Virgin Media has launched a new UK broadband service aimed at those facing financial difficulty and receiving Universal Credit.
The latest official figures show that as of 8 October 2020 there were 5.7 million people on Universal Credit in the UK, an increase of 2% from September 2020. Of those, 39% of claimants were in the ‘searching for work’ conditionality group.
The Essential broadband plan has a speed of 15Mbps and a fixed price of £15 per month. It has no fixed-term contract length and no price changes while Universal Credit payments are being received.
Existing Virgin customers can apply for the plan via Virgin’s website, where they will need to provide proof of their Universal Credit status.
The introduction of the Essential broadband plan is the latest initiative from Virgin Media following previous steps designed to help and support vulnerable customers. Last year it announced measures intended to help overcome some of the obstacles that vulnerable customers can face in the marketplace. This included introducing annual package reviews, more flexible bill management through a specialist team and bespoke engineer visits.
Virgin Media has also taken action during the Covid crisis to give customers more connectivity, and entertainment. This included providing 10GB of mobile data at no extra cost; introducing more kids and entertainment programming; removing data caps on any broadband plans that still had them, and giving customers more flexibility over their services such as the ability to temporarily pause sports subscriptions when live events were suspended.
Jeff Dodds, chief operating officer at Virgin Media, said: “The launch of our Essential broadband service is about supporting customers who are experiencing financial difficulty and uncertainty. We all know how important connectivity is right now to our day to day lives, so this reliable, hassle-free service will help people to get online and carry out essential activities.
“This is the latest step in a series of industry-leading measures we have introduced for vulnerable customers. This includes providing annual package reviews, more flexible bill management and is on top of action we have taken to keep our customers connected during the pandemic.
“We are committed to supporting our customers and will continue to play our vital role in keeping the country connected in these difficult times.”