Social tariff broadband deals in the UK (April 2024)

With prices rising year on year, you might find yourself struggling to keep up with broadband payments.

Luckily, in the UK, there’s a solution – social tariff broadband deals. Here are the 7 best UK social tariff broadband deals for 2024.

What is a social tariff broadband?

Social tariffs are discounts or financial supports typically exclusive to low-income earners. Although not required by law, most mainstream UK broadband providers offer some form of a social tariff to make broadband more affordable for everyone.

As well as discounts, broadband social tariffs often have better subscription terms, including free cancellations and zero mid-contract price increases. However, this isn’t always the case because these social tariffs aren’t heavily regulated by law.

If you’ve found a social tariff broadband deal you want, you must apply and submit extra documents to prove your eligibility.

Who is eligible for broadband social tariff?

For the most part, low-income earners are eligible for broadband social tariffs. But every broadband provider is different and can have different criteria that you need to meet to claim the deal.

In the UK, most providers give social tariff discounts to people claiming government benefits. So, if you claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit, Disability Living Allowance, or other means-tested social security – you’re probably eligible.

However, some broadband social tariffs have specific requirements. The best way to know your eligibility for a broadband social tariff is to check with your desired provider.

Social tariff broadbands available in the UK

BTHome Essentials (No Income)36Mbps£15.0012 months
BTHome Essentials36Mbps£20.0012 months
BTHome Essentials 267Mbps£23.0012 months
Virgin MediaEssential Broadband15Mbps£12.5030 days
Virgin MediaEssential Broadband Plus53Mbps£20.0030 days
SkyBroadband Basics36Mbps£20.0018 months
VodafoneFibre 2 Essentials73Mbps£20.0012 months
TalkTalkFibre 35 (Job seekers)38 Mbps£24.0018 months

Social tariff broadband deals

Claim BT’s Home Essentials plan and get speeds up to 36Mbps for just £15 or £20 a month (depending on your income.) There’s also BT Home Essentials 2 for £23 monthly which, on average, is twice as fast. Plus, you can cancel the contract for free anytime.
Virgin Media’s Essential Broadband plan is one of the cheapest options in the UK. It’s £12.50 monthly: no setup fees, mid-contract price rises, or exit fees. However, with 15Mbps average download speeds, you might prefer Essential Broadband Plus. It’s £20 a month but three times faster!
Sign up to Sky’s Broadband Basics and pay just £20 monthly for the first 18 months. It averages 36Mbps and termination is free anytime. As a bonus, you can claim a free 4GB Sky Mobile plan for 12 months with unlimited UK calls and texts!
Cop one of the best value UK broadband deals, Vodafone’s Fibre 2 Essentials for £20 a month. It has everything you want in a social tariff – no setup or cancellation fees and zero in-contract price increases. It’s very fast for its price, achieving 73Mbps downloads and 19Mbps uploads on average!
Get TalkTalk’s Fibre 35 plan free for 6 months with no setup fees. Instead of paying £30 a month, it costs you about £24, and you get the same 38Mbps speeds. However, this deal is only available if you don’t have broadband already and it’s a little harder to claim.
EE have a social tariff mobile plan. With the £12 a month sim plan you get 5GB data, unlimited calls, and unlimited texts. But EE doesn’t have a social tariff broadband plan. Thankfully, it’s part of BT, and you can switch from EE to BT’s essential plan for free.
Similar to EE, Plusnet doesn’t have a social tariff broadband offer. Luckily, if you’re already in a contract with Plusnet for broadband, you can still claim a social tariff with BT. Don’t worry about cancellation fees, switching from any Plusnet broadband plan to BT Essentials is free.

How can you get social tariff broadband?

There are a few steps you need to take to get social tariff broadband:

  1. Pick a social tariff offer. Select one of our deals above and go directly to the provider's website.
  2. Check eligibility. Find the deal requirements on the provider’s social tariff information page. Usually, you have to claim a benefit such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, or Jobseeker’s allowance.
  3. Apply. Register online or call to apply, depending on the provider. Prepare to provide more information than you normally need for broadband like earnings reports (to prove you're eligible.)
  4. Wait. Most broadband providers call you within 5 working days to let you know if you're accepted.

Other cheap deals available

If you’re not eligible for social tariff broadband, don’t worry. There are plenty of cheap broadband plans in the UK that aren’t just available to low-income earners and don’t have a strict application process.

In fact, some of the best UK broadband deals offer far superior speeds than social tariff offerings. Usually, these deals are only a few pounds more, and some are actually cheaper.

For example, Fibrus has £24.99 per month plan offering, on average, 106Mbps downloads and 31Mbps uploads. Alternatively, there’s Now Full Fibre 100, starting at £24.00 with similar download speeds (around 100Mbps.)