HOUSEHOLDS are facing price hikes in everything from food to energy costs – and broadband bills aren’t getting off lightly either.
Additionally, many other broadband providers are also increasing their prices, including BT.
But many people may not realize that they could benefit from cheaper rates, especially if they are on benefits or if they receive Universal Credit.
Many providers offer discounted packages, sometimes referred to as “social tariffs”.
Although it is estimated that up to 4.2 million households could be eligible for these offers, the regular Ofcom says that only around 55,000 households have taken advantage of the offers.
If you qualify for social tariffs, this could save you up to £144 a year, as they are often considerably cheaper than standard offers.
To help households reduce the cost of their broadband, we’ve rounded up the cheapest rates you might be eligible for right now.
Vodafone has widened eligibility for its social tariff for Voxi customers amid the cost of living crisis today.
Voxi, part of Vodafone, is offering its half a million customers unlimited 5G data, calls and texts for £10 a month for up to six months if they receive certain benefits.
You typically pay £35 for these Sim-only services at full price, meaning you could save £25 a month – or £150 over the full six months.
Anyone on the Voxi for Now pricing will not need to sign up for a contract, and they can suspend or cancel the plan at any time.
There’s also no credit check and you’ll need to prove you have benefits when you sign up.
The new £20 a month offer is called Sky Broadband Basics and will be for existing Sky customers who have Universal Credit or Pension Credit.
The new tariff will offer 36Mbs broadband for 18 months, and it usually costs £25 a month – so you can save £90 over this period.
If you need to cancel the contract at any time, you will not be charged a departure fee.
At the end of the 18 months, you will revert to the standard rate at the time, but you will be told in advance how much it costs.
The same offer is available if you have Now TV, which is part of Sky.
Usually broadband costs £25 a month, so you can save £5 a month, or £60 over a year if you have Universal Credit or Pension Credit.
Now TV’s broadband offer is paid monthly and you’ll need to give at least 31 days’ notice if you want to leave, but there’s no termination fee.
For both tariffs, you will have to prove that you benefit from these advantages.
Meanwhile, BT, Community Fibre, G.Network, Hyperoptic, KCOM and Virgin Media O2 are also offering broadband deals at discounted rates to households struggling to afford internet.
These plans cost between £10 and £20 per month for broadband speeds ranging from 10Mbps to 67Mbps.
You will need to receive Universal Credit or other qualifying benefits to qualify for these discounted offers.
BT launched a Home Essentials rate last summer costing £15 a month for broadband and phone to help recipients.
It offers eligible customers average download speeds of 36Mbps and 700 minutes of calls, saving £240 a year compared to an equivalent plan.
Community Fiber is another discounted plan on the market for £10 a month, but will only offer 10Mbps speed.
It is also only available for London customers.
The package comes with a one-year contract, but after one year customers can choose to continue with the service at the same price, switch to a standard rate, or cancel the service.
London-based G.Network offers a full fiber optic broadband rate for low-income households in the city.
For £15 a month, customers will get 50Mbps download speed and 15Mbps upload on a one-year contract.
Hyperoptic launched its social rate last year offering discounted rates on its 50Mbps and 150Mbps monthly plans.
Its 50Mbps broadband-only service costs £15 a month, up from £22. It will cost eligible customers £18 per month to include phone service in the package, which was originally £25.
There will be no setup fees and the package will come with a free router.
KCOM’s Full Fiber Flex costs £19.99 per month and comes with a download speed of 30Mbps.
It also includes 20 local calls and 60 minutes of calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers.
Virgin Media offers a broadband-only plan with average speeds of 15Mbps for £15 a month.
It promises no price increases as long as customers remain eligible.
Eligibility criteria are stricter and customers must be the designated Universal Credit recipient – no other benefits are mentioned.
Find out more about broadband costs – we’ll explain a simple check that could save you £200 a year on your internet bills.
Plus, here’s how you can upgrade to mid-contract broadband at no cost as a provider.
Meanwhile, we’re rounding up a full list of this week’s benefits – including Universal Credit and Child Benefit.
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