Broadband providers in the UK have agreed to lift all data usage caps during the coronavirus pandemic.
Statements have been made by the UK’s major broadband providers, alongside the government and the industry regulator Ofcom, declaring their shared support for and commitment to helping vulnerable customers during the crisis.
Several new measures have been agreed upon, including removing data caps on all broadband contracts. While most broadband deals these days offer unlimited data usage, some cheap packages aimed at vulnerable customers still have limits. Customers on some old contracts with fair usage policies will also benefit.
Other measures taken to ensure support for customers during the Covid-19 crisis include a commitment to working with customers who are struggling to pay their bills, making sure they are fully supported and treated fairly.
They have also promised to ensure that vulnerable or self-isolating customers receive alternative methods of communication should their broadband connection be cut off and repairs can’t be carried out.
Providers have also agreed to offer new, cheap mobile and landline deals to ensure everyone can stay connected. Some of these deals include cheap data boosts and free calls.
“It’s fantastic to see mobile and broadband providers pulling together to do their bit for the national effort by helping customers, particularly the most vulnerable, who may be struggling with bills at this difficult time,” said the Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden.
“It is essential that people stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. This package helps people to stay connected whilst they stay at home. “
Melanie Dawes, chief executive of Ofcom, said: “We recognise providers are dealing with unprecedented challenges at the moment. So we welcome them stepping up to protect vulnerable customers, at a time when keeping in touch with our friends and families has never been more important.”
Marc Allera, chief executive of BT’s consumer division, said: “The service and connectivity that BT provides are more critical today than they every have been in our lifetime. During this national and global crisis, our priorities are the safety of our colleagues and ensuring that our customers, particularly those that are vulnerable, stay connected.”
Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said: “With connections to more than 24 million customer premises across the UK, we know our network is critical. We’ll do everything we can to keep people connected while prioritising our support for critical public services, vulnerable customers and those without a working line.
“Thankfully a large amount of the work we do – including fixing faults, adding capacity and building faster, more reliable full fibre networks – can be completed outside, so you’ll still see Openreach engineers working to maintain service across the UK.”
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