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Hyperoptic Launch Fair Fibre Framework to Support Struggling UK Users

Friday, June 24th, 2022 (1:41 pm) - Score 1,896
Hyperoptic-Engineer-over-Chamber-2022

City-focused gigabit broadband ISP Hyperoptic, which is working to deploy a new “full fibre” (FTTP/B) network to 2 million UK homes by the end of 2023, has today launched a new “Fair Fibre Framework” that broadly sets out the measures they already take to support customers with the cost-of-living crisis.

The new framework looks and smells like a customer charter, which in our experience tend to read a lot like idealistic marketing spin (i.e. packed with plenty of sound bites, but little substance). Some of that is true in today’s new Framework, but Hyperoptic are also managing to attach some of those sound bites to practical measures, and they have a long history of holding to many of their commitments on this front.

Lest we forget that Hyperoptic also launched a Fair Fibre Plan last year, which is a social broadband tariff that starts at £15 per month for an unlimited 50Mbps package and rises to £25 for 150Mbps. You can also add a phone service with included evening and weekend UK calls to this for an extra £3.

The ISP does say that they’re “advertising these [social tariffs] prominently on our website” below, although it doesn’t appear on their front page unless you look at the drop-down menu selection for the ‘broadband’ option and that’s still fairly easy to miss. But to be fair, Hyperoptic’s idea of “prominent” is much better than many of the other providers with social tariffs, where it can be a chore to find them.

Hyperoptic’s Fair Fibre Framework

➤ We act with compassion: We commit to treating all customers with dignity, with tailored and flexible options aligned to their individual needs. If a customer’s circumstances mean that they need support, we ask that they let us know.

➤ Tailored support: If a customer is struggling to pay their bill, we ask that they let us know. From creating payment plans, to moving vulnerable customers to lower price packages, we will tailor support to individual needs.

➤ Market leading social tariffs: Our social tariffs are available on both 50Mb and 150Mb speeds, on rolling monthly contracts, with no need for credit checks. Also, we do not limit eligibility to customers on Universal Credit, as our criterion includes customers in receipt of pension credits, Income-related Job Seekers Allowance, housing benefits and Personal Independence Payments.

➤ Proactively driving uptake of social tariffs: We invest in initiatives to drive awareness and take-up of our social tariffs; from advertising these tariffs prominently on our website, to working with partners and local authorities to identify those most likely to be eligible for support.

➤ Automatic compensation: We have signed up to Ofcom’s automatic compensation regime. If you’re owed compensation, you won’t need to chase us; it will be credited automatically.

➤ Free connections: We will continue to offer our Affordable Product Scheme to social housing clients, where we fund free connections for 12 months to 10% of their housing stock. This enables us to go beyond social tariffs to reach those who might not be online at all.

➤ Community connections: As we grow our network, we will continue to connect community hubs for free, enabling people to access a free gigabit-enabled broadband service in a location local to them. So far, we have provided free connectivity to over 400 community centres across the UK.

➤ Price transparency: We will keep our word. Our contracts do not contain above inflation mid-contract price rises. The price of your contract is always the price customers pay during their commitment period.

We strongly suspect that this is being done in anticipation of next week’s meeting between UK ISPs and the Government (here), which is set to focus on what more such providers could do to help those struggling with the cost of living.

James Fredrickson, Hyperoptic’s Director of Policy, and Regulatory Affairs, said:

“Households are facing a sharp increase in the cost-of-living, and every sector has a duty of care to protect and support customers through these difficult times. The broadband sector is no different and we are proud to be committing to measures to help support our customers who might be struggling with increased financial pressures.

As part of these commitments, we are also reiterating our ask of Ofcom to investigate the use of inflation busting mid contract price rises within our industry. At a time of high inflation, allowing the use of these clauses is hitting already squeezed households with another price hike that many are unaware of signing up to.”

We should point out that Virgin Media (VMO2) put out a similar notice a couple of days ago (here), but we didn’t cover that one because they’ve done something similar before, during the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas Hyperoptic have not.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Optimist says:

    Reducing or even scrapping VAT on broadband bills would help.

  2. New_Londoner says:

    @MarkJ
    “But to be fair, Hyperoptic’s idea of “prominent” is much better than many of the other providers with social tariffs, where it can be a *choir* to find them.”

    Should they sing about social tariffs from the rafters? 😉

    Or perhaps you meant chore?

  3. John says:

    Job titles for non C level managers are getting ridiculous

    1. An Engineer says:

      Unless the number of C-level executives gets ridiculous job titles like that have to be a thing.

      It’s a tad too niche for a C-level position.

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