Broadband data caps removed in UK to help minimise impact of coronavirus

The main internet providers in the UK have all agreed to remove data caps on all current fixed broadband services, to help minimise the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The move, which saw cooperation between the Government, Ofcom, and the telecommunications industry, aims to "support and protect" vulnerable customers.

The internet providers have also agreed to support and treat "fairly" customers who find it "difficult" to pay their bills due to coronavirus restrictions.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said anyone struggling to pay their bill should contact their provider to discuss what help can be provided.

There's also a commitment to offer "new, generous mobile and landline packages" that will help people stay connected and ensure the most vulnerable "continue to be supported".

All the main internet providers will also support vulnerable customers or those self-isolating by providing "alternative methods of communication wherever possible if priority repairs to fixed broadband and landlines cannot be carried out".

Additional ways for vulnerable customers customers to stay connected include the "provision of mobile broadband dongles and mobile phones where appropriate, with SIM cards".

The DCMS said the new measures would be "effective immediately".

The providers included in the agreement are:

  • BT/EE

  • Openreach

  • Virgin Media

  • Sky

  • TalkTalk

  • O2

  • Vodafone

  • Three

  • Hyperoptic

  • Gigaclear

  • KCOM

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden said the package will make it easier for people to stay at home and remain in line with social distancing measures.

He said it's "fantastic" to see the big firms "pulling together" to help vulnerable customers who may be struggling with bills "at this difficult time".

He added: "It is essential that people stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

"This package helps people to stay connected whilst they stay home."

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