TalkTalk hopes to tackle digital exclusion by offering UK jobseekers access to free broadband. If you’re out of work, you’ll be granted a no-contract voucher to unlock access to TalkTalk’s Fibre 35 broadband plan, which usually costs £23 a month. You can expect download speeds of around 38Mbps on this bundle, which should be more than enough to attend interviews over videocall software, upload CVs, fill out online application forms, and more.
There are no download limits to worry about, so you won’t be penalised if other members of the household are streaming boxsets on Netflix or downloading mammoth updates to video games all-day. TalkTalk supplies its own broadband router to customers, which enables Wi-Fi connectivity at home – so you won’t need to worry about buying any extra kit.
As you might expect, the free six-month broadband voucher from TalkTalk will block your ability to add any optional extras, like paid-for TV services or voice calls, to the contract. So, you’re only going to get access to Wi-Fi and wired internet. That’s it.
At the end of the six months, you’ll be given the choice to switch to a rolling Fibre 35 contract with TalkTalk, or cancel with no additional costs. When you cancel, you’ll need to send back all of the provided Wi-Fi equipment via a prepaid returns service.
The pandemic has exacerbated an ongoing trend. While the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) jobcentres have remained open throughout the coronavirus lockdowns, some of the assistance has been moved online. Not only that, but a number of roles now require candidates to submit their candidacy online, or supply additional materials in a digital format.
That makes an internet connection invaluable.
TalkTalk and the DWP tested this new voucher in Greater Manchester and Cheshire at the start of the second national lockdown last year to support those looking for new jobs from home. This proved so successful that TalkTalk is now making the scheme available nationwide to all Jobcentre Plus work coaches, who can hand-out the six-month vouchers to jobseekers.
Employment Minister Mims Davies, said: “We want to support jobseekers in any way we can on their journey to securing employment, which includes levelling up opportunities by making sure they are digitally connected and can access the full range of support offered by our Plan for Jobs and our JobHelp website.”