Internet access has never been more important.
We use our online connections for streaming the latest seasons of our favourite shows, catching up with loved ones over social media, and even working from home! However, just because a good broadband connection is a must-have in the modern world doesn’t mean it should cost you a fortune.
Just like your gas and electricity, your broadband is another crucial utility you can easily end up paying too much for if you don’t devote enough time to finding the right deals.
If you’re on a low income or receiving benefits, you could even be missing out on around £144 in savings just by failing to take advantage of the biggest deals available right now.
Even if you don’t get extra benefits to help with the bills, you can still save a small fortune by shopping around at the end of your contract.
Here’s what you need to know about saving cash on your internet connection.
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Broadband Packages for Homeowners on Benefits
The first thing you should know is being on benefits or having a low income doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have a great broadband connection. As the internet becomes an increasingly essential part of our everyday lives, providers are starting to offer “broadband benefits” packages to help.
These deals are basically ultra-affordable connectivity packages designed to ensure you can still stream Netflix and check Facebook if you don’t have a high monthly income. The good news is these packages use the same services as any other broadband deal, and come with the same level of customer service as a full-fat broadband package, so you shouldn’t have to wait longer for support just because you’re paying less.
However, you may have to compromise in a few areas. For instance, some broadband packages have:
- Reduced data caps: You may not be able to download or upload as much content.
- No or limited inclusive calls: You won’t always get calls included in your plans.
- Slower speeds: You might struggle with some activities that benefit from quicker speeds.
It’s worth checking the terms and conditions of all the available broadband deals in your area before you sign up, to ensure you’re getting the right service. Sometimes, regular contracts can still be a lot cheaper than what you currently pay, and still be better suited to your needs.
Who is Eligible for Low-Income Broadband Packages?
Your eligibility will depend on a number of factors, depending on who you apply with. For instance, to get the BT Home Essentials package (£15 per month for 36MB of broadband and 700 minutes of calls), you need to be on Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Pensions Credit, Income Support, or Income-based Jobseeker’s allowance.
On the other hand, Hyperoptic Fair Fibre (which gives you 50MB of broadband for £8), is available to people with all the benefits mentioned above, as well as those on housing benefits, Personal Independence Payments, and Care leavers support.
You can check the eligibility requirements for each plan on the website of the vendor in most cases, or you can always contact the company to learn more if you’re not sure.
It’s also worth checking in advance what happens if you stop receiving a benefit. You don’t want to end up being switched onto a more costly plan automatically.
Which Broadband Providers Offer Deals?
Now that getting online is an essential part of life for most of us, more broadband providers are getting involved and offering up better deals for those with a lower income. Unfortunately, not every provider offers one of the deals yet, but you can explore options like:
- TalkTalk: 6 months of free broadband (fibre optic) for people on Jobseeker Allowance.
- Virgin Media Essential: 15MB broadband for £15 per month for people on Universal Credit.
- Hyperoptic Fair Fibre: £7 for 50MB or £15 for the 150MB plan.
- BT Home Essentials: £15 per month for 36MB of broadband and 700 calling minutes.
Keep in mind, that while these deals can seem ideal for people low on cash at first, they won’t always be the best offer for your needs. It’s still worth checking out what you can get on a standard broadband package from one of your local providers, as some regular deals end up giving you better value.
Loyalty never pays with your Broadband and Mobile Contract
A leading survey by Which!, showed 71% of the respondent stayed with their ISP (Internet Service Provider) for over three years. Most providers offer the best discounts for 12-18-month contracts on Broadband, meaning after that period the prices shoot up. f you are out of contract you are very likely being charged more. Take a look at our best Broadband deals and make sure you are getting those savings. Check out our Broadband comparison page for the latest deals in the market.
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