Only a quarter of low-income households are aware of social landline tariffs offered by BT and KCOM, according to new research published by Ofcom today.
The companies offer special low-cost tariffs aimed at ensuring all UK households have access to phone services and, for an extra fee, broadband.
Affordable access to the internet is increasingly important if all sections of the community are to be able to access services such as banking, and take advantage of savings offered by online retailers.
Ofcom’s research shows that web access and mobiles phones are increasingly seen as “essential” by UK consumers with 95% of households having at least one mobile phone and 82% an internet connection.
However 7% of consumers say they’d like to have broadband but don’t because of the cost while 14% say they’ve experienced problems paying for communications services.
The regulator says it remains committed to ensuring prices fall through greater competition, and that low-income households are aware of options available to them.
Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said: “While it’s encouraging that the majority of people don’t experience difficulties paying for their communications services, it’s important that help is available for those who do.
“We’re working to ensure that all consumers can benefit from the communications services which are most important for modern life.”