Economy Broadband for Low Income Households

in Campaigns Corner
17 replies 2.8K views
I am new to the forum and am writing my first post about a campaign that maybe MSE would like to consider. If not MSE then maybe there are people out there who know all about social media and organising campaigns who could rally support. I am not good with twitter and facebook but thought I should at least put something on this forum.

I think there is a need to campaign for the government to ensure people with low incomes and those on benefits are able to access the internet. Gradually local authorities, businesses schools and just about every company are forcing people onto their online services.

Essentially local authorities among others are saving money and forcing the general public to pay for a phone line and broadband access to use their services. That is likely to be at least £25 / month. It is a cost many people cannot afford. It could be seen that while saving money the local authority is passing its costs to members of the public who will have higher outgoings!

With the push to get essential public services online the government should ensure that vulnerable people, workers on low incomes and those on benefits have access by regulating providers of phone lines and broadband so that there is an economy tariff. It could be a phone line and broadband access at a special low rate.

I find it hard to believe that Age Concern, the CAB, Shelter, Mind and many other organisations working with vulnerable people have not been campaigning hard and lobbying the government for better regulation to ensure there is an affordable package for low income households.

It seems that internet access is becoming an essential service and yet many will struggle to pay for such services. Surely if the government and local authorities are forcing people onto internet based interfaces then they should also be ensuring providers of phone-lines and broadband have an economy tariff.

Why are there no online campaigns to get this debated in parliament? Why are "poverty" groups (I'm not sure of the correct term) not shouting from the rafters about people being forced to spend money they haven't got to gain access to on-line services.

Obviously there are also costs of buying a computer or a tablet to get online. Maybe costs of a printer, inks and costs of virus protection etc.

There is a massive amount of tax revenue from purchasing online services, phonelines and computer equipment. Perhaps some of these taxes could be used to subsidise "economy" tariffs for people on low incomes? Maybe people on low incomes could be subsidised when purchasing a device to access the internet?

The choices to visit an office and see people face to face are being taken away. Libraries are being closed so that is for many not an option when trying to access online services.

I've probably written enough for you to get my drift and I hope people can build on some of the ideas I've suggested. I'm sure there are people out there who know far more about these things than me and may have much better ideas about how people can be helped.

I'd be interested for people to share their thoughts regarding a campaign for an economy tariff or whatever name might be given to making broadband services available to people on low incomes. If anyone is a whizz with social media then perhaps an online campaign is called for but I wouldn't know where to start.

Thank you for reading this and thank you for sharing any ideas you may have.

Kind regards
Mr P :)
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Replies

  • If you're willing to use 3/4G for your internet you can get a 1GB a month package from Three for about £8 a month with an upfront fee of £35. I think really we need to educate people that there are alternatives to landlines for the internet. As for virus protection there are free antivirus packages available, advertised on this site no less. You are correct about printing but even a laserjet which are relatively cheap to run can be had now for not a huge amount of money (especially second hand).

    It's down to resourcefulness as far as I can see.
  • Libraries are expensive for internet use anyway, they will tell you it's free for jobseekers but actually that only applies for 3 months.

    I think that link for BT Basic is phone only, not internet?
  • Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
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    I think that link for BT Basic is phone only, not internet?
    It is phone only but you can use it with an internet provider.
    I'm not a cat.
  • gikgik
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    Libraries are expensive for internet use anyway, they will tell you it's free for jobseekers but actually that only applies for 3 months.

    I think that link for BT Basic is phone only, not internet?



    It's totally free in my local library.
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    gik wrote: »
    It's totally free in my local library.

    It's only free in my library for 30 minutes.... I went in there the other day to specifically use it for 30 minutes and I was told/warned "the PCs are 14 years old, they're so slow you won't be able to do much" - and it took 10 minutes for me to load the site I was there for.
  • tomtontomtomtontom
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    I expect "poverty" groups are more interested in ensuring people have food to eat and a roof over their heads.
  • brightonman123brightonman123 Forumite
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    Brighton & Hove libraries have free net access, but only an hour per day. quite a few cyber cafes, but £1 plus per hour..


    I cant see how JCP will cope with demand for their 'access points (ie, a pc!), if they expect everyone to be searching full time..
    Long time away from MSE, been dealing real life stuff..
    Sometimes seen lurking on the compers forum :-)
  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
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    BT Basic £5 a month?

    Several BB packages for around £3.50 a month.
    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • gik wrote: »
    It's totally free in my local library.

    It's only free in my library for 30 minutes.... I went in there the other day to specifically use it for 30 minutes and I was told/warned "the PCs are 14 years old, they're so slow you won't be able to do much" - and it took 10 minutes for me to load the site I was there for.

    Our library offers the option of FREE wifi if you prefer to use your own computer.

    Either way, there is no charge, but if you use the library's computers (which are no way near 14 years old) then you are logged off every hour as booking them is on an hour by hour basis.
    You can stay connected to the wifi for as long as you remain in the library.
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