Today, not having access to digital technology, for whatever reason, can quickly lead to a form of social exclusion. As an operator, we take our responsibilities seriously, and are therefore committed to reducing inequalities related to accessing or using digital equipment and services while promoting connectivity, inclusion and skills development. We believe this approach is fundamental to progress by helping everyone to enjoy equal opportunities.
Of the 4 billion people in the world unable to access the internet, 3.2 billion live in areas with network coverage but are unable to connect because they lack the resources or know-how.
Digital equality: a major global, social challenge
This is the focus of the Opinion Way study on digital habits, which summarized its findings in the 2021 Observatory of Digital Uses.
Ensuring coverage for all
To give everyone equal access to technology, we’re focused on improving our network coverage. The cables that crisscross the ocean floor connect countries, cities, neighbourhoods and communities, and enable us to communicate, trade, keep in touch and work wherever we are. We’re committed to maintaining and improving existing networks and deploying new ones in all regions and territories, enabling connectivity and supporting development for all as part of a global and collective challenge.
Providing inclusive offers and affordable devices
In order to ensure our technology is as inclusive as possible, and to leave no one behind, we’re committed to providing a specific offer for disadvantaged communities in each of our European countries by 2025. We’re also continuing to offer increasingly affordable smartphones to facilitate internet use in Africa and the Middle East.
Helping people develop their digital skills
We believe digital technology is a key driver for promoting equal opportunities and therefore design and run various educational programmes to encourage economic and social integration. Since 2014, the Orange Foundation has been supporting disadvantaged or vulnerable communities through a range of dedicated initiatives.
We’re also opening Orange Digital Centers in all of our operating countries. These are launchpads for new ideas that are free, open to all and designed to host an extensive range of programmes, from digital literacy training for young people to start-up accelerators, all in one location.