The internet has completely revolutionized the way in which the world works. Though the internet has existed for a number of decades, it has only been available for public use for the last couple of decades. In this time, the internet has completely changed the way that the world works. From the way that we communicate with our loved ones, to the way in which we do something as simple as purchasing food, the internet has intervened.
It is hard to argue that at this point in history, we would be completely lost without access to the internet. Without the internet we would be entirely separated from the world and unable to do some of the things that bring us joy. Some people even believe that access to free internet should be a human right, that’s just how much of an impact the internet has had on the world around us and how it has managed to integrate into our society.
Unfortunately, the internet isn’t free. In fact, in the UK, you can expect to pay quite a lot of money in order to gain access to a fast and reliable internet service. Due to these costs, there are plenty of people in the UK that are still unable to access the internet and so have been cut off from a lot of opportunities.
Now more than ever, having access to the internet is absolutely essential. The world has gone almost completely online due to the current condition of the world. You can’t do much in person these days and for this reason, a small UK town has said enough is enough.
The town of Chorley was sick of seeing a large number of its citizens struggling due to a lack of internet access and because of this, they have decided to do a year-long trial of free internet for everyone in the town. Doing this trial has been in discussion for a number of years and now they have the perfect opportunity to test it out, but what reasoning do they have for wanting to trial free internet at all?
Unfortunately, Chorley has one of the highest unemployment levels in the UK. Many people that live in Chorley are unfortunately forced to live on benefits due to the lack of employment opportunities and isolation of the area. Though there have been many attempts to try and deal with this head-on, many of the people trying to deal with unemployment are also having to deal with internet poverty. Right now, the main way in which you apply for a job is through the internet. In fact, many places do not allow you to apply for a position in a company in person anymore and so many people are being denied the opportunity to apply for jobs at all.
Chorley does have a facility that is accessible by people and can be used to apply for jobs, but with such a large amount of people needing to use these facilities daily, it is simply not sustainable to have people coming in and out daily, it is also not very covid conscious.
Again, with the current climate, most aspects of life are going online. This includes education, with over two dozen institutes of education closing in Chorley alone. Again, due to the fact that unemployment is such a problem in Chorley, many students that have been forced to study from home do not have any access to the internet at all.
Parents have been trying to provide this internet for their children, along with the aid of their school. If you are from Chorley, you have probably done a lot of research to find the fastest broadband in your area at an affordable price. However, due to Chorley being located in quite a rural and excluded area, it is extremely difficult to find reasonably priced wifi.
After much encouragement from the educational sector of Chorley as well as the outcry of parents, the way in which education could be harmed by a lack of internet has been a large motivating factor for the local government in Chorley to finally make a difference. Not only this but there has been a fund put together in collaboration with a number of local businesses. This fund has been put together in order to source computers and laptops to give to these students to ensure that they can access the free wifi that they are being provided with.
Has the free wifi Experiment been a Success?
Chorley was not really sure of what to expect from the trial, but four months in they are more than happy with the changes they are already starting to see.
First of all, there has been a drastic increase in employment in the area. Though many businesses remain closed right now, people who once would have never had the chance to, are now able to get jobs in which they work from home. This has meant that hundreds of people no longer need state assistance and are able to give back to the community.
Though schools have started to return to normality, the introduction of free wifi is still being utilized every day in schools. School children can now access a number of sites and resources which are useful for their learning and there has been an increase in homework engagement.
Olivia Is Free Independent Journalist, Has B.A in International Relations, With Many Of Her Research And Papers Published On America’s Most Influence Newspapers.