Millions of BT, Virgin and Sky broadband users will be affected by major change next week

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From next week it will become far more simple for many UK consumers to get broadband beamed into their homes at a much cheaper price. Most of Britain’s big Internet Service Providers (ISPs) already offer large discounts for families who claim Universal Credit and other benefits. However, it appears that many aren’t taking advantage of the deals with recent statistics suggesting that just 1.2 percent of those eligible have taken out one of these cut-priced packages.

Confusion over who is entitled along with the hassle of proving that Universal Credit is being claimed are just some of the reasons people are being put off switching to a far more affordable plan.

Luckily, that’s all about to change thanks to a new inactive run by the Department for Work and Pensions that allows ISPs to do all the hard work for the customer.

From August 22, all a UK broadband user will have to do is tell their ISP that they want to be considered for a cheaper plan with the provider then verifying whether they are in receipt of a relevant benefit.

The new system will also simplify the process by removing the need for customers to prove their entitlement to broadband providers as regularly as every month.

Martin Lewis explains how to cut costs on broadband bundles

Some of the savings are significant with firms such as BT, Sky and Virgin offering plans from just £15 per month – that’s far cheaper than standard plans which usually start from around £25.

Speaking about the changes, Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries, said: “Social tariffs are vital for families struggling with bills, keeping them connected even in tough times.

“Our discussion with broadband companies led to the range of social tariffs on the market today and we’ve secured a raft of new cost-of-living commitments from them to ensure help is available for anyone that needs it. I urge anyone concerned about falling behind on payments to contact their supplier to see what support is available.”

Here’s what you could be paying if you are eligible:

BT Home Essentials • £15 a month – 36Mbps speeds

Virgin Media Essentials • £15 a month – 15Mbps speeds

Sky Basics • £20 a month – 36Mbps speeds

NOW Basics • £20 a month – 36Mbps speeds

Hyperoptic Fair Fibre • £15 a month – 50Mbps speeds

The benefits that the DWP’s new system will be able to verify entitlement for are:

• Universal Credit

• Pension Credit

• Income Support

• Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance

• Income-Related Employment Support Allowance

If you claim any of the benefits above you should be able to slash your broadband bills and things should get much easier to apply from next week.

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