Affordability of communications services

13 September 2021

Making sure people can access affordable phone, broadband and pay TV services is a priority for Ofcom.

Many people’s finances have changed significantly over the last year, with some facing particular challenges. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, we have collected new information on the affordability of communications services in the UK, including from our Covid-19 Affordability Tracker research and information collected from providers on customer debt, disconnection and pricing. In December 2020 we published a summary of initial findings on the affordability of major communications services.

Since then, we have continued to conduct research and monitor other affordability indicators, such as levels of consumer debt. In this report, we set out further evidence and our assessment of the scale of affordability issues with communications services. To reflect the importance of people being able to access the internet, we pay particular attention to the affordability of fixed broadband and mobile internet services. We conclude by setting out the steps that we consider providers should take to help address the affordability issues we have identified.

Read our findings

Affordability of communications services: Summary of findings (PDF, 1.5 MB)

Fforddadwyedd gwasanaethau cyfathrebu: Crynodeb o'r canfyddiadau (PDF, 450.0 KB)

Download the data

Covid-19 Affordability Tracker: Codebook (XLSX, 89.5 KB)

Covid-19 Affordability Tracker: Data tables (XLSX, 2.5 MB)

Covid-19 Affordability Tracker: Data tables (PDF, 5.3 MB)

Covid-19 Affordability Tracker: SPSS (SAV, 2.8 MB)

Covid-19 Affordability Tracker: Questionnaire (PDF, 275.4 KB)