Virgin Media has cut the price of its social tariff broadband package in response to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
The change comes after Ofcom released its affordability report showing eight million UK households are having difficulty affording communication services, with the number rising over the past year.
The telecoms giant confirmed its Essential Broadband package, which is aimed at those people receiving Universal Credit, will drop to £12.50 a month for all new and existing customers with speeds of 15Mbps offered. The price of the deal has dropped by 16%, which makes it one of the cheapest on the market.
Virgin Media has also launched a new speed tier which will offer faster 50Mbps broadband for £20 a month as part of a package called Essential Broadband Plus. Both plans have no fixed-term contract or activation fee.
Earlier this year, the company confirmed it was working to implement automated checks for customers to help confirm their eligibility for social tariffs with the firm. Virgin Media said once in place, this would also allow it to expand its social tariff schemes to also apply to those receiving pension credit and other benefits for the first time.
Virgin Media chief operating officer Jeff Dodds said: “We have a long history of stepping up in tough times and now is no different. Connectivity remains an essential part of our lives, so we are boosting the support we provide to those who need it most in the cost-of-living crisis.
“We’re taking steps to increase awareness of our social broadband plans, while making it easier to sign up, and are calling on the Government to cut VAT on social tariffs which we will directly pass on, helping those struggling most to save even more.
“Through continued network investment and a range of products at different price points and speeds, we consistently provide incredible value to customers and will keep playing our part in this challenging climate.”
David Buttress, the Government’s Cost of Living Business Tsar, said: “It is good to see Virgin Media taking clear action to support their customers through the cost of living crisis.
“By cutting the price of its Essential Broadband social tariff and introducing a new Essential Broadband Plus tariff, it is increasing flexibility, value and choice and giving support to those who need it most, while DWP’s recently launched service is making it easier and faster for eligible customers to access this cheaper broadband.”