People blog - Marc Allera, CEO BT Consumer


Low-cost fibre connectivity for people who need it most is critical to building back better

For many of us over the past 12 months, our connections have been a lifeline, with everything from wedding days to maths lessons shared online. Now, with lockdown restrictions easing, fast, reliable connectivity is more important than ever. Millions of people are relying on our networks to get back on their feet.

At BT, we have a responsibility not only to our customers, but to our country. We want to play our part in building a digitally-inclusive society and help as many people as we can. That’s why at the end of June we’ll be launching BT Home Essentials.

Home Essentials is our new social tariff – a low-cost fibre broadband and home phone service for people on specific means-tested benefits. It’s designed to help customers to budget and provide greater peace of mind, keeping people connected with one less thing to worry about.

Recent BT research found 79 per cent of those on means-tested benefits rely on broadband to manage their household finances, and almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of Brits say it wouldn’t be easy to improve their career prospects without connectivity. If we want to build back better, it’s clear that affordable connectivity is a critical part of the solution.

Home Essentials will build on the positive impact made by BT Basic, our existing social tariff. We are extending eligibility to all customers on Universal Credit, helping an additional 3m people benefit from affordable fibre broadband and calls. Home Essentials now has the potential to deliver key internet services to an estimated 4.6m households across the UK.

An upgrade to fibre broadband also ensures faster speeds, greater capacity and improved reliability, so entire families can get online to work, play and learn at the same time, without worrying about their connection.

As we all use more and more connected devices, the demand we place on our home connections increases. Fibre broadband ensures that customers’ home connectivity is futureproofed so they can have total confidence in their internet connection. BT Home Essentials will provide download speeds of 40Mbps and 700 mins of calls for £15 a month. Or, for £20 a month, customers can receive 80Mbps and unlimited calls.

Home Essentials is an industry-leading social tariff designed to tackle the digital divide. It will provide an unprecedented number of people with a fibre and calls package for approximately half the price of a standard fibre plan.

BT’s purpose, to Connect for Good, is at the heart of everything we do. We’re committed to making a positive difference for everyone across the UK, particularly for our most vulnerable customers. If we can learn from the challenges of the past year and work together, we can make the UK a more connected and inclusive place to live.

Marc Allera, CEO, BT’s Consumer Division. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @marcallera