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UK ISPs cooperate with Govt during Covid-19 crisis

by Mark Tyson on 30 March 2020, 11:11

Tags: UK Government, Ofcom, British Telecom (LON:BT.A), Virgin (NASDAQ:VMED), Vodafone (LON:VOD), Sky

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Over the weekend the UK's big telecoms providers have agreed to a number of government initiatives to make people's lives more bearable under the current Covid-19 crisis. Reuters reports that broadband services have been a particular lifeline for those isolated at home recently, and most companies involved in this service provision appear to have signed up to a number of key policy indications; the removal of all fixed line data caps, making bill payments more flexible, prioritising vulnerable and self-isolating customers (service and repairs), and improving landline (and mobile) packages.

Companies named in a Reuters report as being supportive of the UK government and Ofcom's plans include; BT/EE, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, Openreach, O2, Vodafone, Three, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear and KCOM. The Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) with its many members, has also expressed support.

BT/EE's broad response to the coronavirus outlined on its microsite and it closely echoes the government/Ofcom's policy. Virgin Media has a similar set of policies now in place. Sky's dedicated page about the pandemic is again similar - but includes the news that it is giving all its mobile customers an extra 10GB in their data piggy bank. Vodafone has stepped out further by proactively upgrading its Pay Monthly customers who are flagged as vulnerable to a 30 day unlimited free data offer. Please check out your own ISP or mobile provider's website for specific news.

"It's fantastic to see mobile and broadband providers pulling together to do their bit for the national effort by helping customers, particularly the most vulnerable, who may be struggling with bills at this difficult time," said Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden. "It is essential that people stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. This package helps people to stay connected whilst they stay home".

Ofcom's chief executive Melanie Dawes welcomed the cooperation of ISPs. Meanwhile, Openreach chief executive Clive Selley said he was thankful that engineers could continue to undertake most of their current projects and workload outside - maintaining service UK-wide.

HEXUS Forums :: 3 Comments

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While this is generally good, people might want to read the small print from their ISP's if anyone has this type of thing pop up… luckily I'm with Zen so have none to begin with.
On another site (hotukdeals) it has comments from users about KCOM (might be others) still having restrictions in place on anything that isn't ‘work from home’…

Gaming and live streaming or downloading media, such as playing on an X-Box, streaming a show on Netflix or downloading a show on iPlayer, will still count towards customers’ monthly data limits as normal. While the measures are in place customers with broadband packages that have usage caps will only be billed for over usage that falls into one of these categories.
LOL. The ISP's have been ‘cooperating’ with the government for the last 20 years,
Jebus Plusnet has cut me off and is making a MAJOR pigs ear of getting me re-connected. They have royally scrwed me over. I've been in Lockdown for many months (5+) so the internet (youtube catchup gaming) is essential for mental health and consulting medics without Physical contact.
Despite them knowing I am highly vulnerable. Only on here thru 3 mobile.