More and more of us need to have access to broadband and/or data at home, and at Citizens Advice we believe this is an essential like gas, electricity and water and not a luxury.
Below is information on various ways of reducing the costs of broadband and/or data but feel free to contact Citizens Advice Reading if you would like some support with this.
There are many packages around that could be cheaper than what you are currently paying.
Ofcom, the regulating body, has accredited some price comparison sites and also has information on ways to save money on broadband, mobile data, and other communication services, like your TV package. Have a look here and click on Are you looking for a new phone, broadband or TV deal?
Mobile phone contracts and the loyalty penalty
Ofcom believe 1.4 million people are paying the mobile phone loyalty penalty because they were on ‘bundled’ contracts (ones that include airtime and handset) that have ended, but the consumer is still paying the same amount each month. If you think this might be you, contact your provider and check whether you are out of contract or not. If you are, shop around for a new deal and save money.
If you receive certain benefits, you may be eligible for one of the discounted packages that are available. Please note that these may not be the cheapest or most appropriate for you, so always consider shopping around first.
If you are a BT customer, claiming certain benefits, you could qualify for their Home Essentials package. You need to be claiming one of:
- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
- Pensions Credit (Guaranteed Credit)
- Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
- Universal Credit
The deal offers either phone only for £10 per month or with broadband for £15 per month. This gives you unlimited data. Eligibility is given for one year at a time, and checked every 12 months.
If you are with Virgin Media and claim Universal Credit you may qualify for their Essential Broadband package. This offers broadband only for £15 per month, with speed restrictions of 15Mpbs download and 2Mbps upload attached. Please note that if you receive a TV package through Virgin Media and apply for this discounted broadband, you will lose your TV package.