BT has announced the introduction of BT Home Essentials in June, a social tariff that will provide low-income customers with accessible fibre broadband and telephone services.
The latest low-cost tariff comes as BT research indicates that nearly three-quarters (74%) of Brits will struggle to boost their financial situation without connectivity, and the majority (79%) of financially disadvantaged people depend on broadband connectivity to handle household finances.
BT Home Essentials is available exclusively to those on Universal Credit and a number of other means-tested benefits. It meets the needs of the modern home and offers future-proof fibre connectivity at a time when online services are more valuable than ever.
Virgin broadband has also launched a similar low-cost tariff, but it is not available in all areas of the UK due to accessibility problems.
According to a BT report, three times as many people (67%) claim they couldn’t live without broadband as say they couldn’t live without public transportation (20%).
BT Home Essentials is a distinct and enhanced social tariff from BT’s initial edition, BT Basic, which launched in 2008. For £15 a month, Home Essentials offers an average of 36 Mbps download speeds and 700 minutes of calling, about half the price of a regular fibre and calling kit.
Alternatively, qualifying customers can choose to pay £20 a month for average speeds of 67 Mbps and unlimited calls. The cheapest basic BT broadband package costs £32.99 a month, plus £15 for our unlimited calls plan – this ensures that BT Home Essentials customers opting for the £20 deal will save over £330 a year.
Marc Allera, CEO, BT’s Consumer division, said, “Fast, reliable connectivity has never been as important as it is today, with millions of people relying upon our networks to get back on their feet after the pandemic.
“We want to help as many people as we can, which is why at the end of June we’ll be launching BT Home Essentials, increasing the eligibility of our social tariff to include all customers on Universal Credit.
“BT Home Essentials will be available at half the price of our standard fibre package, helping a potential four million households on low income save on bills and stay connected to vital online services.”
Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman, 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.”