The United Kingdom has made some significant strides in combating the global coronavirus pandemic. While the government is working on improving the implication of mandatory restrictions on individuals and businesses, data service providers are also doing their bit to ease the pressure.
The UK government has now announced that several data and internet service providers would lift their data caps for fixed-line broadband service users, thus providing more gains on data packages.
UK Government Steps up to Help the People
Large telecom operators like O2, Sky, Vodafone, and Virgin Media have agreed to lift data caps on their broadband packages. In addition, these firms will also provide generous new packages for fixed and mobile providers.
For landline owners, telecom companies within the United Kingdom have promised to provide customers with alternative means to communicate if the outbreak prevents them from repairing any damaged systems. The operators would also support vulnerable customers who are unable to pay their bills during the health crisis.
The move will be especially beneficial to customers in severely devastated cities in the UK like Birmingham, Sheffield, and London, as it ensures that they can remain connected as the virus outbreak ravages on.
American ISPs Follow the Trend
Similar measures are being implemented across the pond as well. Earlier this month, Comcast confirmed in a post that it would be increasing internet speeds for low-income customers via its Internet Essentials program.
The program provides broadband to these customers for just $9.99 a month. Thanks to the update, qualifying customers will be able to sign up for free for the first 60 days, with connection speeds bumped from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps.
AT&T also revealed that it would be suspending broadband usage caps for as long as this problem lasts.
Financial Relief for Affected Workers
Beyond data caps, perhaps the most devastating aspect of this outbreak is economic uncertainty.
As the days go by, many Britons who are now unemployed ponder on where the next paycheck will come from. Last week, the government said it would subsidize wages for workers laid off due to COVID-19. At the time, the UK’s finance minister Rishi Sunak said that the government would cover up to 80 percent of worker salaries for the next three months, up to a maximum of £2,500 ($2,900) per month.