ISPs Say No to Free Internet Connections

By Gary Cutlack on at

The UK's ISPs, which meet probably remotely now under the Internet Service Providers' Association umbrella, are not likely to start handing out free internet connections, no matter how much bored grandchildren say granny really needs broadband in order to, er, stay on top of pandemic news. It is, to be fair, on the telly quite a lot.

However, the ISPA says it's in talks with government ministers – again, probably via teleconference software no one's used since 2004 – to see if a deal can be struck to delay, suspend or somehow mitigate the bills of those who find themselves suddenly without a job due to the coronavirus and are struggling to pay, with a spokesperson saying: "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."

BT, to its credit, has acted unilaterally today to remove bandwidth limits for customers on cheaper connections, upgrading everyone on its lower home broadband tiers to an unmetered bundle, so kids can watch Netflix all day while pretending they're doing homework, without having a terrible impact on dad's next direct debit. BT has also removed NHS pages from its data allowance for home and mobile users connected via EE, mirroring Vodafone's minor emergency concession. [BBC, BT]