Social Tariffs for Broadband
Regulator, Ofcom, has urged all broadband firms to support low-income homes by offering discounted packages known as "social tariffs".
Ofcom has found that only 55,000 out of 4.2 million homes in receipt of Universal Credit are using discounted rates. This means households on benefits are missing out on an average yearly broadband saving of £144 each.
Social tariffs can provide a safety net for eligible Kent households who might be struggling to afford their broadband or phone services. Below is a list of providers offering social tariffs to Kent households and the eligibility requirements (correct at time of publish):
|Provider||Package Offering||Customer Requirements||Speed||Price||Who is eligible?||Links to how to apply|
|TalkTalk||TalkTalk (No Line) - Six Months Free||New and existing customers||38Mb||Free for 6 months||Jobseekers on universal credit who don't have an internet connection.||Apply via Job Centre|
|BT||BT Home Essentials Broadband and Line||New and existing customers||36Mb||£15 per month (£9.99 upfront)||To qualify, you need to be receiving one of the following: universal credit, employment and support allowance, pension credit (guarantee credit element), income support or jobseeker's allowance.||Apply via BT Website|
|BT||BT Home Essentials Broadband and Line||New and existing customers||67Mb||£20 per month (£9.99 upfront)||To qualify, you need to be receiving one of the following: universal credit, employment and support allowance, pension credit (guarantee credit element), income support or jobseeker's allowance.||Apply via BT Website|
|Virgin Media||Virgin Media Essential Broadband (no line)||New and existing customers||15Mb||£15 per month||To qualify, you need to be receiving universal credit and living in an area Virgin covers (52% of the country).||Apply via Virgin Media|
Voice-only Landline Services
For voice-only landline services, BT also provide social tariffs to eligible households – details of these are included in the BT links above.
In addition to these tariffs, other support might be available to customers who might not be able to get online because they struggle to afford internet services. If you’re struggling to pay your mobile phone or broadband bill, you should speak to your provider as soon as possible to see how they can help.
Alternative Broadband Providers
Ofcom has said it’s wanting more companies to offer help to low-income households and to make it clearer how people can switch to cheaper deals. This came after the evidence suggested that 84% of people receiving benefits were unaware of the social tariff packages.
Ofcom said it was now "calling on all other broadband firms to support struggling households by introducing their own social tariffs". Ofcom also stated, “We also want to see all companies promote these deals more widely, and make sure it's swift and simple for customers to sign up".
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