The UK government secured commitments from major mobile operators and ISPs including the removal of data caps, to protect vulnerable customers during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) crisis.

In a statement, the government said mobile operators O2 UK, Vodafone UK, 3UK and EE (via parent BT) were among ten companies which pledged to ensure connectivity for customers during the pandemic.

Along with the data cap move, operators agreed to provide support for customers struggling to make payments, offer generous new packages, and provide alternative communication methods in the event of outages.

Openreach, Sky, TalkTalk, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear and KCOM also agreed to the measures.

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “It’s fantastic to see mobile and broadband providers pulling together to do their bit for the national effort by helping customers, particularly the most vulnerable, who may be struggling with bills at this difficult time.”

BT consumer division CEO Marc Allera said the operator’s “priorities are the safety of our colleagues and ensuring that our customers, particularly those that are vulnerable, stay connected”.

Mark Evans, CEO of Telefonica UK (O2) welcomed the joint effort, noting “digital connectivity” is currently “more important than ever as we connect our customers to vital services and their loved ones”.