BT to offer half-price broadband to people on benefits

BT has announced plans to offer fibre broadband and call packages at less than half price to any UK household receiving government benefits.

More than four million households will be eligible for the newly-unveiled BT Home Essentials package, which will officially launch in June.

Households that receive Universal Credit, the guarantee credit element of Pension Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, or Employment and Support Allowance will all be eligible for the Home Essentials package.

The package costs £15 a month and provides fibre broadband with a speed of 36 megabits per second (Mbps), as well as 700 minutes of landline phone calls. BT customers would normally pay £27.99 per month for the same package plus an extra £7 for calls, with those eligible for the Home Essentials package expected to save up to £240 a year as a result.

A slightly more expensive package is also available for those that qualify, offering faster speeds of 67 Mbps and unlimited calls for £20 a month. This is opposed to the usual £32.99 package and £15 for unlimited calls. This adds up to savings of £336 a year.

Fibre broadband is a type of high-speed broadband that uses fibre optic cables, which transmit data more quickly than copper cables. Comparison site Uswitch estimates the average fibre package in the UK costs about £25 a month.

The move comes in response to BT research which found that a third of Brits feel more financially vulnerable since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Furthermore, it found that a majority of Brits feel as though broadband connectivity is essential to managing their household finances.

Matt Warman, BT’s Digital Infrastructure Minister, said: “In today’s digital world, everyone should be able to access fast, reliable and affordable internet, so I’m thrilled that BT is the latest provider to launch new deals for low income households.

“We have been working with internet providers to offer affordable broadband tariffs for those struggling with bills to help the UK build back fairer from the pandemic. I hope to see others taking similar action soon.”

Remember...

If you’re not eligible for BT’s Home Essentials deal and you haven’t reviewed your broadband package for a while, it’s worth seeing if you might be able to find a cheaper deal elsewhere.

Before you start looking for a new broadband deal, check your existing contract to see if you are out of your initial contract period, or whether you will have to pay an early cancellation fee to leave your current deal. If there is a charge, make a note in your diary of when you’ll be out of contract and consider switching at this point.

You can compare broadband deals quickly and easily using this free broadband comparison service. All you need to do is enter your postcode, and your current provider and the service will come up with the deals available to you. You can narrow down your options by specifying your budget, the speed you’re looking for, how much data you need, and how long you want your contract to be. You can find out more about switching broadband providers in our guide How to find the best broadband deal.

Do you qualify for BT’s new Home Essentials package or have your recently switched providers to save money?? We’d love to hear from you. You can join the money conversation on the Rest Less community or leave a comment below.

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