Ofcom communications affordability tracker

Date published:

04/04/2023

Authors:

Ofcom

Key takeaways:

Methodology and Methods:

CATIbus (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview) survey run by Ipsos MORI. Sample size: 1,102 (January 2023). Fieldwork period: The fieldwork for the data referenced in this report was carried out during January 2023. Fieldwork generally takes place in the first week of each month and therefore experiences largely reflect those of the previous month e.g., January fieldwork will largely reflect experiences in December. Due to Christmas, fieldwork started in the second week of January. Sample definition: UK adults aged 18+, identifying those who are either the sole or joint decision-maker for communications services in their household and/or those who personally use a mobile phone, for the main survey. Quotas are set on age, gender, working status and geographical regions. This sample also included a Northern Ireland boost, which was subsequently down weighted in the UK representative results.
Survey, Analysis of other data, Interviews, Case Studies, Focus Groups/Panels/Workshops, Participant Observation/Lived Experience, Literature Review and/or Policy Proposal

Case study:

No

Ofcom regularly monitors people’s experience of communications services. This summary sets out the findings from our latest research into the affordability of home broadband, mobile phone, landline and pay-TV services.

8.1 million UK households are having difficulty affording communications services
In January 2023, around three in ten (29%) households we surveyed had difficulty affording a communication service. This remains at the relatively high level reported in the latter half of 2022.

In total, we estimate that around 8.1 million UK households (+/- 800,000) were finding it difficult to afford communications service(s).

Younger adults (42% of those aged 18-24), households with children (38%), benefits recipients (40%) and people with a disability or limiting condition (42%) continue to be among those most likely to be having difficulty affording communications services. Awareness of social tariffs has improved among eligible customers (to 47% from 16% in January 2022). Most people are hearing about social tariffs for the first time via social media (26%) and television (21%) but only 9% have heard about social tariffs from their provider.