United Kingdom internet providers will lift data caps during COVID-19 pandemic

Ruben Fields
April 2, 2020

At present vulnerable customers (e.g. elderly people, those with disabilities or sickness and others on benefits etc.) who are self-isolating could be more negatively impacted by the current situation than others, particularly if they start struggling to pay their bills.

Data caps remain in place on mobile contracts.

Now the United Kingdom government and the telecommunications industry have announced that "all providers will remove all data allowance caps on all current fixed broadband services". The first commitment involves making sure that those who struggle with paying their bill as a result of the virus are "treated fairly and appropriately supported".

Britain's large telecommunications providers have agreed to lift data limits on all fixed-line broadband services to help isolated people at home after the coronavirus epidemic, reports Reuters.

The UK's major service providers for internet and mobile, notably BT, Openreach, Virgin Media, and Sky, have all agreed to honour new commitments during the COVID-19 crisis. "We will play our part to help everyone stay in contact with their loved ones and to ensure vulnerable people can access the help and information they need".

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Mobile and fixed providers also have to offer "generous" new packages to help people stay connected (particularly the vulnerable), such as data boosts at lower prices and free calls.

The ISPs are also introducing additional measures, which include helping customers who find it hard to pay bills because of the viral outbreak, improving mobile and landline packages, and prioritizing repairs for vulnerabile customers.

And, all providers are committed to help vulnerable or self-isolating customers by offering alternative methods of communication if fixes to faulty broadband or landline connections can not be carried out.

It is essential that people stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

"It's fantastic to see mobile and broadband providers (.) helping customers, particularly the most vulnerable, who may be struggling with bills at this hard time", said Dowden.

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