Openreach scraps connection fees for those on Universal Credit

The decision could help a million households save up to £92 each. 

Openreach has announced that they’re to axe all broadband connection fees for those who receive Universal Credit.

Households will be eligible for this exemption as long as they have no other source of income and have not been connected to the Openreach network within the last 90 days. 

The network operator has said that around one million people stand to save up to £92 depending on how broadband providers choose to pass on these savings. 

They’ve suggested that firms could make broadband packages cheaper upfront or reduce the cost of the entire contract. 

UK charity The Good Things Foundation, which aims to help make the internet and digital technology more accessible, has applauded Openreach’s decision telling The BBC:

"Access to data is a lifeline. Public services like universal credit are already online, and the pandemic has meant more of us are managing our health online through contacting GPs via video call, or making use of the NHS apps."

A report from industry regulator Ofcom published in July revealed that two million UK households struggle to afford access to the internet. 
 
Although it did highlight that certain providers have begun to offer more affordable packages for those on benefits and improved their existing ones, take up hasn’t yet been that widespread. 
 
If this situation doesn’t improve, the report suggests that “mandatory social tariffs” may be introduced to help those requiring financial support. 
 
Source: BBC News

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