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Social Tariffs: Cheaper Broadband and Phone Packages

Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit, and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband.

They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages, just at a lower price. Amid rising living costs, Ofcom is encouraging companies to offer social tariffs to help customers on low incomes.

Take a look at the list of available tariffs

How a social tariff could help you:

  • It’s available to those on a variety of benefits. If you or someone in your household claims Universal Credit, you could switch to any of the tariffs available.
  • It’s cheaper than a regular package. Current prices range from £10 to £20.
  • Fast, unlimited broadband. Most tariffs offer superfast broadband at speeds over 30 Mbit/s – fast enough for you to keep in touch with friends and family, stream HD films or shop online.
  • You’ll pay next-to-nothing to get set up. If you do have to pay any setup costs, these should only be small. Your provider should tell you before you sign up.
  • It could cost nothing to switch. If your provider offers a social tariff, you can switch to it at any time, free of charge.
  • The price won’t go up mid-contract. You won’t pay any more than what you agree at the start of the contract.
  • It costs nothing to leave. You won’t pay a fee to leave the tariff before the end of your contract.

Some providers offer cheaper broadband packages that are only available to customers on certain benefits. BT and KCOM also provide cheaper voice-only landline tariffs to eligible households. Details of these are in the BT and KCOM links below.

Who could qualify

If you or someone in your household claims Universal Credit, you could switch to any of the tariffs available.

All major providers also include people on Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Income Support.

Some providers might include additional benefits, like Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance.

The person receiving the benefit needs to be the main person on the contract.

How to apply

First, check if your current provider offers a social tariff. The table below lists all of the tariffs available now. You can apply for most tariffs online, or call your provider and ask to switch.

If your provider doesn’t offer a social tariff, you can switch to one that does. Your provider might let you leave your current contract without paying a penalty fee. Read the Ofcom guide to switching broadband to find out more.

Full list of broadband and phone social tariffs

Package Price Average speed Where it’s available*
4th Utility Social Tariff £13.99 a month 30 Mbit/s England
BT Home Essentials £15 a month Around 36 Mbit/s UK
Community Fibre Essential £12.50 a month 20 Mbit/s England (London)
Connect Fibre Basic Essentials £20 per month 50 Mbps England (Cambridgeshire, Essex, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire)
Country Connect Social Tariff £15 a month 50 Mbit/s Wales (Newport)
EE Basics £12 a month Up to 25 Mbit/s UK
G.Network Essential Fibre Broadband £15 a month 50 Mbit/s England (London)
Grayshott Gigabit Connect £19 a month 100 Mbit/s England
Hey!Broadband Everyday Fibre £17 per month 100 Mbps England (South East England)
Hyperoptic Fair Fibre 50 £15 a month 50 Mbit/s England, Scotland, Wales
Hyperoptic Fair Fibre 150 £20 a month 150 Mbit/s England, Scotland, Wales
KCOM Full Fibre Flex £14.99 a month 30 Mbit/s England (Hull)
Lightning Fibre Social Tariff £15 a month 50 Mbit/s England (East Sussex and Kent)
Lothian Broadband Social Tariff £19.99 a month 100 Mbit/s Scotland (Lothian)
NOW Broadband Basics £20 a month 36 Mbit/s UK
RunFibre social tariff £20 a month 100 Mbps England (South Gloucestershire)
Shell Essentials Fast Broadband £15 a month 11 Mbps UK
Shell Essentials Fibre Broadband £20 a month 38 Mbps UK
Sky Broadband Basics £20 a month 36 Mbit/s UK
SMARTY Social Tariff £12 a month 5G where available UK
Truespeed Basic £20 a month 30 Mbps England (South West)
Virgin Media Essential Broadband £12.50 a month 15 Mbit/s UK
Virgin Media Essential Broadband Plus £20 a month 54 Mbit/s UK
Vodafone Essentials Broadband £12 per month 38 Mbit/s UK
VOXI For Now £10 a month 5G where available UK
Wildanet Helping Hand Social Tariff** £20 a month 30-100 Mbit/s England (Cornwall and Devon)
WightFibre Essential Broadband £16.50 a month 100 Mbit/s England (Isle of Wight)
YouFibre Social Tariff £15 a month 50 Mbps UK (various locations)

* Providers might not cover all premises in the regions listed. Check the provider’s website for more information about coverage, or use Ofcom’s broadband coverage checker.

** Wildanet’s tariff is only available to those who receive Universal Credit. They are considering including other benefits.

Other support might be available to customers who cannot get online. If you’re struggling to pay your mobile phone or broadband bill, speak to your provider as soon as possible to see how they can help.