Universal Credit: Broadband

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 18th April 2017.

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Photo of Margaret Greenwood Margaret Greenwood Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the findings of the Ofcom report, entitled Connected Nations, published in December 2016, that five per cent of homes and small businesses and 25 per cent of premises in rural areas were unable to receive broadband speeds of more than 10Mps for the feasibility of the universal credit full service.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Universal Credit Full Service is a Digital service that has been specifically designed to keep bandwidth requirements as low as possible in order to ensure users get the best possible service. The user interface has been built using cross-government standards and is consistent with designs used by other Government departments. Because it utilises lower bandwidths, people with limited or intermittent internet access will still be able to use it affectively.

Because internet access is an issue for some claimants, including those in rural areas, all jobcentres across the country have Wi-Fi and computers available, including 6000 additional computers installed to support the introduction of Universal Credit. This provides access to digital channels in every Jobcentre for claimants to use when they do not have access at home.

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