The 50-Plus Databank

Free internet connectivity for eligible older people

Updated 25 October 2022

The National Databank scheme will supply us with free SIM cards with mobile data for eligible recipients, up to one year. In their own words …

The National Databank provides free mobile data, texts and calls to people in need … Think of it like a food bank but for internet connectivity data.

Our databank for people aged 50 or better

Are you eligible for a free mobile data plan?

You should be living on a low income, eg: receiving a means-tested benefit (Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit, Universal Credit) — and you need mobile data for internet connection — and you meet at least one of the following criteria …

  • You have no access or insufficient access to the internet at home,
  • you have no or insufficient access to the internet when away from
  • you cannot afford your existing monthly contract or top up.

You will need a phone that you already know how to use, or that you are learning to use on a course for older beginners.

Your phone should be unlocked (or compatible with the databank SIM card).

The free mobile data plans

O2 data

  • A plan with 20 GB mobile data, plus unlimited calls and text messages.
  • The plan will refresh when you respond to a monthly text message.
  • The plan will expire after six months, but can be renewed for a further six months if you need it.

Three data

  • A plan with 24 GB mobile data, plus unlimited calls and text messages.
  • The 24 GB data is a total – it does not refresh monthly.

How does it work in practice?

If you are eligible …

  • A staff member or authorised volunteer will put the SIM card in your phone.
  • After you have signed for the SIM card, we will register it with the national databank and then activate it.

Our primary base will be the Wednesday afternoon drop-in at Mildmay Community Centre, but we think we can arrange to meet databank recipients at other places in this area of London.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I keep my existing phone number?
  2. May I refer a friend?
    • Yes, of course.
  3. I have a long-term contract that I cannot afford. Am I eligible?
    • Not while you still have the long-term contract. Please check the termination fee before you consider cancellation.
    • However, O2 have indicated that they will consider individual cases where an O2 contract might be replaced by a databank O2 plan. We would contact O2 on your behalf.

What next?

If you think you are eligible or you need more information, contact us by email or phone …

… or (best) come to the next Wednesday afternoon drop-in at Mildmay Community Centre — details on page