Digital Inclusion presentation to INCA Wireless Broadband Seminar

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Digital Inclusion presentation by Tony Cahill, FirstArk and Michelle Findlay, ITS Technology
INCA Superfast Wireless Broadband Seminar, Manchester 25-06-14

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  • Who are we and why have we get involved in implementing Wireless Broadband Networks

    Our role – First Ark Group are a business with a social purpose, we undertake commercial and social activities to make a positive difference to peoples lives

    A Group of Companies based in Knowsley
    KHT our Housing Association providing homes to 25,000 people and supporting strong communities
    Vivark our Facilities Management Business and Oriel Living (KHTS) our Development company building homes for sale are creating jobs and training
    & One Ark our charitable business undertaking activities to eradicate exclusion from the most vulnerable in society to give them opportunities to stand on their own two feet.

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    As part of that approach is the lead role we play in driving digital inclusion in Knowsley

    This includes providing access where other organisation will not

    Working with others to provide hotspots and free use of computers, with an App providing access to find the nearest access point

    Rolling out training programmes across the area
  • So why is this important:

    Knowsley as an area is one of the most challenged in the country, through deprivation and high levels of benefit dependency

    & Digital exclusion amongst those who would benefit most from access to the internet is high at 58%

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    And yet we all know the benefits access can bring, it is estimated that people can save between £300 - £600 through online transactions each year, in addition to accessing jobs, health advice etc.
  • The need for digital inclusion also has other drivers.

    The government have been moving to digital by default for some time, making access essential to benefit claimants

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    But there are also business benefits for ourselves, only 32% of our social housing customers currently interact with us digitally, and driving through a reduction in face to face or phone contact can represent significant cost savings.



  • There is a large scale rollout underway of high speed broadband including areas of Knowsley,
    But there are areas that are being excluded from the rollout

    These include areas with a high density of SME businesses that are currently served by poor broadband coverage

    This would leave local businesses disadvantaged in their capability and aims to grow.


  • Undertake a pilot project to provide free access to our housing customers in the area to government websites, Job search sites but also a new healthy living website being developed by our local public health team.

    Free issue tablet computers and on site training and support will further develop user skills

    We are also linking with a local university to research further the benefits of digital Inclusion and understand how the access to these services, has impacted on people, in reducing GP access needs, success in finding employment etc.

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    The business solution will also ensure that local businesses are not left behind in developing and growing
  • Digital Inclusion presentation to INCA Wireless Broadband Seminar

    1. 1. ITS Technology Group & First Ark Group Wireless Broadband Rollout in Social Housing
    2. 2. First Ark Group A Business with a Social Purpose • Our aim is to make a positive difference to local businesses, to our communities and to people’s lives through a range of commercial and social activities • One part of that approach is in First Ark lead acting as the lead organisation on implementing a Digital Inclusion Strategy for Knowsley working with other partners, underpinned by support from the local authority
    3. 3. The Challenge – Digital Inclusion • Knowsley is in the top 5 most deprived areas of the country • 80% of social tenants in Knowsley are claiming some form of benefit • 20% of residents have never used the internet • 58% of benefit dependant and vulnerable tenants don’t have access to the internet* • Access to the internet can bring the most disadvantaged in society: • Access to lower costs services, products and information • Employment opportunities – our research showed 46% of local jobs were exclusively available online • Health advice, guidance – reducing reliance on GP’s * Excludes mobile phones
    4. 4. The Challenge – Digital Inclusion • Government drive to be digital by default • Requires those needing support to have access • Business benefits - only 32% of our tenants choose to interact with us digitally: • Face to face contact costs - £8.70 • Phone contact costs - £1.65 • Internet based contact costs £0.05 Digital by default” – “Digital by design”. “We estimate that moving services from offline to digital channels will save between £1.7 and £1.8 billion a year.”
    5. 5. The Challenge – Wireless Internet for Business • Superfast Britain rollout is being undertaken across Merseyside • Areas of exclusion – • include areas of Knowsley with high density of SME Businesses • areas currently served by low speed and unreliable broadband access No fibre deployment planned
    6. 6. A Pilot project providing access to our housing customers local to the solution: • Free internet access • Extended access on a PAYG basis • Free tablet computers • Free onsite training and user support High Speed reliable wireless broadband access to local business • Meeting the needs of SME’s excluded from superfast rollout • Ensuring local business support for growth The Proposal
    7. 7. The Solution – Pilot Project 4 tower blocks 256 apartments Phased Rollout to 15,000 housing stock Digital Inclusion Financial Inclusion Revenue Share Fully supported
    8. 8. Wi-Fi routers installed into the core of high rise flats which broadcasts out to the apartments. A thorough survey is undertaken of the infrastructure to ensure that signal is received all the way through the building. TheTechnical Solution – MDU  Copy right ITS Technology Group 2014 – May not be printed, published or digitally reproduced without express permission
    9. 9. Benefits to the Community UnitedCommunities Better Opportunities Lower Cost of Services Improved Safety Improved Education Boost to Local GDP Increased PropertyValue Better Health Services Cost savings in the future with ITS
    10. 10. ThankYou ThankYou 0844 856 9966 info@itstechnologygroup.com www.itstechnologygroup.com The Heath Business andTechnical Park, Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 4QX  Copy right ITS Technology Group 2014 – May not be printed, published or digitally reproduced without express permission 0151 290 7000 www.firstark.com Lakeview, Kings Business Park, Prescot, Knowsley L34 1PJ

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