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BT's at-cost social tariff incoming!

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
So it's hardly going to of escaped most of us that BT is now the next big telco to jump on the helping hand bandwagon and announced it is launching a 'social tariff' well actually, two social tariffs!

BT to launch new at-cost social tariff in June – offering support to over four million households on low income

ISP BT to Launch Cheap New UK Fibre Broadband Social Tariff

Now before I start to ramble on, my initial thoughts on this are 'Good, helpful, but where's this going'

So the good comes from the fact that, everybody can get by a bit better with a helping hand, specially on limited income, and its helpful for people to know they have a documented/established route to go down if struggling to cover the bills.... But is this now going to be the new normal, are we sliding down a slipper slope towards a universal income and a future where the obligation people to earn more goes out the window and leads to an even bigger divide between the masses?

Now I do have an opinion on the reasoning behind this move and it does point figures at the marketing teams, its obvious that during the past year the country has become very much intertwined with Broadband and according to BT's Research...

BT research has found that three times as many people say they could not go without broadband (67%) versus public transport (20%)¹.
... erm OK really....

"carrying on" .... but with the new reliance/addiction to home internet connections there has also been the need to cut costs and thought-out the lockdown and still now, pricing and options for broadband has been very good, I mean £22 per month, and £5 upfront on a 12 month contract can get a 38/9mbps service from Now TV (and even new /additional lines can be installed for free), never mind how many of us have also found mobile connectivity to be a good replacement and also achievable for very low costs.....

I mean I'm currently paying £10 per month for an unlimited sim from Voxi and when from time to time I decide to tether I can get 100-500mbps, and this can be achieved using a device everybody already owns and uses daily.

So to me it appears BT have 'finally' seen the need for an option to keep people on-board, as throughout the past year, they've definitely lost a lot of customers as a result of the financial meltdown that accompanied the lockdown, and now they are doing nothing more than advertising a new option (temporary or not)

  • for people looking for something cheaper and without a long term agreement (whilst gaining a new customer from the competition)
  • and also making their existing customers aware of an official and established option if they are stuggling (rather than them requesting migration to a competitor)
To finish this up though I'm going to air my concerns,

We now seem to heading in a direction, where 'social tariff' is becoming a normal word, and while I've been very greatful and had good things to say about Vodafone with their Voxi 'For Now' offering, they have just extended this and the way things seem to be heading I expect them to do so again, not to mention just how many more operators with also join in the 'helping hands' programs...

If this becomes a new norm, will there be any incentives in future for the low income folks of the world to ever move out of the low income brackets (will employers pay more for those that deserve it, will minimum wage increases start to stall) will the divide between the classes widen and ofcourse will this incentivise 'some' to give up hope/trying and lead them to just feed at the bottom of the ladder?

I'll cut this here, but as usual thanks for reading and as with all discussion topics, please don't get to passionate :)
 
Last edited:

Gandi69

Pro Member
They've been saying it for years though, broadband should be in the same category has electricity/water/gas and should be an essential service. Only last friday I was talking to colleague who has just bought a new build thats got an appalling FTTC connection. BT were starting to roll out FTTP around his area and he was hoping to get it, but they have "ran out of funding" to finish it off. This guy isnt a techy at all but was saying he'd have never bought the property knowing now that he cant get decent broadband there.
Personally I think these cheap packages are a way of trying to stay competitive and holding on to customers considering the other technologies coming to market now/shortly. As you mentioned its at "cost" but you can bet they'll try their hardest to up sell customers to other products
 

Workbench 1.3

Casual Member
So it's hardly going to of escaped most of us that BT is now the next big telco to jump on the helping hand bandwagon and announced it is launching a 'social tariff' well actually, two social tariffs!

BT to launch new at-cost social tariff in June – offering support to over four million households on low income

ISP BT to Launch Cheap New UK Fibre Broadband Social Tariff

Now before I start to ramble on, my initial thoughts on this are 'Good, helpful, but where's this going'

So the good comes from the fact that, everybody can get by a bit better with a helping hand, specially on limited income, and its helpful for people to know they have a documented/established route to go down if struggling to cover the bills.... But is this now going to be the new normal, are we sliding down a slipper slope towards a universal income and a future where the obligation people to earn more goes out the window and leads to an even bigger divide between the masses?

Now I do have an opinion on the reasoning behind this move and it does point figures at the marketing teams, its obvious that during the past year the country has become very much intertwined with Broadband and according to BT's Research...


... erm OK really....

"carrying on" .... but with the new reliance/addiction to home internet connections there has also been the need to cut costs and thought-out the lockdown and still now, pricing and options for broadband has been very good, I mean £22 per month, and £5 upfront on a 12 month contract can get a 38/9mbps service from Now TV (and even new /additional lines can be installed for free), never mind how many of us have also found mobile connectivity to be a good replacement and also achievable for very low costs.....

I mean I'm currently paying £10 per month for an unlimited sim from Voxi and when from time to time I decide to tether I can get 100-500mbps, and this can be achieved using a device everybody already owns and uses daily.

So to me it appears BT have 'finally' seen the need for an option to keep people on-board, as throughout the past year, they've definitely lost a lot of customers as a result of the financial meltdown that accompanied the lockdown, and now they are doing nothing more than advertising a new option (temporary or not)

  • for people looking for something cheaper and without a long term agreement (whilst gaining a new customer from the competition)
  • and also making their existing customers aware of an official and established option if they are stuggling (rather than them requesting migration to a competitor)
To finish this up though I'm going to air my concerns,

We now seem to heading in a direction, where 'social tariff' is becoming a normal word, and while I've been very greatful and had good things to say about Vodafone with their Voxi 'For Now' offering, they have just extended this and the way things seem to be heading I expect them to do so again, not to mention just how many more operators with also join in the 'helping hands' programs...

If this becomes a new norm, will there be any incentives in future for the low income folks of the world to ever move out of the low income brackets (will employers pay more for those that deserve it, will minimum wage increases start to stall) will the divide between the classes widen and ofcourse will this incentivise 'some' to give up hope/trying and lead them to just feed at the bottom of the ladder?

I'll cut this here, but as usual thanks for reading and as with all discussion topics, please don't get to passionate :)
Given that we have amongst the least generous benefits in all of Europe and that unemployment was at almost record lows before the pandemic your fears seem unfounded.

If you genuinely believe what you say to be true, why not quit your job and live on benefits? I have no idea how people end up in a place where they find themselves jealous of the poor. It’s the same logic th would see someone quit their job to save on the bus fare.

If what you say were true, the countries that have the highest social spending, with comprehensive safety nets, must be amongst the poorest and most miserable nations in the world, with unimaginable unemployment rates - the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, France, Germany?
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
If you genuinely believe what you say to be true, why not quit your job and live on benefits?

I think this is a very good point and I don't think people will just want to stay on benefits for the broadband, that'll be Dumb & Dumber material.

Yes, some people will find it hard to leave poverty or at least this existence based on benefits and if there are special tariffs for them for gas, electric etc, then I think broadband should be included, too, after all internet access is a human right.

Looking forward to a post-scarcity economy.
 

Workbench 1.3

Casual Member
I think this is a very good point and I don't think people will just want to stay on benefits for the broadband, that'll be Dumb & Dumber material.

Yes, some people will find it hard to leave poverty or at least this existence based on benefits and if there are special tariffs for them for gas, electric etc, then I think broadband should be included, too, after all internet access is a human right.

Looking forward to a post-scarcity economy.
I think this is a very good point and I don't think people will just want to stay on benefits for the broadband, that'll be Dumb & Dumber material.

Yes, some people will find it hard to leave poverty or at least this existence based on benefits and if there are special tariffs for them for gas, electric etc, then I think broadband should be included, too, after all internet access is a human right.

Looking forward to a post-scarcity economy.
Being wealthy enough to not be eligible for free stuff feels like the definition of ‘nice problem to have.’
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
I see the necessity for this kind of tariff but there are also a lot of people who this tariff is designed for who don’t work for no valid reason.

Our benefit system is there for those who really need it but I’m sure that we can all agree there are a lot of people who could be working and simply are not.
 

Workbench 1.3

Casual Member
I see the necessity for this kind of tariff but there are also a lot of people who this tariff is designed for who don’t work for no valid reason.

Our benefit system is there for those who really need it but I’m sure that we can all agree there are a lot of people who could be working and simply are not.
I don’t know how we could agree that without some evidence that proves the point. Opinion isn’t fact and anecdotes aren’t fact.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
If you genuinely believe what you say to be true, why not quit your job and live on benefits? I have no idea how people end up in a place where they find themselves jealous of the poor. It’s the same logic th would see someone quit their job to save on the bus fare.
I think you may have mis-interpreted what I said above, I'm not referring to people staying 'unemployed' , I'm referring to low income 'employed' persons that find themselves stuck on zero hour contracts or unable to move above part time.

I remember a few years back when a was managing in retail how hard it was to get many to pick up overtime, and not because of there scehdule but because the difference in their pay would be detrimental to the income from various benefits.

I willl also reiterate that, if employers can take on more staff (numbers of heads) they will, but the staff will then be signed on to Universal Credit to either help cover costs such as rent, and now also to lower mobile/internet costs too..... and this is my concern....

If employers know that the employee's are now getting more assistance with costs of living, they are likely to be less pressured into allocating more hours, specially in times where employers are being incentivised to take on new staff (regardless of the giving them actuall work)

I don't beleive or actually know that anybody that currently has a role with a contract (PT/FT) that is actually willing to give it up to be on benefits, but many on PT have shared that they do get help from various benefits yet still take overtime when its available (but it don't come available much)

and the mention of employment contracts now is just met with "least you have a contract" or the new response with under 25's is "what contract"
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Our benefit system is there for those who really need it but I’m sure that we can all agree there are a lot of people who could be working and simply are not.
The issue is how do we determine who needs something, and as I've mentioned above even the employed are reliant on the benefit system to continue getting by.
 
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