Sky have finally announced details of their broadband social tariff offering. That means that eligible households can now get superfast internet for £20 a month – and all for doing pretty much nothing!
If you’re new to social tariffs, then don’t worry. We’re going to outline exactly what they are, how to check your eligibility, and how to get the Sky broadband social tariff offer.
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What *IS* a social tariff?
A social tariff is essentially a cheaper broadband, water and/or phone package for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit or a few other types of benefit.
Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband, but they are all the same thing.
Social tariffs were created by the UK Government to assist those struggling to pay their utility bills. So far, this is only covers some broadband and phone companies, but it is expected to extend further to other utilities shortly. As the cost of living crisis gets worse, the Social tariff system is a lifeline for those struggling with bills while claiming benefits.
Sky, along with BT and several other providers, have already signed up to the social tariff system – more social tariffs will start to be available from other internet providers soon.
Read on to find out more about how much money you can save with Sky Broadband using their social tariff.
How much can I save with Sky Broadband’s social tariff?
Sky is offering a new package called “Broadband Basics” for just £20 a month, to all eligible social tariff households.
The Broadband Basics package isn’t available to non-social tariff users, though the very similar Sky Superfast Broadband costs from £25 a month, meaning you are saving at least £5 every month.
This may not sound like much, but given that this is an 18-month term (see below), this means that those eligible for social tariff are going to save at least £90 off the usual price.
And the good news is, you don’t need to do much legwork to get this discount. The first thing you need to do is check your eligiblity requirements – see the below section on eligibility.
What kind of download speeds can I expect?
Sky promises that you will receive the same level of service & speed as regular, full-paying customers. In fact, although it is called “Broadband Basics”, the packages are exactly the same, just with different names and a cheaper price.
This means that with Broadband Basics package, only available to those via social tariff, you will be able to get around 36Mbps download speeds.
This is a pretty decent download speed, and it is in fact the same as their Sky Superfast 35 package, but by a different name.
35Mbps download speeds are considered more than enough for a family of 4; you will be able to stream and watch videos, and surf the internet without any issues. These speeds will fit most households’ needs perfectly.
If however you aren’t in a fibre area, then sadly you won’t be able to get the Superfast 35 speeds via the Broadband Basics package. Instead, Sky has said that those unable to get fibre will be placed onto their Sky Broadband Essential Plus package, which guarantees speeds of 11Mbps.
Summary of the plan
Sky Broadband Basics available to social tariff customers only. You will get:
- Sky Broadband Superfast 35 with an average download speed of 35Mbps
- Or, if fibre isn’t available where you live, Sky Broadband Essential Plus with average download speed of 11Mbps
- Sky Pay As You Talk – only pay for the calls that you make
- All for £20 a month, on an 18-month contract. With no early termination fees!
Is the social tariff / Broadband Basics package unlimited?
Yes. There are no download limits for the Sky Broadband Basics package, it is unlimited.
Does the social tariff apply to Sky TV?
At the time of writing, sadly not. The social tariff discount only applies to Sky broadband (internet) packages.
Does the social tariff apply to Sky Talk / phone calls?
Yes, it does. Good news! You will get Sky Talk’s Pay As You Talk service absolutely free. It is included in the £20 a month price. This means that you only pay for the calls you make.
Here are the costs of making calls with Sky Pay As You Talk:
Am I eligible for Sky broadband’s social tariff?
If you are claiming Universal Credit and/or Pension Credit and are the main account holder on your Sky account, then you are eligible to get the Sky social tariff.
If you are not an existing Sky member, sadly this offer is not available to you – but don’t worry, because NOW Broadband have a very similar deal for new AND existing customers.
Sky ask that you contact them to get this deal. You can contact Sky agents via Live Chat or by phone, make sure to login to your account first if using Live Chat.
Lastly, you will need to provide Sky with your National Insurance number, which they will use to verify your eligibility. Make sure that you have it to hand, before contacting Sky.
Can I cancel early? How long is the contract?
If you take up this offer, it will mean that you start a new 18 month contract with Sky.
If you already have an existing Sky broadband contract, then they should be able to move you over to the Broadband Basics package, which is for social tariff claimants only. As above, this offer is NOT available for new customers – consider NOW Broadband instead if you are not already a Sky customer.
In regards to cancelling or terminating the contract, you can cancel the contract before the end of the term without being charged any early termination fees.
If you need to leave for any reason, Sky confirmed to us that they will not charge you anything extra. But be sure to read their Terms & Conditions to make sure that you are fully covered.
What happens after the 18 month contract is up?
Your Sky Broadband Basics package expires after 18 months – this is called being out of contract. You will be automatically reverted to regular non-social tariff pricing when this happens. In other words, you will have to start paying full price after 18 months. :
Sky call this the ‘standard rate’ and at the current time of writing it looks like this will go from £20 a month to £25 a month, but Sky will confirm how much your contract price rises by.
However, don’t be alarmed.
If you are still in receipt of Universal Credit (UC) or Pension Credit (PC) after 18 months, then you should be able to renew at the fixed £20 a month rate again for another term. We are awaiting clarification of this point from Sky.
I claim other benefits and not UC, am I still eligible?
Sky told us that they only check for Universal Credit (UC) and/or Pension Credit (PC). If you are in receipt of other benefits then you will need to talk to Sky directly and ask if they will provide you with the social tariff package.
You can find out more and contact Sky here.
I am not on benefits, why can’t I get this Sky discount?
The social tariff system was created to help those suffering the most from the cost of living crisis.
Many households not in receipt of benefits are, of course, also struggling at the moment. If this sounds familiar, our suggestion is: compare Sky broadband prices now to see what new customers are paying versus what you are paying, and use that to barter your own discounted monthly price by speaking directly to Sky.
Will the social tariff price increase in line with inflation?
No. The price for Sky Broadband Basics is fixed at £20 a month for the entire term.
After the contract expires after 18 months, it is possible that Sky may increase the price in line with inflation, but at the time of writing this is not yet known. Remember that social tariffs are new, and only just starting to become more widely known. A lot of the details still need refining.
I am a keyworker, can I get Sky broadband’s social tariff?
Keyworkers such as NHS staff and healthcare workers may be eligible for discounts on their Sky broadband package via websites like nhsDiscounts or Blue Light Card.
Unfortunately, keyworks cannot get the Sky social tariff discount unless they are also in receipt of either Universal Credit or Pension Credit.