Empowering the Freelance Economy

How can you get cheaper or social tariff broadband?

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BT’s decision to impose an above-inflation broadband price rise next spring will add more than £50 to the average household bill, according to Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com. Broadband is a lifeline for most freelancers, so it isn’t a luxury they can easily give up. Well, unless they work out of a cafe or anywhere else they can jump onto free WiFi until the Cost of Living Crisis passes. What are your cheaper broadband deal options?

Uswitch said that millions of broadband, mobile and TV customers will have this year’s price rises fresh in their minds, but they are already hearing details about next year’s increases. 

“News that BT is to go ahead with next year’s hikes despite the cost-of-living crisis, will come as a bitter blow to customers coping with other financial challenges.

“This early indication does at least give consumers time to prepare for potentially double-digit price rises in advance. If you are renewing your contract within the next year, it is worth bearing in mind that you will be facing a hefty increase when it comes into effect.

Will you be pensliased for switching broadband provider?

Doku said under the current legislation, customers cannot avoid mid-contract rises that are written into their contracts without facing a penalty charge.

“Providers often tie annual price rises to inflation in December or January, but this is tough to predict and cannot give customers signing up for a new contract an accurate estimate of the impact these rises will have.

Ofcom has so far allowed these inflation-linked rises, provided they are explained to customers clearly at the start of the contract. Yet at a time when inflation is only going up, it seems as though more could be done to aid consumers in unprecedented times.

“Last month’s coordinated plan between the government and leading telecom providers was a positive and proactive move by the industry to help those grappling with the cost-of-living crisis – however, it’s time the regulator got on the front foot and removed inflation from customer bill calculations,” said Doku. 

How can you save money on your broadband bill?

But some freelancers may be eligible for lower-cost broadband, so it’s worth asking your provider how they can apply for social tariffs offered by the government. But still, those who are not eligible would be wise to shop around now for a better deal and calculate any penalty charges if they switch.

Broadband customers can save money by ensuring that they are only paying for the speeds that they need. By moving over to a cheaper ‘superfast’ deal, you can still find reliable packages at excellent value for money.

One of the most affordable is NOW Broadband’s 12-month 63Mbps superfast offer, available for £20 a month plus a £5 set-up fee*.

The most vulnerable, including those claiming Universal Credit or other government benefits may be eligible for low-cost broadband social tariffs offered by some providers. While the speeds you receive may be basic, they will still give access to a decent broadband experience at a significantly lower price.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com

“We sincerely hope for reassurance from BT that people on its Home Essentials social tariff will be protected from these price rises and ensure these packages are kept affordable to those that desperately need them,” said Doku.

Check out these broadband deals
*Uswitch: NOW Broadband: Super Fibre

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