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DWP and Sky team up to offer cheap broadband for benefits claimants

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Sky is the first major provider to sign up to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) scheme for benefit claimants which could save them up to £180 a year on broadband costs.

Introduced last summer, the government scheme lets internet service providers – with claimants’ permission – ask the DWP to automatically verify their customers’ benefit entitlement.

This means people do not need to actively prove they claim benefits whilst on a tariff designed for those on low incomes, as they did previously, often as frequently as every month.

Minister for social mobility, youth and progression Mims Davies, said: “It’s positive to see a major provider such as Sky sign up to our scheme, making it easier for families to access cheaper broadband and mobile tariffs in difficult times, and I call on other providers to follow suit in offering this type of tariff for those in need.”

All the major broadband providers offer social tariffs to households on benefits or low incomes – but a YourMoney investigation in October 2022 found that some providers make details of these cheap deals difficult for customers to find online.

Stephen van Rooyen, executive vice president at Sky, UK & Europe, said: “We know how important connectivity is to our customers, which is why we are focussed on ways we can support them to stay online. 

“As well as support with bills, we also provide existing, eligible customers with a broadband and mobile social tariff, helping them stay connected for a significantly reduced cost. The Department for Work and Pensions eligibility tool is a useful step forward, enabling us to more easily confirm eligibility.”

Other providers signed up to the DWP scheme include Sky subsidiary brand NOW and WightFibre.

Before the new system was introduced, people were regularly required to verify their entitlement to providers with Jobcentre letters or screenshots of their Universal Credit account.

Those in receipt of benefits interested in exploring broadband tariff options should visit Ofcom’s website to view the full list of options on offer from providers.