29 Mar 2017

Broadband boost for Service personnel

The UK’s internet providers are giving a boost to our Armed Forces personnel, with the announcement that they will no longer have to pay cancellation fees due to reposting.

Defence Minister Mark Lancaster announced the move by members of the Armed Forces Covenant, BT, Sky, EE, Plusnet, Talk Talk and Virgin Media, to treat military personnel fairly when cancelling contracts due to overseas posting and relocation within the UK.

The announcement means that 95% of Britain’s broadband market is committed to helping service families, benefitting tens of thousands of personnel home and abroad. The mobile nature of service life has meant that members of the Armed Forces who are deployed overseas or to different parts of the UK not covered by their provider could be forced to pay a cancellation fee, this will no longer be the case.

Defence Minister Mark Lancaster, said: “Our Armed Forces are sent all over the world and across the country to help keep our country safe and they should never be at a disadvantage because of this. The removal of cancellation fees by leading broadband providers is yet another example of the Covenant in action, which is making sure our brave personnel are treated fairly. It’s a welcome move and we’re looking forward to seeing what more British businesses can do to support our military.”

BT Chief Executive Gavin Patterson, said: “Armed Forces personnel play a vital role protecting our country, whether serving overseas or stationed away from home in other parts of the UK. That’s why we’re committed to ensuring they don’t have to pay for broadband or TV services they can’t access, when they find themselves in this situation. Whether it’s through today’s announcement, our hiring of ex-armed forces personnel, or through our work with Reservists, BT, along with our fellow signatories are proud to support our country’s military personnel.”

TalkTalk Chief Executive, Dido Harding, added: “We recognise that service personnel and their families face unique challenges, not least due to the fact they are regularly posted to new locations all over the country and abroad, often at short notice. TalkTalk was the first ISP to recognise how tricky this can be and offer free disconnections for service personnel moving overseas, and we’re delighted that the rest of the industry has followed suit.”

This announcement follows numerous commitments from Covenant members to ensure members and families of the Armed Forces are not disadvantaged by their service. Last year, the UK’s largest insurers and brokers allowed personnel and their families posted abroad to keep their No Claims Bonus for up to three years, and also waived cancellation fees.

While 47 of the UK’s high street banks and building societies committed to letting personnel posted overseas and around the UK rent out their homes without facing higher mortgage costs or having to change to a buy-to-let mortgage.


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