The DUP MP said, “Social tariffs provide lower-cost broadband options to customers on benefits. These packages typically cost between £10 and £20 per month which can be a significant saving compared to regular packages.
At the end of last year there were 128,000 households in Northern Ireland in receipt of Universal Credit. Ofcom have highlighted that only 5% of eligible households across the UK are currently availing of these tariffs, meaning that around 100,000 households in Northern Ireland are missing out.
The vast majority of customers are simply unaware these packages even exist, and of those who are aware of them, only 9% had found out through their current provider. There is an obvious need for these companies to do much more to promote their social tariffs and make them much easier to find and avail of.
Northern Ireland is a world-leader in terms of our ability to access high-speed internet. Investment delivered by the DUP has been transformational, particularly for those in rural communities, many of whom were previously forced to pay for costly satellite or wireless connections to access any kind of broadband.
Such access is only worthwhile however if people are able to access packages which are affordable to them. That is why the take-up of social tariffs is so important in reducing the digital divide.”