Irish postal operator An Post has launched a service aimed at helping the homeless community in Ireland get connected on mobile devices. Called The Shared Network, the initiative is the first mobile data sharing solution created especially for people who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation across the country.
According to An Post, although many of Ireland’s homeless have phones, few can afford data all the time. The Shared Network will facilitate more reliable communication and connection for Ireland’s homeless community. The service donates data from An Post’s mobile network and redistributes it to Ireland’s homeless.
The Shared Network will be powered by an initial transfer of 18,000GB of data from An Post Mobile. An Post has also committed to add 1GB of data to its donation for every new customer that joins the An Post Mobile network until the end of 2020. Meanwhile existing An Post Mobile customers can donate to The Shared Network when they top up. An Post will also match all data donations received by the end of March 2020 with a minimum donation of a further 18,000GB of data guaranteed.
The ambition is that The Shared Network can stay powered throughout 2020 and that the people of Ireland can play a part in helping Ireland’s homeless community to get connected.
The Shared Network is available to people who are homeless or living in temporary emergency accommodation through charities working in the area of homelessness. An Post is donating 18,000GB of data across 2,000 SIM cards to five key national charities to distribute to its clients.
Debbie Byrne, managing director, retail, An Post, said, “The Shared Network facilitates more reliable communication and connection with essential services. In an age where connectivity is key, those without online access can feel increasingly isolated and left behind. As a major Irish company with world-class expertise and a deeply connected, community-conscious body of staff, our purpose is to be a force for good, wherever we can. We have the expertise and the national reach to make a real difference.”
The Shared Network is the second initiative launched by An Post to help the homeless. An Post also offers its Address Point Service, which provides a free personal postal address and letter collection service for people who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation.
A video containing more information on The Shared Network can be seen here.