Social Tariffs - Access To All

In Jan 2020, UK was seen as one of the cheapest internet providers in Western Europe (5th out of 29 countries). However, it also had the reputation of being the worst in terms of value owing to lack of speed.  This is mainly due to the UK still being heavily reliant on copper infrastructure.

UK Pricing Analysis

  • On average the monthly cost is £30.30 – dependent on location, usage and provider.  
  • London is seen as the cheapest at £0.62 per Megabits per second (MBPS) followed by the North East at £0.78
  • The most expensive area is the south west at £0.93 per MBPS with Yorkshire coming in second at £0.89 

BT is launching a new fibre tariff within the next month for eligible benefit claimants to help ensure that everyone can access the opportunities provided by reliable internet connection.

This new social tariff “BT Home Essentials’ will be priced at £15/month which could save a user around £180 a year compared to the average price. 

The package will be available to all those on Universal Credit and also other means-tested benefits (Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, Job seeker allowance, Income support to name a few). 

Virgin Media already offers a £15 package for those on Universal Credit but at half the speed offered by BT (15MBps rather than 36 MBps) 

Approximately 80% of financially vulnerable people rely on the internet to help them manage their accounts. Research suggests that without connectivity approximately three quarters of UK residence will struggle to improve their financial situation let alone use new forward thinking methods of everyday life that have come in through the lock downs (booking doctor consultations, ordering food online, zoom calls with family).  Obviously this only works for areas where fibre is currently getting to but that is another issue entirely!

Interestingly, when asked – three times more people state that they would rather go without public transport than not have access the internet which surely shows how important this tariff and the fibre rollout is in 2021