Internet Poverty – My Thoughts

People are beginning to see their internet bills go up at a time when the Covid pandemic has reduced household income.

Millions of Virgin Media customers will soon see a price hike of up to £54 a year. Most of the company’s UK cable customers will receive an increase of between £2.50 and £4.50 per month. Letters to customers have already started to drop on the door mat.

As more citizens turn to technology with another national lockdown underway, Virgin Media customers will see an average increase of £3.63 a month, equivalent to four per cent.

This is 13 times higher than the current consumer price inflation (CPI) rate which stands at 0.3 per cent, as of November 2020.  

BT, Three and Vodafone customers have recently been notified about incoming price rises for their monthly bills. Those who have packages from BT can expect no good news if they have a landline, broadband, TV, sport and a mobile phone included within their package.

And there’s more grim news for those consumers who subscribe to Netflix and Disney who are also experiencing price rises if they haven’t already occurred yet.

Lockdown sees a captive audience that is relying upon these providers to help maintain a semblance of normality in these difficult times. A lot of families have not met for up to a year and in many cases and can only stay in touch via the internet and mobile phone networks.

Families who normally enjoying escaping the everyday routine through maybe a meal out or organised sports and leisure for instance, now rely upon the internet and mobile phone networks. Home schooling has also making its demands on networks.

With the exception of Netflix who was reportedly in debt last year to the tune of $15 billion, companies such as Vodafone had a Euro4.1 billion profit, Virgin a £5.1 billion profit, BT a £2.7 billion profit and Disney, a $11 billion profit.

Yet despite hardships being experienced through no fault of their own, hard pressed citizens are being asked to pay more. No one expects something for nothing. But would it not be a grand gesture by these companies who we have come to rely upon, to offer some sort of relief on monthly bills?

If nothing is forthcoming from such companies, it would not be unexpected to see swathes of customers switching providers.

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