Millions Forced to Cancel Broadband Contracts Due to High Costs

Citizens Advice Survey Highlights People having to cancel broadband contracts

A survey by Citizens Advice found that high living costs forced a million people to cancel their broadband contracts last year. The group says cheaper packages, called social tariffs, could help those struggling to afford their monthly broadband bill.

1 in 3 households struggles to pay for digital communications

According to Ofcom, one in three UK households struggle to pay for digital communication services. People receiving universal credit and other benefits are more likely to stop spending on broadband. They’re also more likely to fall behind on their broadband bills.

National ISP’s are not doing enough to help families

The government says it’s been working with the industry to create more affordable options starting at £10 per month. They’ve also made it easier for people on benefits to sign up for social tariff deals, and big companies like Sky and Virgin Media have promised to do more to promote these discounted packages.

Estimates suggest that as many as 4 million people in the UK could be eligible for the reduced broadband deals.

Citizens Advice thinks additional pressure is needed to encourage firms to inform customers of social tariffs. It said industry watchdogs like Ofcom need to “hold firms’ feet to the fire” until they improve their social tariff take-up rates.

Awareness of Social Tariffs is not good enough

“People are being priced out of internet access at a worrying rate,” said Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice. “Social tariffs should be the industry’s safety net, but firms’ current approach to providing and promoting them isn’t working.”

The internet has become a necessary utility in daily life, and lack of access is a significant driver of social, economic, and digital exclusion. People without a home broadband connection struggle with job applications, managing benefits, booking GP appointments, staying in touch with loved ones, and finding lower prices online.

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Visit our Internet for Everyone page for more information. Or call us on 0800 246 6767.