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One of the most common ways that broadband companies incentivise their offers for new customers is by offering broadband with no setup fees. This usually means that you won’t pay for things like equipment or delivery, and that your new broadband service will be installed or activated free of charge.
This page will tell you everything you need to know about finding broadband with no extra costs, be they installation, activation or delivery fees; which providers offer it, what types of broadband are included with this kind of deal and the pros and cons of opting for a broadband package with nothing else to pay.
Some providers offer broadband with no other costs as standard, while others include broadband with no additional or upfront fees only on certain packages in order to tempt new customers. Here’s our rundown of what you can expect from the most popular UK providers:
These providers generally always offer some form of broadband with no installation costs.
Plusnet broadband – You won’t pay fees for installation or equipment with Plusnet broadband, though a £49.99 charge applies if you need a new phone line. You will need to pay for your first month up front – so not an extra cost as such, and you will have quite a long period before you need to settle your next monthly bill.
John Lewis broadband – John Lewis uses Plusnet Broadband, and as such the same arrangements apply – no charges for broadband installation, router or delivery. Similarly, you'll be asked to pay for the first month of your contract in advance, but again, it's not really an additional fee. Should you need a new phone line you’ll also be asked to pay a their £49.99 charge.
Vodafone broadband – You won’t pay any extra costs with Vodafone fibre broadband (and the do only offer fibre now), unless a new phone line needs to be installed. In this case, there’s a £60 fixed fee.
Shell Energy broadband – This energy company turned internet provider now provides broadband with no extra costs as standard. Also, unless you purchased a reduced price package, Shell Energy will not increase the price of your broadband at the end of your contract.
SSE broadband – SSE are known for their no frills packages, and have recently returned to offering broadband with no other costs. They also offer attractively priced ways to combine your home energy bills with your broadband and phone. And their 60 day happiness guarantee gives you plenty of time to decide if they're right for you.
Broadband with no setup fees from these providers are offered for a limited time only, not as standard. When you see them, sign up quickly to avoid missing out.
TalkTalk broadband – TalkTalk often offer broadband with no extra costs – upfront or otherwise – though the brand’s combined broadband and TV bundles do usually mean paying a little more for the TV box. TalkTalk's broadband deals are no longer fixed price for the 18 month contract, but there is an option to leave without a penalty within 30 days if you're not completely happy.
BT broadband – BT reduces and even waives setup and delivery fees from time to time to attract new customers, though it’s just as likely you’ll be tempted by the reward cards they fequently offer with their fibre broadband packages and broadband with TV bundles. A new line installation will add £49.99 to your bill though – if you need one.
EE broadband – EE tends to chop and change the packages they offer without installation or delivery costs, so it's worth keeping an eye out and biding your time if they're your preferred provider. There’s always a £50 charge if you need a new phone line.
Sky broadband – Sky periodically offers broadband packages with no setup or delivery charges to tempt new customers. This is rare, so our advice is to jump on them when you spot them! Their charges for new phone lines can be as low as £20.
Virgin Media broadband – Virgin charges a £35 activation fee across the board on all its packages – whether that's just broadband or a full bundle, so it’s always advisable to take advantage of their limited time no-fee deals. As a rule, it'll be a short term offer running for just a few days, so if you see one, and you're looking for a Virgin Media package, you should seriously consider it.
Our deal experts have selected the best deals with no upfront costs so you don't have to.
|Package||Broadband Speed||Contract Length||Monthly Price|
|SSE Unlimited Fibre Plus Broadband||63Mb average||18 months||£26 per month|
|EE Fibre Broadband only||36Mb average||24 months||£24 per month|
|Shell Energy Broadband Superfast Fibre||35Mb average||18 months||£21.99 per month|
|TalkTalk Fibre 65||67Mb average||18 months||£25 per month|
|TalkTalk Fibre 35||38Mb average||18 months||£23 per month|
|Shell Energy Broadband Fast Broadband||11Mb average||18 months||£16.99 per month|
|Plusnet Unlimited Broadband||10Mb average||12 months||£18.99 per month|
|Vodafone Superfast 2 Fibre Broadband||63Mb average||24 months||£22 per month|
|John Lewis Broadband + Evening & Weekend Calls||10Mb average||12 months||£19 per month|
|Shell Energy Broadband Fast Broadband + Eve & Weekend Calls||11Mb average||18 months||£21.99 per month|
Broadband with free installation and a voucher are very limited. Most providers will offer a pay nothing today deal but won't throw in extra freebies.
In the past, broadband with free installation was generally standard / ADSL packages, running along existing BT copper phone lines. These days however, you're just as likely to find no-fee fibre broadband packages depending on what each provider is promoting at the time. Unfortunately, fees are still fairly universal when it comes to next generation 'full fibre' FTTP services.
To help determine what broadband speed is right for your needs, read our guide.
While broadband with no installation or delivery costs sounds like a no brainer, it's not necessarily that simple. Whether it's wise to choose a broadband deal with no upfront costs entirely depends on the monthly costs and any other charges you might incur over the lifetime of the contract. It could be a false economy, so do think it through first.
Here are some pros and cons for broadband with no installation fees.
Money saving – Some internet providers have surprisingly heavy charges for installation and delivery – particularly when bundling in TV services too. Avoiding these is an obvious money-saver, though you’ll need to make sure that monthly charges for your broadband aren’t hiked up to compensate for upfront savings.
Broadband only benefits – If you’re looking for broadband on its own, without calls or TV options bundled in, then generally speaking you'll probably have the widest choice of no extra-cost options available.
Missing out on bundles – While providers such as TalkTalk or BT may offer broadband and TV bundles with no upfront costs, their modest selection of Freeview channels can’t compete with the likes of Sky and Virgin Media, both of whom charge for installation or activation as standard. If you want decent broadband service with a great selection of TV channels, you may need to bite the bullet and pay extra – or just keep checking our comparison pages and grab a fee-free deal when it comes up!
Missing out on top speeds – The big provider with the highest broadband speeds in the UK is Virgin Media, a brand who, as we've mentioned, rarely offers deals with no activation fee. And only the the latest 'Fibre To The Premises' (FTTP) packages from other providers come close – which always also come with extra fees. So if you really need the highest speed broadband, there might be no way around paying that little be more.
Generally, combined broadband and TV packages are more likely to have extra setup, activation or delivery fees than other deals simply because there's more involved – for example satellite dishes and TV boxes. But from time to time they do come up so use our comparison to see what's on offer at the moment – you might well be in luck.
With the exception of Virgin Media, Hyperoptic broadband and now BT broadband, all UK broadband providers require customers to have a landline installed at their property in order to access broadband services. This doesn’t mean that you'll necessarily need to have a working landline phone that you use to make calls, but a physical phone line is usually required.
If you don’t have a phone line already installed at your home (or you want a new one), some providers charge a fixed-fee for an engineer to visit and provide one. This is why it’s important to check, in advance, whether your property has a landline already installed. If so, you can access a wider variety of broadband without setup costs.
No. In the past, some providers used to advertise ‘free’ broadband, but this was really just a marketing trick designed to lure in potential customers. Telecoms regulator Ofcom has now put a stop to this and no company is allowed to market a deal as ‘free’ broadband – unless of course it really is!
Yes. All broadband offers come with their own router, which you'll need to connect to the internet. You might be asked to return this at the end of the contract.
It depends on your provider and your deal. In some cases, it might be as simple as plugging in the router and switching it on. If you need help setting up your WiFi, our guide will give you the answers you need. Sometimes setting up your broadband is a little more complicated. In these instances an engineer will come to your home to do it for you.
It always depends on the deal. Some providers may offer plenty of incentives to sign a contract. This could be a mixture of free installation and delivery, gifts, cashback, reduced prices – it all depends! Check what’s available at the moment, and remember that deals come and go all the time.
It depends on the provider. If you don’t find a broadband deal with free installation, you could be asked to pay charges as little as £10. At the other end of the scale, you could be looking at multiples of that. So be aware of these costs, and of course always read the terms and conditions carefully before signing up to a deal.
Yes, these days no-fee deals are almost always available for fibre broadband. The old rule of thumb that ADSL broadband was more likely to have no fees has been inverted to some extent – it's now often the fibre packages with the lowest, or even zero costs. This is partly to encourage further take-up of fibre services as providers look to gradually move away from ADSL.