UK’s big broadband providers ditch data caps for COVID-19

By

Openreach-engineer
Providers want to keep the U.K. connected.
Photo: BT

The United Kingdom’s biggest broadband providers are ditching data caps during the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures to help those struggling to pay are also in place in an effort to keep everyone connected.

Fixed-line broadband has become even more essential for the millions stuck at home during the coronavirus crisis. Without it, it’s more difficult to work, shop, and stay in touch. Fortunately, broadband providers in the U.K. recognize that.

The likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media have vowed to keep customers connected and ensure that there are fewer hurdles in their way.

Broadband providers step up in UK

“It is essential that people stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives,” said U.K. Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden in a statement on Monday. “This package helps people to stay connected whilst they stay home.”

The measures were decided after U.K. telecoms companies held talks with the government and communications regulator Ofcom. In addition to zero data caps, they include help for those struggling to pay after COVID-19 job cuts.

Away from fixed-line broadband, operators are also rolling out improved mobile and landline packages. These also include a temporary suspension on caps, and a promise to keep customers connected even if they cannot pay.

Keeping the UK connected

“Following new Government guidelines on travel restrictions, working from home and less community activity due to COVID-19, we’d like to reassure you that you can continue to rely on our services to stay connected to family, friends and co-workers during this time,” read an email to TalkTalk customers.

“We know this is when you’ll rely on your phones and devices more than ever,” read a similar message from Three. “What you can be sure of is that we’re doing absolutely everything possible to keep you connected.”

Other companies making similar commitments, according to a Monday report from Reuters, are Openreach, O2, Vodafone, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, and KCOM. Other providers in the U.S. have also vowed to keep customers connected.