Orange Polska has been actively involved in expanding broadband networks using EU funds. Together with local governments we have built backbone networks in the Lubuskie and Pomeranian Regions, as well as in eastern Poland. The implementation of these projects has been accompanied by informational and educational campaigns on the opportunities offered by the new network.
Universal and easy access to the Internet contributes to equal opportunities and activates the potential of various social groups. New technologies provide an opportunity for improving the quality of life of people with disabilities. In the fixed line segment, we offer a 50% access fee discount (on selected tariff plans) and a 50% terminal connection fee discount to disabled customers.
We strive to make our services accessible to all. Among our sales outlets we have selected over 150, which we have additionally adapted to the needs of customers with disabilities. We have at least one such outlet in each district town with Orange stores.
For over two years we have co-operated with ‘The Visible’ Foundation in enhancing the accessibility of our website for people with disabilities and promoting the concept of accessibility in Poland. With our support, the Foundation has developed the first manual in Poland for website design according to the WCAG 2.0 standard, 'Handbook of Best Practices'.
One of the challenges of digital inclusion is to encourage senior citizens to use new technologies. The Orange Foundation has developed educational materials and held training courses for the elderly people on how to use a computer and the Internet. In addition, it has been encouraging seniors to use the Internet through a series of virtual on-line interviews, ‘Meetings with Passions’.
Combating digital exclusion means mainly eliminating social barriers that restrict access to knowledge, culture and education gained through modern forms of communications. The Orange Foundation focuses on children and youth. Through creative initiatives, it has been encouraging young people to gain knowledge, participate in culture and build communities using the Internet and new technologies; in the process, they build their e-competence and awareness of Internet dangers.
In the ‘Education with the Internet’ programme, Orange Polska has been offering broadband Internet access to Polish schools on preferential terms. At present, a total of 10,000 schools, serving over 4 million students, are registered in the programme. Owing to the Company, more than 3,500 libraries have been provided with free Internet access and support in implementing digital education projects in the ‘Orange for Libraries’ programme.
In 76 small towns we have developed multimedia Orange Studios in order to facilitate access to information, knowledge and technology among local communities. They are open to everybody, not only as a place for developing e-competence, but also as a meeting space for projects that integrate local communities.
In the ‘Orange Academy’ cultural education programme, the Orange Foundation has supported the implementation of 46 projects, involving about 5,000 children and teenagers all over Poland, who have been gaining e-competence by using new media in cultural initiatives. In 2014, the Company launched a new programme for local communities, ‘Orange Sports Clubs’, focusing on the sports activity of children and youth. In 2015, a hundred of such local clubs are to be established and provided with sports equipment and educational and technological support.