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Broadband deal of the week: First Utility 17Mb, £18.99 per month with free set-up and no up-front costs

Friday, July 28th 2017 by Dan Howdle
It’s Friday again and that means it’s time for my deal of the week, where I pick out for you the limited-time broadband deal I feel offers the best value in the country right now. This week it's from broadband newcomer First Utility...

First Utility’s 17Mb, £18.99 per month broadband deal is this week’s standout, offering simply outstanding value, with that price including line rental, and unlike many others out there right now – including those from BT, Sky, Virgin Media and so on – there are no upfront costs whatsoever.

Why’s this First Utility deal so cheap?

There are a lot of different companies out there who want to supply your broadband. The UK actually has one of the busiest consumer broadband markets in the world, with dozens of smaller providers, as well as the big four: Sky, Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk.

First Utility has made a name for itself as a very reasonably-priced supplier of gas and electricity. I myself was a customer of theirs for over a year and was very happy, but with energy if you don’t keep switching you tend to lose out.

So while not a new company, it is brand new to the broadband market and as such it needs to build a customer base quickly. It’s doing that by offering deals like this one, a deal previously only available to its energy customers (now available to everyone), and almost certainly taking a loss for it. Its loss is your gain. Take advantage while you can.

How it compares with this week's other top deals

  • Direct Save Broadband Unlimited Plus + Calls

    Direct Save
    • Pay 1st month's bill today
    • Free budget-range router
    • Pay for the calls you use
    £17 .95
    £8.95 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal
  • First Utility First Broadband

    First Utility
    • Pay nothing today
    • Free wireless router
    £18 .99
    Zero set-up cost includes line rental See Deal
  • Post Office Unlimited Broadband + Calls

    Post Office
    • Pay nothing today
    • Weekend calls
    • Free Wi-Fi router
    £7 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal

What can I do with 17Mbps? Is that enough?

Broadband providers will always keep pushing up speeds, and marketing in such a way as to convince you you need those speeds. But, day-to-day applications aren’t keeping pace. There is currently no single application (or collection of concurrent applications) that would use more than a fraction of the 300Mbps Virgin Media will be offering later in the year, for example.

17Mbps is enough to watch Netflix, Amazon, iPlayer etc. in high-definition (HD) on two screens at once. That is to say it could manage it twice over. It’s also plenty fast enough for everything else. The only thing you won’d be able to do with First Utility’s 17Mb broadband deal is watch ultra-high-definition (UHD or 4K) content as 25Mbps is the bare minimum for that.

Other bits and bobs you should know

At this price you can’t expect inclusive calls, and you won’t get them. Unless you upgrade your package all calls are pay-as-you-go at 10p per minute to other UK landlines and 11.5p per minute to standard UK mobiles.

The deal is online-only – not available if you call them on the phone. You can see the deal in full by clicking on this blue bit of text right here.

Dan Howdle, Cable.co.uk

Dan Howdle is Cable.co.uk’s resident telecoms expert. Dan appears regularly in the UK press to talk about issues faced by UK consumers on matters of broadband, TV and mobile, and has appeared on BBC Breakfast, ITV News, Sky News, and on a number of BBC and non-BBC UK radio stations. If you have a question for Dan, you can email him at expert@cable.co.uk.

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