Mark Adair

4th Utility launches new social broadband tariff as cost of living crisis deepens

A full fibre broadband provider has launched a new ‘social tariff’ providing fast, low-priced internet for areas most in need of digital connectivity.

4th Utility, one of the UK’s fastest-growing independent Internet Service Providers (ISP), is rolling out its new cheaper offering which is 50 per cent lower than the UK average as the cost of living crisis continues to hit families up and down the country. The tariffs will be based on a 30-day rolling contract with no tie-ins to lengthy agreements and will not require extensive paper trails involving credit checks.

The company’s social tariff is currently 30Mbps upload and download costing £14.40 a month around half the UK average of £28.33 for standard broadband, according to Ofcom’s most recent report into pricing trends for communications services in the UK.

4th Utility partners with residential and commercial landlords and property developers to install and upgrade their properties with state-of-the-art fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology.

It’s already being rolled out with a development in the West Midlands one of the first to benefit from the affordably priced, high-speed service. More developments and residences across the UK are expected to follow soon.

Tony Hughes, CEO of 4th Utility, said: “We’re delighted to announce the launch of our new social tariff - and we hope it can make life slightly easier for those who most need it. Digital inclusivity is hugely important in helping to reduce the digital divide across the nation, and 4thUtility is committed to championing it across the board.

“More focus needs to be applied in this area as the heightened cost of living pressures we’re currently facing take full effect. We agree that there should be better information on more affordable social tariffs, and they must be easy to access for those subscribing to the service.”

The move by 4th Utility comes after media regulator Ofcom urged all broadband firms to ensure digital inclusion is high on their business growth agenda, supporting low-income homes by offering discounted packages. The Culture Secretary urged firms to “do more” to promote their tariffs, after it was found that only 55,000 of 4.2m homes in receipt of Universal Credit were using discounted rates.

The new tariff will come as welcome news to many families able to benefit from the cheaper deal, with the well-documented cost of living crisis currently seeing the price of everyday necessities like energy, transport and food rising faster than inflation.

One of the first areas to benefit from the new social tariff is the 1,200-property WATMOS Community Homes site in Walsall. Jason Holder, Executive Director of Asset Management and Regeneration at WATMOS Community Homes, said: “The infrastructure for full fibre broadband connectivity will help to make our homes a better place to live and will provide our residents with easier access to the internet.”

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