The Somerset Guardian, 27th October 2021

Recently, Julie Elliot, Member of Parliament for Sunderland Central, wrote to me about the national rollout of TalkTalk’s project in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which provides free broadband to job seekers. I thought that it would be worthwhile using this week’s column to make constituents aware that they might be eligible for this scheme. 
Ms Elliot told me that the plan will provide job seekers with six months of broadband, which will be free of contract, via a home router that normally costs £23 a month. After six months, customers can cancel with no additional cost or opt to continue by signing a contract with TalkTalk. The national rollout follows a successful pilot that occurred in the North West of England.


In order to sign up, job seekers must ask for the free broadband from their Jobcentre Plus work coach. Respective Jobcentre Plus hubs will be notified so they are aware that this should be available to those who fulfil the criteria and I would urge as many constituents as possible to access this free plan.

The importance of a having a connexion to the internet is hard to overstate, especially when looking for work. Having the use of the internet, freely for six months, could offer possibilities and opportunities currently unavailable to those experiencing digital poverty, thus enabling them to feel included and operate on a more level playing field. I welcome this announcement, another excellent initiative pioneered by the Government. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance: