Social tariffs: Cheaper broadband and phone packages
Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband.
They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages, just at a lower price. Amid rising living costs, Ofcom is encouraging companies to offer social tariffs to help customers on low incomes.
How a social tariff could help you
- It's available to those on a variety of benefits. If you or someone in your household claims Universal Credit, you could switch to any of the tariffs available.
- It's cheaper than a regular package. Current prices range from £10 to £20.
- Fast, unlimited broadband. Most tariffs offer superfast broadband at speeds over 30 Mbit/s – fast enough for you to keep in touch with friends and family, stream HD films or shop online.
- You'll pay next-to-nothing to get set up. If you do have to pay any setup costs, these should only be small. Your provider should tell you before you sign up.
- It could cost nothing to switch. If your provider offers a social tariff, you can switch to it at any time, free of charge.
- The price won't go up mid-contract. You won't pay any more than what you agree at the start of the contract.
- It costs nothing to leave. You won't pay a fee to leave the tariff before the end of your contract.
Some providers offer cheaper broadband packages that are only available to customers on certain benefits. BT and KCOM also provide cheaper voice-only landline tariffs to eligible households. Details of these are in the BT and KCOM links below.
Who could qualify
If you or someone in your household claims Universal Credit, you could switch to any of the tariffs available.
All major providers also include people on Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support.
Some providers might include additional benefits, like Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance.
The person receiving the benefit needs to be the main person on the contract.
How to apply
First, check if your current provider offers a social tariff. Our table below lists all of the tariffs available now. You can apply for most tariffs online, or call your provider and ask to switch.
If your provider doesn’t offer a social tariff, you can switch to one that does. Your provider might let you leave your current contract without paying a penalty fee. Read our guide to switching broadband to find out more.
Full list of broadband and phone social tariffs
|Package||Price||Average speed||Where it's available*|
|4th Utility Social Tariff||£13.99 a month||30 Mbit/s||England|
|BT Home Essentials||£15 a month||Around 36 Mbit/s||UK|
|BT Home Essentials 2||£20 a month||Around 67 Mbit/s||UK|
|Community Fibre Essential||£12.50 a month||35 Mbit/s||England (London)|
|Connect Fibre Basic Essentials||£20 per month||50 Mbit/s||England (Cambridgeshire, Essex, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire)|
|Country Connect Social Tariff||£15 a month||50 Mbit/s||Wales (Newport)|
|County Broadband Essential Broadband Tariff||£15 per month||15 Mbit/s||England (East of England)|
|EE Basics||£12 a month||Up to 25 Mbit/s||UK|
|G.Network Essential Fibre Broadband||£15 a month||50 Mbit/s||England (London)|
|Grayshott Gigabit Connect||£19 a month||100 Mbit/s||England|
|Hey!Broadband Everyday Fibre||£16 per month||100 Mbit/s||England (South East England)|
|Hyperoptic Fair Fibre 50||£15 a month||50 Mbit/s||England, Scotland, Wales|
|Hyperoptic Fair Fibre 150||£20 a month||150 Mbit/s||England, Scotland, Wales|
|KCOM Full Fibre Flex||£14.99 a month||30 Mbit/s||England (Hull)|
|Lightning Fibre Social Tariff||£15 a month||50 Mbit/s||England (East Sussex and Kent)|
|Lothian Broadband Social Tariff||£19.99 a month||100 Mbit/s||Scotland (Lothian)|
|NOW Broadband Basics||£20 a month||36 Mbit/s||UK|
|Quickline Social Tariff||£16.50 a month||100 Mbit/s||England (Yorkshire and Lincolnshire)|
|RunFibre social tariff||£20 a month||100 Mbit/s||England (South Gloucestershire)|
|Shell Essentials Fast Broadband||£15 a month||11 Mbit/s||UK|
|Shell Essentials Fibre Broadband||£20 a month||38 Mbit/s||UK|
|Sky Broadband Basics||£20 a month||36 Mbit/s||UK|
|SMARTY Social Tariff||£12 a month||5G where available||UK|
|Truespeed Basic||£20 a month||30 Mbit/s||England (South West)|
|Virgin Media Essential Broadband||£12.50 a month||15 Mbit/s||UK|
|Virgin Media Essential Broadband Plus||£20 a month||54 Mbit/s||UK|
|Vodafone Fibre 1 Essentials||£12 per month||38 Mbit/s||UK|
|Vodafone Fibre 2 Essentials||£20 per month||73 Mbit/s||UK|
|VOXI For Now||£10 a month||5G where available||UK|
|Wildanet Helping Hand Social Tariff**||£20 a month||30-100 Mbit/s||England (Cornwall and Devon)|
|WightFibre Essential Broadband||£16.50 a month||100 Mbit/s||England (Isle of Wight)|
|YouFibre Social Tariff||£15 a month||50 Mbit/s||UK (various locations)|
* Providers might not cover all premises in the regions listed. Check the provider's website for more information about coverage, or use our broadband coverage checker.
** Wildanet's tariff is only available to those who receive Universal Credit. They are considering including other benefits.
Other support might be available to customers who cannot get online. If you’re struggling to pay your mobile phone or broadband bill, speak to your provider as soon as possible to see how they can help.
Tips for cutting your costs
Concerned about rising living costs, lots of people are looking at ways to save money on the services they use every day. This includes phone, broadband and pay-TV services.
Take a look at our tips to see if they could help you.