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BT to launch new at-cost social tariff in June – offering support to over four million households on low income

BT has announced it will launch BT Home Essentials in June, a market leading social tariff connecting those on low income with affordable fibre broadband and calls. The new low cost tariff comes as BT research reveals that since the pandemic, almost three quarters (74%) of Brits would not find it easy to improve their financial situation without connectivity¹, and the majority (79%) of financially vulnerable people rely on broadband connectivity to manage household finances².

Available exclusively to those on Universal Credit and a range of other means-tested benefits*, BT Home Essentials meets the demands of the modern home and provides futureproof fibre connectivity at a time when online resources have never been more important. BT research has found that three times as many people say they could not go without broadband (67%) versus public transport (20%)¹.

BT Home Essentials is a separate and improved social tariff compared to BT’s initial version, BT Basic, launched in 2008. Home Essentials provides an average of 36 Mbps download speeds and 700 minutes of calls for £15 a month, around half the price of a standard fibre and calls package. Alternatively, eligible customers can also opt for average speeds of 67 Mbps and unlimited calls for £20 per month. The lowest price equivalent standard BT broadband package costs £32.99 a month, with an additional £15 for our unlimited calls plan – this means BT Home Essentials customers choosing the £20 option can save over £330 a year.4

Marc Allera, CEO, BT’s Consumer division, said, “Fast, reliable connectivity has never been as important as it is today, with millions of people relying upon our networks to get back on their feet after the pandemic.

“We want to help as many people as we can, which is why at the end of June we’ll be launching BT Home Essentials, increasing the eligibility of our social tariff to include all customers on Universal Credit. BT Home Essentials will be available at half the price of our standard fibre package, helping a potential four million households on low income save on bills and stay connected to vital online services.”

Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman, said: “In today's digital world, everyone should be able to access fast, reliable and affordable internet, so I'm thrilled that BT is the latest provider to launch new deals for low income households.

“We have been working with internet providers to offer affordable broadband tariffs for those struggling with bills to help the UK build back fairer from the pandemic. I hope to see others taking similar action soon.”

BT also continues to work closely with Government to support families. BT’s ‘Lockdown Learning’ has provided connectivity to over 175,000 families, to help children to continue learning from home. BT Home Essentials will provide an affordable option for families to receive fast broadband for the whole household.


¹ Based on a survey interviewing a nationally representative sample of c.2,000 GB adults – April 2021

² Based on an online survey among mobile and broadband owners whose household receive a benefit or tax credit. Research conducted in March 2021 among 904 respondents

³ Based on standard pricing for BT’s equivalent broadband (Fibre Essential) and call plan packages on offer on 29 April 2021 for £27.99, with £7 for calls versus £15 for BT Home Essentials

4 Based on standard pricing for BT’s equivalent broadband (Fibre 2) and call plan packages on offer on 29 April 2021 for £32.99, with £15 for unlimited calls versus £20 for BT Home Essentials