Broadband for those on benefits

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Broadband has become more of a daily necessity than a luxury, but it can be difficult to find the money to pay for it if you’re on benefits and other household bills take priority.

Key points

BT Basic + Broadband

BT's Basic + Broadband service is a low-cost option for people on certain benefits.

If you receive:

You may be eligible for this phone line and broadband package.

There are no installation charges – you just need to pay for the delivery of the router.

You’ll have a limited data allowance per month and if you use any more you’ll be charged for each extra GB.

To give you an idea on how much data you could get through, watching an HD movie on Netflix can use up to 3GB an hour.

You'll have to keep an eye on your data usage to stay within your monthly limit and avoid being charged extra.

Other broadband deals

BT isn't your only option and you might be able to pick up a different package for a relatively low cost.

Broadband and landline contracts

Compare broadband to find the cheapest broadband deals in your area.

You might find unlimited broadband package in your area at very competitive monthly costs.

Credit history

Broadband providers usually carry out a credit check as part of the application process.

If you’ve got a poor credit history you can still get a broadband contract, but it might be more expensive.

You also might be able to find providers who don’t perform credit checks, which is sometimes the case with short-term contracts and mobile broadband

Not sure what your credit score is? Sites like Credit Karma and Experian allow you to check for free.

No contract broadband

Alternatively, you can opt for a 'no contract' broadband, where you're not tied into a minimum term. You are allowed to cancel at any time, so you simply pay for each month you use.

Check the set up fees – they can be higher than for other types of broadband contract.

Alternatives to home broadband

Home broadband might be the obvious answer to getting online, but it's not the only option you have.

Use your mobile

If you have a mobile phone contract with unlimited data, or a big data limit, you could use your smartphone to access the internet, rather than taking out a home broadband contract.

You could potentially save money by ditching your landline as well if you have unlimited calls included in your mobile phone package.

Your local library

Not only will your local library have computers you can use with free internet access, they normally have free Wi-Fi which you can connect to with your own devices.

Free public Wi-Fi spots

Free Wi-Fi hotspots exist all over the country: in cafes, on trains and around shopping centres. You can usually find somewhere to access free internet while you’re out and about.

Some cities like London and Manchester provide public, city-wide Wi-Fi, which is a great option if you live in the area.

Tether your mobile

If you have all you can eat data with your mobile phone contract, you could link your laptop or tablet to your phone (known as tethering), and get online that way.

It's not the best option if you only have limited data, or use pay as you go, as the data you use while tethering is deducted from your monthly allowance. Also, not all mobile phone contracts will allow tethering.

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