UK broadband networks agree to cost-of-living measures

The UK’s largest broadband and mobile operators will allow customers struggling to pay their bills to move to cheaper packages without charge under new measures announced by the government.

British telecoms companies - including BT Group; Openreach, Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, Three, TalkTalk and Sky - will also agree manageable payment plans with consumers and identify options to improve existing low cost offers, as well as promotion of existing deals.

The move, which aims to address the impact of high inflation on vulnerable UK consumers, comes after bosses at the networks signed up to the pledges at an event chaired by digital secretary Nadine Dorries.

“Families across the country face increased anxiety about keeping up with bills, so today I agreed with broadband and mobile industry bosses what more can be done to support people during this difficult time,” said Dorries. “I’m pleased to report the industry is listening and has signed up to new commitments offering customers struggling with the cost of living help to stay connected.

"Those who need support should contact their supplier to see what is available.”

The new commitments, which take effect immediately, are:

• All providers commit to supporting their customers who may be struggling with the cost-of-living and to treat them with compassion, understanding and as individuals;

• All providers commit to supporting customers struggling with their bills and to offer ways to keep them connected, such as allowing them to move to cheaper packages without charge or penalty, or agreeing manageable payment plans;

• All operators commit to continue to protect the connectivity of their customers known to be vulnerable as a priority;

• Providers - supported by government - commit to take steps to raise awareness of low cost products to those claiming Universal Credit;

• Mobile providers commit to considering more ways to help their customers, including exploring tariffs, options to improve existing low cost offers, and increasing promotion of existing deals.

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