When Virgin Media and O2 joined forces to become a new company last month, we weren’t only combining our leading broadband and mobile networks, we were also bringing together our shared values of stepping up for our customers and supporting those who need a helping hand.
We know that, more than ever, connectivity is a lifeline for people. The pandemic has shown the vital role broadband plays in keeping people connected to their loved ones, as well as helping millions to work from home, and children to take part in home learning and online lessons.
And although the country is beginning to emerge from the pandemic with the lifting of restrictions on the horizon, the need for us to provide extra help for customers in need remains.
Last autumn – and at the height of the ‘second wave’ – Virgin Media launched its Essential broadband service for customers who are experiencing financial difficulty and receiving Universal Credit.
Essential broadband offers reliable and affordable connectivity with a speed of 15Mbps and a fixed price of £15 per month. The plan has no fixed-term contract length and no price changes while Universal Credit payments are being received.
It’s providing vital connectivity to help customers to get online and connected to everything that matters to them – from staying in touch with loved ones to online shopping and completing job applications.
Essential broadband is part of a package of measures both Virgin Media and O2 introduced to support our customers during the pandemic – from free mobile data and TV channels, to zero-rating NHS and education websites.
We’re pleased to see other broadband providers now stepping up and launching similar schemes, and we hope other operators will join us in doing the same. Helping those that need it most is something that should be a cross-industry effort, where together we can make a real difference.
Building back better
Virgin Media O2’s mission is to upgrade the UK. We’ll deliver on this by rolling-out lightning-fast broadband to more areas, building a cutting-edge 5G network and continue to go the extra mile for our customers and the communities we serve.
Digital inequality exists across the country, and, as an industry, we have a big role to play in addressing it. Only by doing so can we bring the transformational benefits of connectivity to everyone and truly level-up the country as we build back better and stronger.