How BT is Helping Narrow the Digital Divide


Today, accessing affordable, reliable internet connectivity becomes easier for the estimated 4.2 million households receiving Universal Credit and other benefits, as BT makes its market leading social tariff available to sign up for on the high street.

Previously only available online or over the phone, BT has now introduced the package and real-time eligibility checker into every one of its nationwide retail stores, making it easier and faster for customers receiving Universal Credit and other legacy benefits to sign-up.

BT Logo

Making the social tariff available on the high-street for the first time will help more customers take advantage of the fibre broadband package as customers will now be able to sign-up instantly in-store. BT in-store colleagues are on hand to raise awareness of the market-leading social tariff and are trained to spot those who could benefit from Home Essentials and may need extra support.

Tania Caporaso, Director of BT Customer Care said: “We know fast, reliable and affordable connectivity has never been as important as it is today. We’re urging anyone who qualifies for our at-cost, social tariff to get in touch, whether that’s on the phone or in one of our stores, to take advantage of BT Home Essentials, which has become a lifeline for many who want to stay connected for whatever reason that may be while they are out of work or unable to work.”

Vivien Waterfield, Deputy Chief Executive at Home-Start UK said “Recent research with our network reveals that using digital is one of the biggest challenges our families face **. Nearly half the families we support don’t own a laptop or tablet and 51% can’t afford data, yet digital access and skills are essential to enabling people to fully participate in an increasingly digital society. As a charity supporting families, we welcome initiatives which support parents managing tight budgets, to get online.”

Home Essentials is a fibre broadband and call package exclusively available to everyone receiving Universal Credit (and certain legacy benefits), covering an estimated 4.2 million households. It has been designed to be flexible to help customers adapt if their financial situation changes with shorter contracts, eligibility reviews after the first 12 months and no cancellation fees.

BT Home Essentials is an industry leading social tariff for eligible customers with average download speeds of 36 Mbps and 700 mins of calls for £15 a month – saving customers £240 a year³ compared to an equivalent package.

It was launched in May 2021 to complement BT’s existing social tariff BT Basic and alongside BT Here For You Hub to bring together BT’s wide range of products and services for those who need extra help in one easy-to-navigate place.