Nadine Dorries calls on telecom companies to promote deals for people on benefits

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries has written a letter to UK broadband companies asking them to consider publicizing their low-cost social rates for people on benefits.

The appeal was sent to bosses of BT, O2, Virgin and KCom and others, suggesting they take action to promote their deals available to low-income households.

It says “aid is available for 99% of the country”, but Ofcom analysis shows that less than 2% of those on Universal Credit and eligible for Social Tariff products have taken it up.


Ms Dorries asked the telecom companies to describe their plans to bring more attention to concessions and to provide their estimates of take-up over the next 12 months.

The letter says: “The government is committed to working with businesses to reduce the daily costs of families across the country.

“Broadband has transformed people’s lives as we become a more digital society and I think it is essential that we educate low-income households about discounted broadband offers.

“Help is available for 99% of the country, but recent Ofcom analysis shows that only 1-2% of Universal Credit households eligible for Social Tariff products have taken them up.

“This means that of the almost 5,000,000 households that could benefit from cheaper broadband, only around 55,000 currently do. Less than a quarter of those eligible families knew the deals were available.

“It is more important than ever that we support families and ease pressures on household finances while bridging the digital divide. I am grateful for the work you have done so far and look forward to your response on how we move forward.

It comes after protests took place across the country over the cost of living crisis and soaring energy prices and other bills.

The People’s Assembly said it expected thousands of people to take to the streets in dozens of places to protest “real hardship” suffered due to a combination of oil price hikes. fuel and food, inflation and low wages.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis told Sky News on Saturday that the government could not “completely undo” the effects of global pressure on energy prices, but ministers will put in place measures to support as much as possible.

BT, O2, Virgin Media and KCom have been contacted for comment.