Low-cost broadband deals

If you’re a low-income family, you could be eligible for a discounted broadband service.

An estimated five million households in the UK receive Universal Credit and are eligible for special discounted deals from their broadband provider. However, research by Ofcom has revealed that just 380,000 homes are taking advantage of these discounted rates. This means millions of households are missing out on an average annual broadband saving of £202 each.

Discounted deals – also known as ‘social broadband tariffs’ – can provide a safety net for eligible Essex households who might be struggling to afford to pay for their broadband service. Here is a list of social tariffs available and the eligibility requirements.

Please note: some of these offers may not be available at your address. To find out, visit each website and enter your postcode, or go to a price comparison website such as USwitch or Compare the Market. In order to benefit from any of these deals, you must visit the provider's website directly (see the 'How to apply' column below). Faster Broadband have also released their own social broadband tariff comparison webpage.

Provider Speed (download) Price Contract length Eligibility How to apply

Around 36Mbps £15 a month, plus £9.99 P&P (or £20 a month, plus £9.99 P&P for download speeds around 67Mbps) 12 months For people receiving Universal Credit; Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit), Employment and Support Allowance (eligibility rules apply); Jobseeker’s Allowance (eligibility rules apply); Income Support Visit BT.com

15-54Mbps £12.50-£20 a month 30-day rolling contract For people receiving Universal Credit. Visit virginmedia.com
38Mbps Free for six months At the end of six months, you can choose to either take out a contract with TalkTalk or end the service penalty-free For jobseekers on Universal Credit who don't have an internet connection Ask your Jobcentre Plus work coach if you’re eligible for the scheme

 Around 36Mbps £20 a month Ongoing monthly contract (cancel 31 days in advance to avoid any early termination charges) For people receiving Universal Credit or Pension Credit Visit Nowtv.com

 Around 36Mbps £20 a month 18 months (Sky says it won't charge any early termination fees on Sky Broadband if you leave early)

For people receiving Universal Credit or Pension Credit; must be named on the Universal or Pension Credit monthly statement

Visit Sky.com

Hyperoptic Logo

50Mbps or 150Mbps plans £15-20 a month Monthly rolling package (you must give 30 days' notice to cancel)

For people receiving at least one of the qualifying benefits, including Income Support, Pension Credit and Universal Credit. Click here for the full list

Visit Hyperoptic.com

Up to 38Mbps £12 a month 12-month contract, no early termination fee

For people receiving Jobseeker's Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance, or Personal Independence Payment

Visit Vodafone.co.uk

Youfibre Logo

50 Mbps £15 a month 24 month contract

For people receiving Income Support, Pension Credit, Income-related Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance or Universal Credit. 

Visit YouFibre.com
Connect Fibre Logo 50 Mbps £20 a month 18 month contract

Recipients of any of the following benefits: Income Support, Pension Credit, Income-related Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Housing Benefit, Personal Independence Payment, Disability Benefit, Attendance Allowance, Universal Credit, Care Leavers Support, or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Visit connectfibre.co.uk
15 Mbps £15 a month Ongoing monthly contract (every six months, they check if you're still eligible)

For people receiving Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

Visit countybroadband.co.uk
25 Mbps £12 per month* SIM only 30-day rolling contract for 12 months. No early exit fees apply

For people receiving Universal credit, pension credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker's allowance or Income support.

Visit ee.co.uk

Please note: The information above is correct as of March 13th 2024. For full details of each deal, please visit each individual provider’s website.

In addition to the above deals, the broadband network operator Openreach has announced a Connect the Unconnected offer for households that receive Universal Credit, have no other earnings and haven’t been connected to the Openreach network for the last 90 days. The offer gives households which meet this criteria the opportunity to get their superfast broadband installed for free (savings of up to £92).

If you meet this criteria, contact one of the internet service providers (ISP) on the Openreach network and mention the Connect the Unconnected offer when you place an order for your broadband service. It is up to your chosen ISP how these savings are passed onto you – the discount may be provided immediately, or over the course of your contract.

You can find further information on social tariffs on Ofcom's website, as well as the Essex.gov website.