Paying for line rental along with your broadband can be a real pain if you rarely use your home phone. It adds extra money to your broadband bill, which can be highly inconvenient. On this page, we reveal all there is to know about getting connected without also having to pay for a landline.
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For the most part, broadband will be sold along with phone line rental. This is because, for the most part, your broadband and phone will use the same physical (phone) line to work. As such, getting the two services together is a pretty sensible idea, both in terms of convenience and cost - if you're going to need the line to connect your broadband anyway, you may as well take the phone since it's often bundled in at little to no extra cost. However nowadays, with people relying more and more on mobiles to make their calls rather than using a landline, there's more of a call for broadband only packages.
There are only a couple of providers offering broadband only packages at the moment, the biggest being Virgin Media who offer cable broadband, rather than conventional DSL broadband. In order to get Virgin's cable broadband you'll need to live in an area with cable connection - which is currently around 50% of the country. Others, including smaller supplier Relish, offer mobile broadband, which also doesn't require a phone line.
The majority of providers will make you pay for their line rental if you want one of their broadband packages. But, there are a few providers who will allow you to get your line rental from a different provider.
By doing this, you can get your broadband from one company, and then get a cheaper line rental service from someone else. In theory, it will help you save a lot of money on your line rental throughout the course of your broadband contract. It’s a great idea for people with a current phone deal that they’re comfortable with, but want to switch to a different broadband provider. Or, it’s great if you’ve shopped around and found a cheaper line rental deal somewhere else.
Perhaps the best example of a provider that allows you to get your line rental elsewhere is Plusnet. They give you the chance to choose one of their broadband packages and get your line rental from a different provider. There is a catch, as they’re a BT owned company, you have to get your line rental from another BT based landline provider. Additionally, the price of the broadband from Plusnet will rise if you don’t get your line rental from them. So, you must find the best line rental deal around for this to work out cheaper and be worth the extra effort.
Those of you with phones connected to a 4G network will testify that the speeds are pretty quick. You can easily stream HD music and video, as well as make some quick downloads too. Over the last few years, it’s got better and better, to the point where some people entertain the idea that it can compete with home broadband.
At the moment, it’s not quite up to home broadband standard just yet. The problem with 4G is that you rely on the coverage areas. If you’re not in an area that gets 4G coverage, you’ll be restricted to the much slower 3G network instead. While a 4G network has the power to compete with home broadband speeds, a 3G is nowhere near it.
Perhaps the biggest strike against mobile broadband is that every network likes to have data limits. If you’re buying a mobile broadband contract, they rarely come with unlimited data - unlike home broadband deals, which almost always come with it. The problem with this is that your data allowance gets restricted, meaning you incur additional fees if you go over it. Sure, some providers do offer unlimited mobile broadband, but it’s usually the most expensive package they sell.
So, replacing your home broadband with a mobile one probably isn’t the best idea. Even if you live in an area with good 4G coverage, you’ll use up loads of data and be forced into paying loads of money for an unlimited data package.
Bundling as many services together can end up making things more affordable, and save you lots of money. Now, you might not like the idea of paying for line rental, particularly if you rarely use your landline. However, add line rental to package including broadband and TV, and the savings are quite substantial. Or, if you’re choosing Virgin Media as your broadband provider, throw in your mobile phone services to create the ultimate money-saving bundle.
If you're below a certain age, you might not remember the last time you used a landline phone. However, most broadband deals come with phone lines too, and it's worth considering whether you're going to use yours. Using your landline to make calls can save you some money if you select the right package. Just like on your mobile, you can get inclusive calls with your landline. You can choose anytime calls or evening and weekend calls if you just use your home phone when you're not out and about. You can also choose not to have any calls included if you're not planning to use your landline much at all. If you're also looking for a better deal on your mobile, you can bundle up your broadband, TV, and mobile into one package to save money.
Still confused? Have a look at some of these frequently asked questions to help you puzzle out what you're looking for and nail down the best deal for you.
We get asked this question a lot, which is surprising as switching is a lot easier than you might think. The first thing on your agenda will be heading to our impartial comparison tool and sticking your postcode in the search box. Our tool then works its magic and displays all the various broadband, phone and TV deals that you can get in your area. If you want to narrow down your options, then you can use our filters to sort through the results and find your dream package. Once you’ve found the broadband you’re looking for, you can click on the deal which will take you to a page that shows you it in more detail. Then, you can visit the provider via our site, and sign up for your new broadband online. When you’ve signed up through their site, they’ll contract your current provider and sort everything out for you.
Following this, the switch should be hassle free. Your new provider will send you a new router and/or TV set-top box, giving you everything you need to get started.
The exact date that your broadband will be switched is given to you by your provider when you sign up. They’ll call your previous provider, cancel your service, and get to work on switching your line. For Virgin Media customers, you have to call up and cancel yourself. Typically, you’re looking at 10 working days, unless you need a phone line fitted, in which case it can take a tad longer.
Virgin Media differs from other broadband providers in that it doesn’t use the phone lines to deliver broadband. Instead, it has its own cable network that does this for Virgin Media customers. Right now, only 50% of the UK is covered by the Virgin Media Network. But, it’s expanding and looking to increase this figure in the coming years. To find out if you can get Virgin in your area, put your postcode into our comparison tool at the top of this page.
The answer to this question depends on who your provider is. If you’ve got an email address with the likes of Plusnet, BT, TalkTalk, Sky, or Virgin Media, they’ll grant you access to your account for a short space of time after the switch. However, it’s always suggested you change over to one of the many free email providers out there like Gmail. It’ll take away any fear you have of losing your emails, and it’s incredibly easy to do.
When you compare broadband providers, weigh your budget against the benefits you receive from different packages. You don't always need to choose the most expensive option to get what you need.
Absolutely! You’ll find that most providers who also offer phone and TV will have various competitive bundles combining all three things together. It tends to end up being much cheaper when you bundle it all together with the same provider, rather than getting each thing from a different one. As a bonus, it makes bills much easier to pay too, as you get three things bundled up into one bill.
When you search for broadband deals using your postcode, you might find that you can't see any options for fibre optic broadband. The reason for this is that fibre optic is a relatively new technology and service. Broadband providers are still in the process of rolling it out across the UK, so it might not have reached your region just yet. The majority of the country has access to this fast service, but there is still a portion waiting to receive it. The rollout is sponsored by the government, and it's happening quickly, so fibre optic broadband should soon reach your area. You could choose to wait for it to become available or you can look for the next best deal now and switch your package or provider when fibre optic comes along. Occasionally, fibre optic might be available in your region but it's not available for your property due to your location or the positioning of your home.