UK internet providers will lift data caps during COVID-19 pandemic

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The UK is echoing others in lifting internet restrictions to keep people online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Major telecoms like BT/EE, Openreach and Virgin Media have struck an agreement that will remove "all" data caps on current landline broadband services. Mobile and fixed providers also have to offer "generous" new packages to help people stay connected (particularly the vulnerable), such as data boosts at lower prices and free calls.

Telecoms will have to provide "alternative methods of communication" if the outbreak prevents repairs to landlines. They'll likewise have to ensure customers are "treated fairly" if they have a hard time paying their bills.

ISPs have already made some accommodations of their own, but this should ensure a consistent level of service across these larger companies. Not that there was necessarily much choice. Many of those still employed now have to work from home, and the internet is likely to be a key source of entertainment. While that sudden shift is putting added strain on networks, allowing business as usual could have led to widespread disconnections and overage charges at the worst possible time.