Job hunting in the 21st century means you need to have access to the internet. But for some, the cost of broadband is just too high. This is why TalkTalk and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are offering six months of free broadband to jobseekers.
Let’s see what you can get – and how it could help.
How can you get free broadband?
The new national programme is being rolled out to all Jobcentre Plus work coaches for them to offer jobseekers. So it’s not just the case that if you fancy a new job, you can bag yourself six months of not having to pay for your broadband. Sorry!
Instead, the scheme is there to support those who are shut out of the digital world. So if you are out of work, do not have access to the internet and are struggling now that training and job support has moved online, this voucher is meant for you.
It means that you can be digitally connected and take advantage of the full range of support on offer. This includes the Plan for Jobs programme and resources on the JobHelp website.
What does the voucher scheme give you?
It is a no-contract voucher for six months’ of TalkTalk’s Fibre 35 broadband. The usual cost of this would be £23 a month. So in total, the voucher provides you with a saving of £138.
You can get wifi connectivity through a home router. Usage is uncapped. But before you assume that this will cover all of your Netflix binge-watching, think again.
There isn’t an option to add things like TV services or voice calls to the package. It is purely there to give you free broadband for the purpose of job hunting.
What happens after six months?
Hopefully, during the free six-month period, you will secure yourself a job and be popping the Prosecco. If not, you will at least have taken the first step by accessing new training opportunities.
So when the six-month free broadband period ends, you have a couple of options. You can either roll on to a contract with TalkTalk or cancel with no additional costs. You just need to send all the equipment back via the prepaid returns service.
While rolling on to a contract with TalkTalk may seem like the simplest option, provided you are in a position to do so, it’s always worth doing a little price comparison. While you may not have free broadband anymore, you still want to get the best deal you can. So comparing broadband packages is a good move before accepting a contract from Talk Talk.
It’s worth knowing that there are also other phone and broadband packages available for low-income families. For example, Vodafone offers UK jobseekers unlimited 5G data, calls and texts for £10 a month – for up to six months.
Alternatively, if you are on Universal Credit some providers, like BT and Virgin Media, provide significantly cheaper broadband deals. BT’s Home Essentials service offers superfast fibre broadband for £15 per month. The deal usually costs around £28 a month. The Virgin Essentials broadband service is also £15 a month and has no fixed-term contract.
Just note that with these sorts of broadband deals, you will need to provide evidence that you are eligible for Universal Credit.
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