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Full Fibre UK ISP Hyperoptic Launch Social Broadband Tariffs

Monday, March 1st, 2021 (9:13 am) - Score 1,680
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UK ISP Hyperoptic, which typically builds 1Gbps capable “full fibre” (FTTP/B) broadband networks to large residential (MDU) buildings, office blocks and some houses, has become the latest provider to launch a social style broadband tariff – called the ‘Fair Fibre Plan‘ – for people on specific means-tested benefits.

Hyperoptic’s gigabit-capable fibre network is currently present in parts of 43 UK towns and cities across well over 400,000 premises, including a large number in London, although they have previously expressed an ambition to cover 2 million UK premises by the end of 2021, followed by 5 million come the end of 2024 (mostly in urban areas).

Over the past few months there has been a lot of talk, both among politicians and through Ofcom (here and here), about the prospect of ISPs being required to launch their own regulated social tariffs for those on benefits and lower incomes in the future. At present only a very few exist, such as via BT (Basic), Virgin Media (Essential Broadband) and KCOM (Flex).

Ofcom has been encouraging more providers to offer such plans, and it appears as if Hyperoptic has responded with their affordable Fair Fibre Plans, which will enable people on specific means-tested benefits to gain access to discounted rates on their 50Mbps and 150Mbps packages with only a rolling monthly contract term. Not to mention free installation, activation and unlimited usage.

NOTE: The Plans with a phone service also add free evening & weekend UK calls.

Hyperoptic’s Fair Fibre Plans
· 50Mbps broadband-only: Reduced from £22 to £15 a month
· 50Mbps broadband and phone: Reduced from £25 to £18 a month
· 150Mbps broadband-only: Reduced from £35 to £25 a month
· 150Mbps broadband and phone: Reduced from £38 to £28 a month

The move follows Hyperoptic’s January 2021 promotion, which pledged to supply a “free 50Mbps service” to homes with children stuck on slower connections (here). The provider also offers free connectivity via over 400 community centres across the UK.

Charles Davies, MD of Hyperoptic, said:

“Last year, Ofcom announced that 4.7 million UK homes have struggled to afford their telecoms bills. We passionately believe that affordability should not be a barrier when it comes to connectivity. We need to come together as an industry to alleviate digital poverty, especially in an era where we rely so much on our connectivity to support us with home working and home learning. The ambition for ‘Hyperoptic’s Fair Fibre Plan’ is to give struggling households long-term support with the cost of their broadband, with a hyperfast product that they can always rely on.”

Darren Jones MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Data Poverty, added:

“It’s great to see internet service providers like Hyperoptic stepping up to provide more affordable broadband products for families who need it. At the All Party Parliamentary Group on Data Poverty, we want to see all major internet service providers doing this so that, together, we can work towards eradicating data poverty in the UK.”

Naturally, people hoping to take advantage of these cheaper plans will only be able to do so if they’re able to share documentation on one of the below, which will help to prove that they’re receiving one of the eligible benefits:

• Income Support

• Pension Credit

• Income-related Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)

• Housing Benefit

• Personal Independence Payment

• Attendance Allowance

• Universal Credit (no earnings)

• Care Leavers supported by Children’s Support

• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (EAS)

Ofcom and the Government would of course like to see more ISPs follow suit over the course of this year, although this may be more of a challenge for the smallest of players. Broadband and mobile provision tends to be a business with fairly low margins, which makes it difficult to permanently gift cheap (or loss making) tariffs to lots of people without putting themselves at risk, or forcing price rises elsewhere. But if a medium-sized ISP like Hyperoptic can do it, then others may be able to find a way too.

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. NE555 says:

    These schemes seem to be a great way of encouraging people to stay on benefits indefinitely. Cheap mobiles, cheap transport, even cheap cinema tickets… look at all those perks you lose if you come off!

    Wouldn’t a better solution be to increase the benefits to a fair living level in the first place??

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Potentially, but politics.. From the Government’s perspective, if you can get commercial businesses to help lighten the load via market solutions then that means the public purse needs to make fewer politically awkward changes / increases via the benefits themselves.

  2. JamesW says:

    Kudos to them.

    BUT be nice if they answered there emails… Been waiting for reply since December…

    1. HyperopticCS says:

      Hello James.

      Thank you for your comment. We would like to offer our sincerest apologies for the delay in our response. We would be more than happy to have this investigated and addressed. For this reason, please do send us an e-mail to support@hyperoptic.com, advising us about the details of your query, and we will make sure to assist you further.

      Once again, thank you for your comment. We look forward to hearing from you.

  3. Lee says:

    Three UK, unlimited internet, phone calls, and texts for £10 a month.
    If you can’t afford that you can’t afford anything.

    1. Jackster says:

      First 6 months then £20 a month.
      Cheapest is their Smarty branch at £15.

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