Financial Help With Internet Access During Covid-19 Crisis

It was announced today that all the major internet providers in Ireland have signed up to a Telecommunications Consumer Charter. This is a set of commitments to assist and help customers in the use of electronic communications during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This was announced by the Telecommunications Industry Ireland. So far it has been signed up to by BT Ireland, eir, Pure Telecom, Sky Ireland, Tesco Mobile Ireland, Three Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland and Vodafone.

Each service provider will provide details and implementation details on their own websites. These commitments will remain available to consumers until 30 June 2020 and will be reviewed in advance of that date if needed.

Summary of the Charter

  1. Fixed (home) broadband customers who currently don’t have unlimited usage will be able to make affordable arrangements to upgrade their package to unlimited usage (on a temporary basis).
  2. Customers that do not have fixed broadband and who rey solely on mobile access to the Internet will be able to avail of affordable unlimited mobile data access/packages from their service provider.
  3. Fair usage policies will not be automatically applied and every effort will be made to ensure that people are not restricted in their internet usage. Measures will be taken to manage traffic and ensure networks don’t become congested.
  4. Internet access to specified healthcare and educational resource websites identified by the government will be zero-rated in terms of data for all customers where technically feasible.
  5. Internet service providers will engage with any customer that contacts them who is in financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19 and has difficulty paying their bills to agree the best way of keeping them connected to voice and data.
  6. Service Providers will work with ComReg in the event of complaints raised to ComReg by consumers, who consider they are not being treated in accordance with these commitments

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Three Ireland have already made some changes – they have the 60GB data cap from their ” All You Can Eat Data” For those customers that do not have All You Can Eat Data, they will not use any of their data allowance when accessing, . In addition, all calls to the HSE’s COVID-19 helpline are now also free.

Tesco Mobile – All calls to HSE Live via 1850 24 1850 or 041 6850300 are now free for all Tesco Mobile customers until further notice.
They also say ” if you are worried about meeting your repayments with us, please contact us and we will help find a resolution together.

Virgin Media say they have recently increased their mobile allowances across all plans and are waiving the minimum 24 month contract on their Home Worker product, with flexible contracts to facilitate working from home.

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