BT customers can get a free mini hub that will keep them connected to the internet even if their broadband goes down.
The mini hubs use EE’s mobile signal to get online, unlike broadband which is connected to the exchange.
Customers can then connect their devices to it, such as your computer or phone, whenever the broadband connection goes down.
The service isn’t new – BT launched it back in 2018 – but a bargain hunter has issued a reminder in the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook group to other customers who may be missing out.
Around 4.7million Brits have suffered a broadband outage that lasts more than three hours in the past year, according to comparison site USwitch.com.
Top tips on how to stay connected
BELOW are some tips from Ofcom on how to stay connected during the coronavirus crisis.
- Use your landline or wifi calls:More people are making calls on their mobile network during the day, so you may find you get a more reliable connection using your landline or by turning on “wifi calling” in your settings.
- Move your router clear of other devices: Keep your router as far away as possible from other devices, such as cordless phones, baby monitors, TVs and monitors, as they can all affect your wifi if they’re too close to your router. Also, place your router on a table or shelf rather than on the floor, and keep it switched on.
- Lower the demands on your connection: The more devices attached to your wifi, the lower the speed you get. Devices like tablets and smartphones often work in the background, so try switching wifi reception off on these when you’re not using them.
- Try wired rather than wireless:For the best broadband speeds, use an Ethernet cable to connect your computer directly to your router rather than using wifi.
- Plug your router directly into your main phone socket:Where possible, try not to use a telephone extension lead, as these can cause interference which could lower your speed.
- Test the speed on your broadband line: You can run a speed test using Ofcom’s official mobile and broadband checker. If possible, carry out tests over a few days and at different times of day.
- Get advice from your broadband provider: If your connection isn’t working as well as it should, you can find advice on your broadband provider’s website. If you need to contact them for help, keep in mind that because of coronavirus some companies have fewer people to help with your queries.
BT last suffered an outage in August after huge storms caused a loss of connection for hundreds of customers in parts of Scotland.
BT is one of the only providers to offer this kind of service, although it’s only available to Halo customers.
Halo is a premium service that bill payers can add on to their normal broadband deal.
Prices start from an extra £3 a month and gives bill payers perks like double mobile data if you’re a phone customer too.
The free hub is part of its “keep connected promise”.
Customers who report a fault with their broadband before 7:30pm Monday to Friday will be sent a mini hub to arrive the next day.
Bill payers who report weekend faults before 12:30pm on Sunday will have their hub arrive on Monday, or Tuesday if it is reported later than this.
Mobile customers will also be switched to unlimited data while the fault is being fixed.
You can also ask for one to be sent out if you’re moving house to keep you online once your broadband stops at your old address.
You can keep the mini hub once normal service has been resumed in case you suffer an outage in the future.
However, it’s worth noting that they won’t automatically be activated every time your broadband goes down so you’ll need to contact BT to alert them to the issue first.
Even though the hubs are free, some chancers are trying to flog them on eBay for around £25.
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Broadband and phone customers can get automatic refunds of up to £8 per day for problems with their service, according to regulator Ofcom.
The automatic compensation scheme was temporarily paused in March 2020 to support network providers during the coronavirus crisis.
This is because under the current circumstances, providers are less likely to be able to carry out repairs, install new services or make home visits