Create a Ning Network!
where social housing providers meet to help their residents embrace the web
I think free might be stretching it too far. I think there are more practical options - following (and improving on) Ofgem's lead in trying to simplify a market (I can't believe with all the focus on utilities on the tariff practices no one yet has brought up how ridiculously arcane broadband pricing is), plus maybe requiring a £5pm PAYG basic offer from all ISPs
Agree about the arcane pricing. What is 'line rental' anyway? It is purely an archaic way of getting more cash out of consumers based on the way the Post Office used to charge for the telephone service. I have lived in my current home for 10 years and it had the same copper phone line for a considerable number of years before that. The cost of the copper to my house must have been paid off years ago!
Well I can sort of see the basic logic - a line requires powering and maintaining, whether used for calls or data after all.
But the complexity of initial offers versus long term prices just makes it impossible, and the only truly affordable way to be online is to keep jumping ISP every 12-18mths. That can work out VERY cheap - e.g. one offer right now (from a company I personally despise so shall not name!) can be £27 for a YEAR after cashback taken into account! This does not help the cause of digital inclusion where you cannot give out a clean clear message about the cost of being online however.
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