Data and devices

Data and devices

Data and devices

Free data and help with ISP social tariffs 

Free data 

The Digital, Employment and Skills team, in partnership with Bolton Library and Museum Services can now provide free 20GB SIM cards to eligible residents.

The National Databank allows organisations and charity groups to distribute free SIMs to ensure those who need it have access to the opportunities digital access brings.  The Bolton Digital, Employment and Skills team can provide eligible residents with a free data SIM for their phone for up to 6 months initially. The data available is donated by Virgin Media- O2, Three and Vodafone.

To be eligible to receive data from the National Databank, individuals must: 

  • Be 18+ years old and be from a low-income household 
  • And qualify in one or several of the following statements: 
    • Has no access or insufficient access to the internet at home
    • AND/OR has no or insufficient access to the internet when away from the home 
    • AND/OR cannot afford your existing monthly contract or top up

Download the National Databank leaflet 

From March 2024, If you would like to refer someone you are supporting for free data please signpost them to one of our Tea and t'internet Digital Drop ins at libraries accross Bolton. Visit the Digital Drop Ins page to find out more.

We also have a supply of basic feature phones for people who are struggling with the cost of a device and dongles to enable internet access for a laptop or SIM enabled device. If you would like to refer someone for a device, please complete a device referral form or email


Help with Internet Service Provider social tariffs

Many internet providers have social tariffs for those who need to access low cost contracts. They don't promote these widely but there's a handy guide to help you navigate the avialble offers. Download the document below to view the latest deals.

Broadband social value tariffs 


Digital skills help

The DES team can provide free digital skills support in our libraries. It’s also a great opportunity for people to find out about further skills opportunities in Bolton.

The team will liaise with either a keyworker or directly with an individual to arrange a one to one with a Digital Helper

Appointments are available between 9.30am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. There is some Saturday availability.

To find out more call 01204 332731 or email


Accessing digital devices 

The Digital, Employment and Skills team with Bolton Library and Musuem Services, can provide tablet and laptop loans for individuals and groups that you work with. Visit the Digital Lending Library page to find out more.

If you are working with someone who would like to purchase their own device at a low cost, Recycle-IT! Bolton can provide refurbished laptops and desktop computers at affordable prices. Please contact a member of the DES team for help: email


Recycle IT

Recycle IT is a Social Enterprise that provides the reusable equipment back to the community. 

The organisation recycle and refurbish donated IT equipment, providing low-cost computers to the community and work skills to the long-term unemployed, whilst also reducing the amount of e-waste going to landfills and ensuring all hazardous materials are disposed of properly.

Recycle IT provide fully refurbished and licensed devices back into the community at low cost and work closely with local organisations to support individuals/families in using their devices.

They also work with Digital Champions and volunteers, and invite the local community to help develop and take part in its journey and growth.

To contact Recycle IT email:


Partner information