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BT and Virgin Media rival hands out free broadband for a year – are you eligible?


Most of the UK’s biggest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – including BT, Sky and Virgin Media – already offer cheaper so-called Social Tariffs for those on benefits such as Universal Credit. These plans start from around £15 per month and are aimed at keeping families who might be struggling financially connected to the web.

Now one ISP is taking things a step further by offering some UK residents the option to get Internet access for a whole year entirely free. Community Fibre, which supplies the web to homes across London says it has come together with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Jobcentre Plus to provide free access to full fibre broadband to eligible consumers struggling to get online.

Community Fibre has confirmed that the offer – which includes 50Mbps downloads – is open to DWP customers who are disabled, carers or have been in receipt of benefits for more than three months.

“I am thrilled by how working with Community Fibre, DWP are able to give so many Londoners free, high speed internet for the next year,” said DWP Minister of State Mims Davies.

“Whether it’s interviewing for a job or accessing vital services, decent internet is necessary for all of us to get on with day to day lives. If you’re interested and think you might be eligible for this key support, speak to your local Jobcentre today.

“This comes on top of our unprecedented £108b support package, which has prevented 1.3 million people falling into absolute poverty reflecting our commitment to help the British people through challenging times”.

For those eligible, it’s clearly a good incentive but even if you can’t take advantage of the offer don’t forget to check Social Tarrifs offered by other ISPs.

Here’s a full list of suppliers and how much they charge.

• Vodafone social broadband tariff • £12 a month – 38Mbps speeds

• BT Home Essentials • £15 a month – 36Mbps speeds

• Virgin Media Essentials • £12.50 a month – 15Mbps speeds

• Sky Basics • £20 a month – 36Mbps speeds

• NOW Basics • £20 a month – 36Mbps speeds

• Hyperoptic Fair Fibre • £15 a month – 50Mbps speeds

Speaking about its new offering, Graeme Oxby, Chief Executive Officer of Community Fibre, said: “Our research has shown that two-thirds (69%) of Londoners view broadband in the same way they view their gas, water, and electricity services. To apply for new jobs, contact a GP or access government services, a reliable internet connection is key, and we’re proud to be working alongside the DWP and Jobcentre Plus to bring fibre broadband to those who need it most.”

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