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Huge rise in cancelling broadband risks slowing digital engagement levels

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The digital agenda

Just about every social housing provider has a digital agenda.  It is a key component of improving efficiency.  The more tenants who self-serve online the greater savings a social housing provider can make. And it is not just landlords who benefit.  Tenants can report repairs, or access other services at a time that suits them, and need not wait in a contact centre queue.

Cost of living crisis

The current cost of living crisis threatens this progress.  For many money is so tight that however essential some may view their broadband, others see it as simply unaffordable.  A  survey in May 2023 conducted by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), and reported by the BBC, highlighted that up to one million have cancelled their broadband in the past 12 months.  

Those affected are disproportionately likely to live in social housing and be in receipt of benefits.  The CAB reports that benefits claimants are 6 times more likely to have stopped their broadband than those not in receipt of benefits. Consequently, broadband providers have now started offering social value tariffs that start from as little as £10/month.  However, take up is tiny with only 5% of those eligible on such a tariff, most likely due to a combination of low awareness levels, and even this price point being seen as a financial barrier.

Offering a solution

Alertacall offers a solution to this issue.  It’s Housing Proactive service includes providing each household with a touchscreen, which does not require a broadband connection. It enables flexible two way messaging, the ability to report repairs and can integrate with door entry systems or customer portals.  It is especially valuable for those digitally excluded whether this be for older people who had not previously been online, or for those who cannot afford broadband.   

The lack of broadband is just one of 8 challenges in increasing digital engagement in social housing.  Alertacall has produced a free guide to understanding what is required to accelerate digital engagement levels.  To download a copy please click here.

Get in touch

If you would like to talk to our team about how we can eliminate digital poverty, including giving tenants access to your own customer portal or hub please get in touch: or call us on 0808 208 1234. 



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