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A Broadband Bind

Dear Penny,
“My broadband is costing me £40 a month and I think I’ve no choice but to cancel it. My benefits just won’t stretch that far.” J Langan, Glasgow

Dear JL,

Thank you for sharing, broadband can get expensive. It’s one of those bills you need to keep an eye on as prices can go up and cheaper offers come onto the market. £40 sounds way too much.

It’s a juggling act… We will need to be online for benefit claims – most working age claimants will end up on Universal Credit and it has to be managed over the internet. But then we don’t want to get stuck in a deal we can’t afford with services you don’t need. But don’t worry there are things you can do:

  1. First, weigh up how much money you are saving by having that supply. Are you doing job applications online? Do you stream TV, media and games? Maybe your kids need it for school and homework? Could you negotiate a better deal with your supplier to reduce the package rather than move supplier, if not try a broadband comparison site such as or
  2. Second, how would you all of this get done by cancelling the package altogether? Could you share services with a relative or neighbour? Some of my advice clients tell me they share TV or broadband services by getting together with a relative or friend, (although be careful, your supplier may not be impressed)
  3. Third, could you manage without it? You may have online access via a smart phone with mobile data, or free access may be within reach for you at your housing office, jobcentre or local library
  4. Finally, if you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be able to access BT’s Basic landline for £5.10 a month or landline plus broadband for £9.95 per month, (as at June 2019), although make sure you read the small print. As with everything, there are limits to usage. Just type ‘BT Basic’ into your browser and it will come up.

Happy browsing!

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