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BT and BBC to waive mobile data charges on BBC Bitesize

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

EE, BT Mobile, and Plusnet Mobile customers will get unlimited free access to BBC Bitesize educational content by the end of January.

Zero-rating the popular educational website while schools are closed is part of BT’s Lockdown Learning support scheme announced last week.

The agreement is the first of its kind and means that from the end of the month customers of EE, BT Mobile and Plusnet Mobile accessing BBC Bitesize for kids’ educational purposes, can watch, read and interact with as much immersive content as they need, even if they have run out of mobile data.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT Group’s consumer division, said: “We want to ensure that no child is left behind in their education as a result of this pandemic, and recognise that we all have a role we can play to help families and carers continue their children’s education while schools are closed.

“That’s why, as part of our Lockdown Learning support scheme launched last week, we’re proud to partner with the BBC and be the first network to zero rate BBC Bitesize and allow all of our mobile customers to access its incredible content without using up any data.”

Tim Davie, BBC director general, said: “With the pandemic forcing schools to close again we should not allow a lack of digital access to further impact children’s education. This is why I’m delighted we have agreed this partnership with BT to remove data charges when accessing the BBC’s brilliant Bitesize content. The BBC will continue to do all we can to ensure every child, whatever their circumstances, can continue to access vital educational materials during this time.”

To make the process as easy as possible for families, no registration will be required with zero-rated access to educational Bitesize content through the BBC website and Bitesize app made automatically. The scheme will end when schools reopen.

What is BBC Bitesize?

BBC Bitesize online offers structured lessons in Maths and English for all year groups which can be used at home or in the classroom.

‘This Term’s Topics’ also covers other curriculum subjects and curates learning content that works for the Spring curriculum.

For secondary pupils, Bitesize is also home to two-week learning packs for English and Maths in KS3 (years 7, 8 and 9) as well as ‘This Term’s Topics’ for other subjects to be used at home or to support teachers in the remote classrooms.

For students in Years 10 and 11, the Bitesize secondary offer allows students to pick their exam board and subject to find everything they need to help with their studies.

Gavin Williamson, education secretary, said: “Supporting children and young people to continue their education is vital during this challenging time. It is fantastic that BT and the BBC have joined forces to remove mobile data charges for BBC Bitesize for hundreds of thousands of families across the country.

“Having worked closely with the UK’s leading mobile network providers since the start of the pandemic, I would like to thank BT for this additional support which builds on the government’s offer of free mobile data for disadvantaged families.”