exclusion is a broader societal challenge that we all need to collaborate on, with business and not for profits supporting government agencies in helping Aotearoa’s most vulnerable citizens.
At Vodafone, this includes:
- We invest $2 million per annum in the Vodafone NZ Foundation, a charitable trust with a vision of an Aotearoa New Zealand where all young people have access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. The Foundation is on a 10 year, $20 million journey to reduce the number of excluded and disadvantaged rangatahi in Aotearoa and digital access is one of the issues they’re looking to address.
- We’ve signed on to InternetNZ’s five point plan for digital inclusion showing our commitment to collaborating on efforts to address this growing issue.
- We invest millions in making it easier for all New Zealanders to use our digital services and applications, through continual improvements, better process design, and through the use of smart technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Working with 2degrees and Spark on the Rural Connectivity Group, which alongside Government support, provides internet connectivity in rural areas where the economics are challenging.
- Our cheapest pre pay mobile plan starts at just $13/month, and we sell low-cost Vodafone branded mobile handsets.
In 2018, the Vodafone NZ Foundation commissioned the Out of the Maze report alongside InternetNZ, looking at ‘Building Digitally Inclusive Communities’. This highlighted there are a wide range of elements needed to address digital exclusion including access/affordability, skills, motivation, capacity and trust.
We’ll continue to work with community partners to address digital connectivity and help those most in need in our society.