Vodafone, the UK operator, has introduced a new social tariff named “Fibre 2 Essentials,” offering speeds of up to 73 Mbps for just £20 per month for eligible customers. This follows the launch of their previous offer, “Fibre 1 Essentials,” in October of the previous year, and it appears to provide a slightly pricier option with faster internet speeds.
Social tariff schemes aim to provide discounted broadband and mobile deals to individuals on benefits and have gained traction due to the government’s response to the cost of living crisis. The “Fibre 2 Essentials” deal is accessible to individuals receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Reduced Earnings Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, or Pension Credit.
Customers who qualify can join the plan without any setup fees, have the freedom to leave at any time without charges, and will be safeguarded against in-contract price increases, as stated by Vodafone. They have reassured that all their social tariffs will be retained even after the proposed merger with Three.
Vodafone’s UK CEO, Ahmed Essam, expressed their commitment to social tariffs, mentioning that they were the pioneers in launching both fixed and mobile connectivity options and have maintained the most affordable social broadband product in the market since October last year. He further emphasized that their response to the call for more support during the cost-of-living crisis was to introduce a new social broadband tariff with faster speeds, catering to various household needs. According to Essam, connectivity is no longer a luxury, and Vodafone is making every effort to ensure that everyone can stay connected.
In response to the cost of living crisis, Ofcom and government representatives have put public pressure on operators and internet service providers (ISPs) to raise awareness about the existence of social tariffs. This includes a letter from the previous UK Digital Secretary, Nadine Dorries, urging them to outline their plans in April 2022.