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People cut back on food to pay their telecom bill, Ofcom research finds

HUNDREDS of thousands of people are cutting back on food and clothing so that they can pay their telecom bills, government regulator Ofcom revealed yesterday.

The watchdog said it was clear that telecom providers “can do more to support customers who are in financial difficulty.”

Ofcom research found that an estimated 4.7 million UK homes have struggled with the cost of their telecoms bills this year.

The regulator found that almost one in five (19 per cent) has experienced problems in paying for communication services, with 5 per cent of customers having reduced spending on food and clothing.

Groups most likely to be in difficulty are households with someone unemployed and looking for work, young people aged 18 to 24 and people with an underlying health condition.

“Lockdown has laid bare our dependence on a reliable internet connection,” said Ofcom networks and communications group director Lindsey Fussell.

“So it’s important that affordable options are available so everyone can stay connected, particularly those who have fallen on hard times.”

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