Broadband social tariffs are broadband packages offered voluntarily by internet service providers to support digital inclusion and social equality. These packages are designed to provide affordable and accessible internet access to low-income individuals or households or those facing financial difficulties. Like all standard broadband packages, the speed and cost of broadband social tariffs vary between providers. To find a broadband social tariff that is best for you, simply check the relevant eligibility type box above, then filter by your preferred contract length or select your preferred internet provider.
Social tariffs can cut your internet costs but only if you know about them.
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Millions of households could save £200 a year by switching to a broadband social tariff. It seems to be 'The industry's best-kept secret'. Astonishingly, out of the 4.3 million households on Universal Credit, less than 6% have switched to a 'social tariff for broadband.' Although the government has been advocating for ISPs to offer social tariffs, they are not obligated to, and those who do are often discreet about it. Sharing this information could make a significant difference for someone in need and create an opportunity for positive change.
Broadband social tariffs are designed for individuals and households with low incomes. They often include waivers for early termination charges. These tariffs are designed to be flexible and accommodate those facing financial difficulties. If this flexibility is important to you, make sure that you clarify the deal you are considering offers these options. Before cancelling, it's essential to have a direct conversation with your ISP to understand any charges you may incur and to explore any potential flexibility they may offer to assist your situation.
If you're currently under contract and eligible for a broadband social tariff, we recommend contacting your current Internet service provider to inquire about the availability of social tariffs. Most ISPs offer this option as part of their commitment to digital inclusion and social equity. Generally, broadband providers do not impose early termination fees if you switch to a broadband social tariff mid-contract. If you are with TalkTalk, please note that they don't officially have a social tariff; however, they do offer a six-month free tariff, which can be applied for via JobCentre Plus.
To be eligible for a broadband social tariff, you must claim one of the Government schemes listed below. Alternatively, you can use our broadband availability checker to find exclusive deals in your area that are available to everyone. The broadband market is highly competitive for new customers, and you're likely to receive a similar discount to a social tariff during your first year. Be sure to note when your contract period is due to end, as prices will likely increase after your welcome period. Ideally, consider switching to a provider that offers a social tariff, even if you do not choose it initially. If your financial circumstances change, you'll be better positioned to switch to the social tariff without incurring any early termination charges.
There are no time constraints other than the initial contract period. At the end of your contract, your provider will re-check your eligibility so that you can continue to receive the discounted rates.
To help you save money, we aim to provide you with a wide range of choices. Our broadband availability checker can search for the best deals in your area by postcode. However, like all comparison sites, there may be small independent internet service providers that are not listed. To address this, we manually list them above, along with the regions they cover if they are not nationwide. Simply click through to the provider and enter your postcode to check availability. Alternatively, you can enter your postcode into our availability checker to compare the non-social tariff deals from major broadband providers available in your area.
Unfortunately, broadband providers have different eligibility criteria for offering a broadband social tariff. You can use the filters at the top of the page to determine which internet providers offer discounts based on your benefit type. If these are limited or unavailable in your area and you are out of contract, consider switching to a new provider. Discounted rates and cashback offers are regularly available to new customers. Low-cost broadband providers
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ADSL Broadband (also referred to as ‘Standard Broadband’) is when the broadband connection is delivered using the original, old copper phone wire infrastructure. This method is being phased out as ISPs push to sell faster broadband. With a standard ADSL broadband connection, you can expect an average download speed of 10Mb. The connection speed will drop significantly the further you are from the telephone exchange. Whilst ADSL broadband might be the slowest option, it’s not necessarily cheaper than ‘fibre broadband’. If you’re out of contract and have an ADSL broadband connection, you’re likely to be paying more than you would with a new provider. The broadband market is very competitive, so it’s worth asking your current provider to see if you can get a better deal, then compare that offer with alternative broadband deals in your area.
Most home broadband connections in the UK are fibre to the cabinet (FTTC). FTTC Broadband is when the local (street cabinet) has upgraded its incoming connection to fibre broadband. This means that the local telephone exchange can deliver a faster broadband connection to your home. The broadband connection from your home to the local (street cabinet) will still be sent down the old copper phone line, but your broadband speed will be significantly faster than a standard ADSL broadband connection. A typical FTTC broadband connection in the UK would have an average download speed of 66Mb. Your broadband connection speed will vary depending on how congested the network is and your distance to the street cabinet.
According to the September 2023 report from Ofcom, around 52% of UK homes have access to install ‘Full Fibre Broadband’ also known as fibre to the premises (FTTP). As it implies, the fibre broadband connection does not stop at the local street cabinet. It continues directly to your premises. So, you no longer need to rely on your old copper telephone cable to get broadband. FTTP broadband does not cost much more than a typical fibre broadband package. With FTTP broadband you can expect a download speed between 330Mbps to 1Gb and is the future of broadband in the UK. The upgrade will also reduce line interference and dropouts typically caused by ageing copper phone wires.
G.Fast is a broadband technology capable of supercharging your FTTC broadband speed up to 300Mbps without having fibre direct to your premises. As G.Fast uses most of the existing infrastructure, it’s cheaper and faster to roll out - but it’s not all good news. The catch is that your property needs to be within 500 metres of your local street cabinet. We’re not convinced of the future of G.Fast. It’s a clever interim solution until we see the same fibre coverage that copper cables have today. Consider it akin to the mini disk player when Apple are about to launch the iPod. G.Fast is only available if your local exchange has been upgraded to accommodate the G.Fast technology. To see if G.Fast broadband is available in your area, enter your postcode into the broadband availability checker above.
Cable broadband is uniquely different to fibre broadband. Instead of using a fibre cable, it’s delivered down a coaxial cable. Currently, Virgin Media dominate this market with its independent cable network. Cable broadband is capable of achieving a download speed of 1130Mbps when ordering a Gig1 broadband package. Virgin Media offer a basic broadband social tariff for £12.50 per month.