Express & Star

New social tariff for community homes

A full fibre broadband provider has launched a new social tariff providing fast, low-priced internet for areas most in need of digital connectivity starting with a large site in Walsall.

Last updated
The 1,200-property WATMOS Community Homes site in Walsall

The 1,200-property WATMOS Community Homes site in Lichfield Street will be one of the first to benefit from the affordably priced, high-speed service from 4th Utility, one of the UK’s fastest growing independent internet services providers.

The tariffs will be based on a 30-day rolling contract with no tie-ins to lengthy agreements and will not require extensive paper trails involving credit checks.

4th Utility partners with residential and commercial landlords and property developers to install and upgrade their properties with state-of-the-art fibre-to-the-premises technology.

It is also planning a wider rollout of its social tariff to homes across the UK, as the cost of living crisis continues to hit families up and down the country.

Tony Hughes, chief executive of 4th Utility, said: “We’re delighted to announce the launch of our new social tariff – and we hope it can make life slightly easier for those who most need it, starting with more than 1,000 homes in the West Midlands.

“Digital inclusivity is hugely important in helping to reduce the digital divide across the nation, and 4th Utility is committed to championing it across the board.

“More focus needs to be applied in this area as the heightened cost of living pressures we’re currently facing take full effect. We agree that there should be better information on more affordable social tariffs, and they must be easy to access for those subscribing to the service.”

The move by 4th Utility comes after media regulator Ofcom urged all broadband firms to ensure digital inclusion is high on their business growth agenda, supporting low-income homes by offering discounted packages.

Jason Holder, executive director of asset management and regeneration at WATMOS Community Homes, said: “The infrastructure for full fibre broadband connectivity will help to make our homes a better place to live and will provide our residents with easier access to the internet.

“They will be able to use this technology for work, for connecting with family and friends, for accessing essential services and for improving their daily life in today’s fast-paced digital world. Our investment helps to bridge the digital divide in our communities.”

The new service is complementary to ongoing extensive redevelopment and refurbishment of buildings owned by WATMOS Community Homes.

The supporting infrastructure is now fully in place across WATMOS-based flats in Walsall.

Residents can pre-order now and the fibre is fully live.