KCOM is making it easier and quicker for struggling families to access its low-cost Flex social tariff by moving the application online and reducing the price.

Customers searching for the Yorkshire-based broadband provider’s Flex tariff will now be able to apply online and receive a decision if they are eligible within minutes – slashing up to four weeks off waiting for an answer from the previous system. The move will make KCOM one of the first internet providers in the UK to use cutting edge Open Banking technology to improve access for customers to its social tariffs.

KCOM will also reduce the price of its Flex tariff by 25% to £14.99 from 1 June, for an unlimited data 30Mbps broadband package, in a further move to help households on benefits struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Tim Shaw, KCOM Chief Executive, said: “With so many people struggling with the cost of living right now we’re determined to help our customers keep control of their household budgets.

“By moving our Flex application online leveraging developments in Open Banking we are making it far easier and quicker for our customers to be accepted onto our Flex social tariff.

“And by reducing the price of our tariff we’re also reinforcing our commitment to making sure everyone has access to high quality, reliable broadband. It’s never been more important for our customers to have access to all the things that matter to them online – whether that’s working, doing homework, staying in touch with friends or family or just being able to pay bills or make appointments.”

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “We have been calling on broadband providers to do more to help with the global rise in the cost of living and it's fantastic to see KCOM cutting prices and helping families switch and save more quickly.

“Following our discussions with telecoms firms many have launched new social tariff deals, but we know fewer than two per cent of eligible people have taken them up. We want to make it as easy as possible for those in need to access the help that is due to them.”

KCOM joined forces with digital journey specialists PrinSIX who created the online system to check applicants’ eligibility using their state-of-the-art Software as a Service (SaaS) technology.

Julian Graham-Rack, CEO of PrinSIX, said: “We are delighted to support KCOM in offering affordable access to the internet for many more people, meeting their day to day needs in the new digital world.

“The PrinSIX approach treats each applicant as an individual, by making the process completely personalised and relevant to them. Our technology is very different to traditional assessment journeys, which create barriers for those in our communities that need most help, because they fail to understand the complexity of individuals’ circumstances quickly and simply.”

KCOM’s changes follow calls from Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to “better promote” their social tariffs to help customers through the cost of living crisis.

Earlier this year KCOM was the first UK broadband provider to announce it was scrapping its annual CPI price increase to help families struggling with rising prices.

To find out if you are eligible for KCOM’s Flex social tariff click here