The UK’s leading internet service providers (ISPs) have rejected calls to provide free connections as the country deals wit the coronavirus outbreak.
ISPs have been under pressure to help out those in need by cutting the cost of vital internet connections, or offering more speed and bandwidth to those in need.
However this could also affect internet speeds around the country, as millions more connections come online to put pressure of the UK’s already creaky infrastructure.
UK free broadband
It had been suggested that providng free broadband could help those hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, such as the over-70s, who could use video calls to communicate with their families.
Teachers have also claimed that free connections would help deal with the shutdown affecting the UK’s schools and universities.
However Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa), the trade body monitoring the UK’s internet, said it was in “very early” talks with the government to help customers who become unable to continue paying their bills.
“Things are naturally developing extremely quickly at the moment, and Ispa plans to seek further guidance from government on these issues so that customers can remain connected to the internet during these unprecedented times,” an Ispa spokesman noted.
Free basic broadband was part of the Labour Party manifesto at the last UK general election, however the victorious Conservatives instead opted to pledge funds towards improving the nation’s fibre networks.
BT does provide a basic-level broadband service, the suitably named BT Basic and Broadband, which is only available to some people claiming a certain type of benefits. However this is limited to just 15GB of data a month, far below the typical usage amount of many Britons today.