Only 55,000 people have signed up for discount broadband deals. This is worrying, as 4.2 million people are eligible for them and last year, 2.5 million people were behind on their payments.
Now, Ofcom is pressuring providers to promote the availability of their broadband deals so as to boost sign-ups.
What discount broadband deals are available?
The social tariffs are aimed at low-income households, so customers need to be getting means-tested benefits to qualify. Means-tested benefits include Employment Support Allowance (ESA), the guaranteed credit element of Pension Credit and Universal Credit (UC).
Customers can get 10Mbps – 67Mbps deals for £10 – £20 a month. This can result in a saving of up to £144.
More discount broadband deals to come
Ofcom has successfully pushed Sky to offer a new deal for low-income households. We’re hoping that more will follow with increasing pressure.
To boost sign-ups, the regulator is encouraging providers to do more advertising of the deals. This will be a good change as social tariffs can be hard to find on some websites.
The introduction of social tariffs could be game-changing for many who suffer from digital poverty. However, it’s only one piece of the puzzle.
Why is it important to have access to affordable and reliable internet?
Our research shows that digital poverty makes life harder for many people. We found that what many consider to be simple tasks, can be time-consuming and expensive for others.
Poor internet connections, a lack of digital skills and unaffordable digital tools cause digital poverty.
Improving people’s finances is one way of closing the digital gap. However, we also need to improve people’s digital skills and our digital infrastructure.
Need help with money issues?
We’re seeing clients using credit and store cards to deal with increasing prices. As a result, people can end up with bigger debt problems and this is a worry.
If you are worried about not being able to afford to pay your bills, you should see advice quickly.