Jobseekers claiming Universal Credit are now able to claim six months' free fibre-optic broadband from TalkTalk, thanks to a new government scheme that launched today.
Jobcentre work coaches will now offer vouchers for TalkTalk's 'Fibre' 35Mbps broadband package, which usually costs £23 per month for 18 months. The vouchers will include a wireless router, installation, and unlimited data.
The scheme won't require you to sign up for a long contract or add optional extras such as voice calls and Pay TV. At the end of the six months, you can choose to cancel without any penalty or upgrade to a full contract.
Announcing the scheme, the government said the coronavirus pandemic saw an Internet connection became more important than ever for work. The scheme was trialled in Greater Manchester during the start of the second lockdown in 2020 when many families struggled to stay online as work and school went digital.
The UK's Employment Minister, Mims Davies, said: "We want to support jobseekers in any way we can on their journey to securing employment, which includes levelling up opportunities by making sure they are digitally connected and can access the full range of support offered by our Plan for Jobs and our JobHelp website."
Benefits and state pension payments will no longer be sent to Post Office card accounts
How to claim your free broadband
If you're a Universal Credit claimant you can ask your work coach about it, who should be able to assess your suitability and provide you with referral codes.
You then give TalkTalk a ring on a dedicated line and tell them the code, and they'll be able to set you up with the service.
If you're struggling to pay your phone or broadband bills, there are some more options. Vodafone offers a £10 per month contract to jobseekers that includes unlimited 5G data, calls and texts for £10 per month via its 'Voxi' plan.
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