Digital inclusion project update

We’re still working hard to tackle digital exclusion.

As you know, ŌCHT and Christchurch fibre company Enable last year started a partnership to find new ways to tackle digital exclusion in our communities.

We did this because we knew many ŌCHT tenants couldn’t connect to the internet and many more wanted to improve their digital skills.

A key part of our partnership was working out how we could provide internet to eligible ŌCHT homes. When we announced the partnership in May/June 2021, we explained that there was still more work to be completed before we could proceed with the plan.

Since our original announcement, a huge amount of work has continued exploring and developing our plans. As we have worked through what would be required for Enable and ŌCHT to deliver and manage an internet service to tenants’ homes, it became clear it would be complex and potentially take a long time to implement. Unfortunately, as reported on Stuff today, that means the partnership can’t continue with this option.  

This has been really disappointing for ŌCHT and Enable but our goal of addressing digital equity for ŌCHT tenants hasn’t changed. As a first step, Enable will start installing free Wi-Fi broadband at all 19 communal lounges in ŌCHT communities. The free service can be used by residents – and visiting tenants from other ŌCHT communities – while using the lounges.

We’re also still working with Enable to secure an in-home solution that we anticipate will help a group of ŌCHT tenants who don’t have a connection and are engaged in ŌCHT digital or employment programmes to get connected. We’re hoping to share more information on an option soon.

We’re also continuing our digital coaching service, which has so far helped more than 150 people grow their digital skills and confidence. Many more are booked for introductory sessions in the coming months. Please call us on 0800 624 456 if you’re interested in training or would like to learn more.

We’ll keep working with Enable to find new ways to get digitally excluded ŌCHT tenants get connected. We’re grateful for Enable’s mahi and support, and for your support and understanding as we search for enduring solutions. Thank you for your interest in this project; we’ll keep you informed of our progress.

Published July 4, 2022

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The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust
61 Kilmore St,

Hours: 8.30 am-5.00 pm, Monday-Friday.

Postal: PO Box 53, Christchurch 8140

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