The internet has changed society in many ways, offering something to everyone regardless of age. Internet use among those aged 75+ has increased substantially over the last five years as more and more of the elderly population are finding ways that the internet can benefit them.
But, what’s the best broadband deal for their needs? What kind of broadband package is best for how much they use the internet? And how can elderly users get the most out of their broadband?
Those aged 75+ use the internet less than any other age group, but the benefits that broadband can provide to them are significant. From increased independence to socialising, here are a few ways broadband can benefit the elderly:
It’s easy for older adults in the UK to feel isolated, with many living alone or facing physical restrictions that can leave them feeling disconnected from society. The internet has revolutionised the way we connect with each other and can be a useful tool to reduce isolation and loneliness.
With the internet comes a number of ways to communicate that allow elderly users to connect with friends and family at the touch of a button, or a swipe of a screen.
Not only does broadband give the elderly the tools to connect with their peers, but it can also improve their independence. The internet opens up the doors to core services that some pensioners may have not been able to use before.
Almost everything can be done online now, including paying your bills and checking your bank account. These services enable the older community to manage their finances from the comfort of their home.
If you’re likely to be at home a lot of the time, the internet can provide many ways to keep yourself entertained. With broadband, you can listen to your favourite music, watch your favourite movies and catch up on the news whenever you like. There really is something for everyone.
Different broadband packages vary in price, connection speed and data usage, so it can be confusing to figure out exactly what you need – especially for the elderly who may be new to broadband. Below are some of the things to consider when choosing your broadband package.
When it comes to choosing your broadband bundle, it’s important to understand what your budget is. Broadband prices vary and depend on your location, plus cost can be a concern for many elderly people as they are no longer working. Once you know how much you are willing to spend, you can use our comparison tables to find the right package.
Broadband speeds vary – for frequent internet users that stream TV and play online games, a fast connection would be useful. For those who limit internet use to browsing the web, sending emails and listening to music, a lower speed would work fine. To find out more about the different broadband speeds available, visit our guide.
Packages that limit your data usage are typically cheaper. If you are not likely to be using the internet for long periods of time, this may be a better option for you. However, if you are going to be using your broadband more frequently, an unlimited option would be best.
There may come a time when things don’t go to plan and you may need to seek help about your broadband. For those that are new to broadband, it may give you extra peace of mind if you choose a provider with excellent customer service. Many providers offer 24/7 support, so you can get the help you need, whenever you need it.
Despite an increase in older adults connecting to the internet, 48% of those aged 75+ still do not use it. In addition, those aged 55 and over who do use the internet are not likely to be frequent users.
This is an important point to consider when finding broadband for elderly people – they are less likely to need high connection speeds and large data allowances from a provider.
Typically, the elderly mainly use the internet to send emails and look up information as opposed to streaming TV and playing games online, which often requires better connection speeds and higher broadband usage limits and are usually more expensive than a basic package. The good thing is that there are plenty of packages out there that meet all kinds of needs.
A common question is ‘are pensioners entitled to free broadband?’. Unfortunately, the answer is no. However, there are a number of providers out there that offer special deals and low-cost internet for older adults and those on a low income.
There are various broadband packages available by different providers, and some even offer special deals for older users. Here are just some of the deals we’ve found:
Available to those receiving Pension Credit, this package provides you with a low-cost phone line and broadband usage up to 15GB each month. As an example, with this broadband bundle, you would have enough internet each month to browse the web for up to half an hour each day, listen to 100 songs and have enough data left over to watch a film. Ideal for those that don’t use the internet for long periods each day.
Perfect for basic internet use, Post Office Broadband provides you with average speeds of 11Mbps and unlimited downloads. This means you can use the internet for as long as you want at a reasonably low-cost rate.
One of the key benefits of Post Office broadband is that you can pay for your services how you want. You have the option to pay in person by cheque, cash or Budget Payment Card, or by credit or debit card over the phone.
If you’re concerned about price rises to your broadband packages, TalkTalk may be an ideal provider for you. Offering broadband packages on contracts up to 18 months, TalkTalk promises there will be no price increases during the term of your contract. They also offer plans that don’t require a setup fee.
The Over 60s deal provides you with an average internet speed of 11Mbps and remains at a fixed price for 12 months. This offer also provides adults with a free Wi-Fi router and includes line rental at a low cost. Again, this package is ideal for basic internet use.
Many providers are offering low-cost broadband packages at an affordable rate. To find your best deal, use our comparisons.
How your broadband is installed depends on which type of connection you want. With ASDL and Fibre broadband, an engineer may need to be sent to your home to install the relevant equipment needed for an internet connection. Find out more about broadband installation here.