Hyperoptic, the UK’s largest exclusively full fibre internet service provider, is today launching its ‘Fair Fibre Framework’ to support customers with the increasing cost-of-living pressures.
Hyperoptic’s own research, commissioned in partnership with the Housing Association Charitable Trust, has highlighted how social tariffs and other vulnerable customer support functions play a critical role in addressing digital poverty. Recent research from the Citizens Advice Bureau also outlines that millions of families across the UK are facing financial crisis this year, as inflation hits a 40-year high of 9.1 percent.
Hyperoptic is then today launching its ‘Fair Fibre Framework,’ which sets out a series of measures to support customers:
We act with compassion: We commit to treating all customers with dignity, with tailored and flexible options aligned to their individual needs. If a customer’s circumstances mean that they need support, we ask that they let us know
Tailored support: If a customer is struggling to pay their bill, we ask that they let us know. From creating payment plans, to moving vulnerable customers to lower price packages, we will tailor support to individual needs
Market leading social tariffs: Our social tariffs are available on both 50Mb and 150Mb speeds, on rolling monthly contracts, with no need for credit checks. Also, we do not limit eligibility to customers on Universal Credit, as our criterion includes customers in receipt of pension credits, Income-related Job Seekers Allowance, housing benefits and Personal Independence Payments
Proactively driving uptake of social tariffs: We invest in initiatives to drive awareness and take-up of our social tariffs; from advertising these tariffs prominently on our website, to working with partners and local authorities to identify those most likely to be eligible for support.
Automatic compensation: We have signed up to Ofcom’s automatic compensation regime. If you’re owed compensation, you won’t need to chase us; it will be credited automatically
Free connections: We will continue to offer our Affordable Product Scheme to social housing clients, where we fund free connections for 12 months to 10% of their housing stock. This enables us to go beyond social tariffs to reach those who might not be online at all
Community connections: As we grow our network, we will continue to connect community hubs for free, enabling people to access a free gigabit-enabled broadband service in a location local to them. So far, we have provided free connectivity to over 400 community centres across the UK
Price transparency: We will keep our word. Our contracts do not contain above inflation mid-contract price rises. The price of your contract is always the price customers pay during their commitment period
James Fredrickson, Director of Policy, and Regulatory Affairs, Hyperoptic: “Households are facing a sharp increase in the cost-of-living, and every sector has a duty of care to protect and support customers through these difficult times. The broadband sector is no different and we are proud to be committing to measures to help support our customers who might be struggling with increased financial pressures.
“As part of these commitments, we are also reiterating our ask of Ofcom to investigate the use of inflation busting mid contract price rises within our industry. At a time of high inflation, allowing the use of these clauses is hitting already squeezed households with another price hike that many are unaware of signing up to.”