If you don’t qualify for this specific scheme, you may want to check out our Cheap Broadband guide to see what other help is available from telecoms providers and how to find the best deal for your needs. If you’re struggling, it may also be worth doing a 10-minute benefits check to ensure you’re not missing out on any help you’re entitled to.
You need to apply for the free broadband via your Jobcentre
Here’s how to apply for six months’ free broadband under TalkTalk and the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) new scheme, which is now available UK-wide following a successful trial in Greater Manchester and Cheshire last year:
- If you’re out of work, ask your Jobcentre Plus work coach if you can apply. TalkTalk told us it will be up to Jobcentre Plus staff to determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis. But if you’re out of work – particularly if you don’t currently have home broadband – you could be eligible.
- If you’re eligible, you’ll be given a referral code to give to TalkTalk. You should redeem this code via a dedicated TalkTalk phone number, which you’ll be given by Jobcentre Plus staff. Applying this way means you can bypass the usual credit check to take out the product, so it shouldn’t have a negative impact on your credit score. See our Credit Scores guide for more info on how these work. There’s no limit on the number of voucher referral codes available, and there’s no end date you need to apply by.
- If you take up the offer and it expires, you may be able to get it again in future. TalkTalk says if you find yourself out of work again, you could discuss applying for the scheme once more with your Jobcentre Plus work coach. But it will be down to staff to decide whether to offer it.
You’ll be given fibre broadband under the scheme – but the package doesn’t include extras, such as calls or TV
Eligible recipients will get TalkTalk’s standard fibre package, which has an average download speed of 38Mbps, which is fast enough for most online activity, although this package won’t include any optional extras, such as TV or calls. Even if you find a job within the six months, you can continue to use the free broadband until it expires.
There’s also no contract, so if at any point during the six months you want to cancel, you can do so penalty-free.
If you keep the service for the full six months, once this period is up the broadband will be automatically terminated penalty-free – unless you switch elsewhere or request to move on to a different TalkTalk package. TalkTalk says you can, for example, choose to roll on to its standard broadband package, which currently costs £23/month over an 18-month term. But compare prices first using our Broadband Unbundled tool.