Across the UK, internet providers have agreed to relax data caps on all fixed-line services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deal was put in place for people isolated at home, in a bid to keep those who are most vulnerable connected during the lockdown.
These measures are currently live and have been agreed by the main broadband providers, including BT/EE, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, and Sky.
All companies have pledged their support to the vulnerable and promised to aid anyone having difficulties paying their bills during the pandemic.
Customers will be treated “fairly and appropriately”, with the most vulnerable getting support, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport said.
Other agreements from the telecoms companies include “generous” landline and mobile packages for people who regard mobile and internet use as a lifeline.
Phone repairs for the most at risk have also been made a priority, along with support for elderly customers who require help accessing account information.
In a Government statement, Digital Secretary, Oliver Dowden said: “It’s fantastic to see mobile and broadband providers pulling together to do their bit for the national effort by helping customers, particularly the most vulnerable, who may be struggling with bills at this difficult time. It is essential that people stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. This package helps people to stay connected whilst they stay home.”
Before the announcement, many “unlimited” packages included hidden data caps in their small print — known as “fair usage policies”. But after revision of the UK’s advertising rules, the term “unlimited” can no longer contain hidden stipulations.
Further companies that have agreed to the measures are Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, KCOM, Vodafone, Three, and O2.