One in five UK households cannot afford to be online

One in five UK households cannot afford to be online

Date: 07/06/22

Author: Anthony Harrison

London, UK – 08 June 2022 - A new nationwide study has found that a third (33%) of Brits would rather cut back on their fuel use than cut back on broadband to save money. However, 20% of Brits cannot afford to be online, leaving them unable to carry out day to day life tasks such as accessing public services, using online banking or applying for jobs, according to the survey by Community Fibre, London’s fastest 100% full fibre broadband provider.

The study of 1,500 adults living in the UK highlights a colossal digital gap with 53% of respondents admitting they know someone who cannot afford to have data on their phone, or broadband at home.

Worryingly, despite a state-of-the-art internet infrastructure forming part of the government’s Levelling Up agenda(i), three in ten Brits (31%) are being forced to limit the amount they spend on data as the cost-of-living crisis bites. Furthermore, one in ten (13%) said their own children are often unable to do their schoolwork online due to their lack of internet access.

Graeme Oxby, CEO of Community Fibre said: “Entertainment aside, the online world has grown to be crucial for work, education, access to medical care, and checking up on loved ones. Internet access is therefore a basic right, not a luxury – this belief is in the foundations of everything we do at Community Fibre. Learning that over 13 million people in the UK and roughly two million in London, cannot afford to be online encourages us to be even more ambitious with our goals to connect communities with the most affordable, but also fastest full fibre network. We’ve already committed to no in-contract price hikes this year and covering 60% of London’s premises by 2024, and we’re excited to work even harder to provide the best for our community.”

Further insights from the survey include:

• 17% of Brits regularly struggle to keep up with their broadband payments

• 18% admit they usually run out of data before the end of the month

• Thee in ten (29%) will have no choice but to cut back on data to save money

• 21% regularly rely on friends or neighbours to access the internet

• 12% say they are concerned they come across unprofessional when working from home as their WiFi connection is so poor

• 28% admit they have at one time struggled to carry out at least one of the following – make a GP appointment, apply for a job, access government services or pay bills – because of lack of internet access

Most affordable broadband on the market

For Londoners looking for super affordable broadband options, Community Fibre offers an Essential 10Mbps package for just £12.50 a month, making it the most affordable offer on the market. Available on a 12-month contract, this 100% full fibre connection comes with symmetrical download and upload speeds of 10Mbps, a free of charge Linksys WiFi 5 mesh router and free installation. This is available to all new Community Fibre customers – proof of being on income support or any other state benefit is not required.

Pricing comparison*:


*Data accurate for the month of June 2022.


This research of 1,500 UK based Britons aged 18 and over was commissioned by Community Fibre and conducted by Perspectus Global during March 2022.

Media Contacts

AxiCom for Community Fibre: [email protected]

About Community Fibre

Community Fibre is future proofing London communities by delivering 100% full-fibre broadband throughout the capital city. By believing in a more inclusive future where everyone has access to better broadband, Community Fibre offers the fastest 100% full fibre broadband in London, with up to 10 Gbps for businesses and up to 3Gbps for consumers, at the most competitive prices on the market. Through offering more reliable and affordable 100% full fibre connections, Community Fibre empowers communities, enabling them to connect with friends and family and access crucial services online.

Community Fibre was named the UK’s best Consumer Internet Service Provider for the second year running at the Internet Service Provider Association (ISPA) Awards 2021, in addition to being recognised as the Best Ultrafast Broadband provider and awarded the Social Impact Award. It also won the Scaling Up category at the INCA Gold Awards in 2021.

Currently Community Fibre operates in the following London boroughs: Barnet, Brent, Bexley, Bromley, Camden, City of London, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth and Westminster.