In mid-March 2007, the city of Sunderland, England, won the "Digital Challenge" -a nationwide UK competition that rewards municipalities for technological innovation. As the winner, the Sunderland City Council will receive £3.5 million (approximately US$6.8 million), which will be used to digitally enable the community and bridge its digital divide. Among other things, the council will provide an e-mentoring program for at-risk youths, ages 11 to 14.  

In December 2006, a Sunderland primary school, for children ages 5 to 11, had linked up with Garfield Elementary School in sister city Washington, D.C., as the British ambassador and Sunderland officials were visiting the district.

For one hour, both schools used FlashMeeting, a Web-based conferencing tool that's part of the city of Sunderland's Digital Challenge bid.