A billboard advertising Virgin media fibre broadband is seen in London, Britain, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Britain’s big telecoms providers have agreed to remove all data caps on fixed-line broadband services that have become a lifeline for people isolated at home during the coronavirus crisis, the government said on Sunday.
The companies, which include BT (BT.L), Virgin Media (LBTYA.O), Sky (CMCSA.O) and TalkTalk (TALK.L), committed to support and protect vulnerable customers during the pandemic after talks with the government and regulator Ofcom.
Other measures include helping customers who find it difficult to pay bills as a result of the epidemic, improving mobile and landline packages to ensure people can stay connected, and prioritizing repairs for vulnerable customers.
“It is essential that people stay at home to protect the NHS (health service) and save lives. This package helps people to stay connected whilst they stay home,” Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said in the government statement.
Many of the companies have already taken steps to support customers during the crisis, including making it easier for vulnerable people to access information they need.
The other companies that agreed to the commitments were Openreach, O2 (TEF.MC), Vodafone (VOD.L), Three (0215.HK), Hyperoptic, Gigaclear and KCOM.
Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne