Compare broadband only deals
By Dan Howdle | Wednesday, February 27th 2019
In this guide
- Who provides broadband only deals?
- Will I still need a phone line?
- What is broadband only?
- Frequently asked questions
Broadband only deals are, sadly, a little more complicated than they need to be. This is mainly due to the fact that people mean a lot of different things when they say 'broadband only', and because broadband providers also have their own definitions.
For example, you may define broadband only to mean broadband without a phone line, or perhaps broadband without a TV package. Providers, however, will often define it as broadband with a phone line that only offers pay-as-you-go (PAYG) calls, or in some cases broadband with a landline provided by someone else. You can see why this is tricky. So let's start then by covering the main ways in which 'broadband only' is defined.
Who provides broadband only deals?
In our comparison tools, we list every UK provider that offers their version of broadband only. This can largely be split into Virgin Media's definition (broadband without a phone line), and everyone else's (broadband with a phone line and pay-as-you-go calls – no calling package). Here are the providers with notes on what each offers.
- Post Office Broadband – A no-frills broadband service aiming itself somewhat at the older generation, Post Office Broadband offers average speeds of 11Mbps for standard ADSL, and 36Mbps and 62Mbps for its fibre plans. All its deals are available with PAYG calls, but you will need to take out a phone line from Post Office Broadband
- TalkTalk – Will let you have any of its available broadband speeds – averaging 11Mbps, 36Mbps or 63Mbps – without a calling package. However, like so many others on this list, you will still need a TalkTalk phone line and you will still need to pay line rental
- Plusnet – Has a lot of awards for its customer service, so if that's a priority for you, it is well worth considering. It offers ADSL standard broadband averaging 10Mbps, and two fibre packages averaging 36Mbps and 66Mbps respectively. You will need a phone line to get Plusnet broadband, though not necessarily from Plusnet
- Vodafone – Only offers fibre packages, so you'll only find two speeds here: Averaging 35Mbps and 63Mbps. You can get pay-as-you-go calls with either package, but you will need a home phone from Vodafone
- Sky – Only offers its 11Mbps standard ADSL and its 63Mbps Fibre Max broadband packages with pay-as-you-go calls. For some reason you can't get broadband only on its mid-tier fibre package. You will need a Sky phone line if you want Sky broadband
- SSE – Offers all three of its available speeds – averaging 11Mbps, 35Mbps and 63Mbps – with pay-as-you-go calls. You won't find any true broadband only deals from SSE, though. You will have to take out a phone line from SSE and pay line rental
- EE – Offers broadband speeds between 10Mbps (standard ADSL), 36Mbps and 67Mbps (fibre). All its speeds are available without a calling package (pay-as-you-go calls). You do need a phone line for EE broadband
- Virgin Media – Offers all four of its fibre speeds – averaging 54Mbps, 108Mbps, 213Mbps and 362Mbps – either with pay-as-you-go calls, or as 'true' broadband only with no phone at all. You won't save money on line rental if you go for this latter option, though – you still need that line to bring you your broadband, so there's no way around it. You may save a couple of quid by not having a phone line if you get it on the right day, though (prices go up and down all the time)
- Shell Energy Broadband – Offers broadband packages averaging 11Mbps (standard ADSL), 35Mbps and 63Mbps. All three of these speeds
- Direct Save Telecom – Angling itself as a strictly budget, no frills provider, Direct Save Telecom offers broadband speeds from 11Mbps to 63Mbps. All of its packages are available with pay-as-you-go calls, but you do need a home phone line
Will I still need a phone line?
If you're thinking of opting for broadband without a phone line, you're going to have to get it from Virgin Media. As mentioned above, Virgin Media is the only provider to offer this option. Also, you'll need to bear in mind that you won't be saving any money on line rental. Line rental doesn't just apply to a 'phone line' – it applies to any physical line carrying any kind of signal (broadband or phone) into your home.
If you can't save any money by not having a landline, you still might want to consider this option for one or more of the following reasons…
- Kill nuisance calls dead – If you never use your landline, if no one ever calls it, it just becomes a way for nuisance calls to get to you. Obviously, nuisance calls simply can't happen if you don't even have a home phone number
- You don't need a 'family phone' – Even in families where everyone has a mobile, a shared family line is often preferred as a means of keeping in touch with friends and family, especially those abroad, where calls can be substantially cheaper both for them and for you. They're also good in the sense that anyone who is home can answer and take a message. If you're not in this type of busy household and none of this applies to you, you may wish to consider broadband without a phone line from Virgin Media
- Everyone has a mobile and never hits their minutes limits – Maybe everyone in your household is glued to their mobile, always comes in under their minutes limits each month and never demonstrates any need to have a landline. If that's the case, why have one?
What is broadband only?
There are five different ways providers and customers may define broadband only. Let's take a brief look at them.
- Broadband without a phone line – Arguably, this is the most common way potential customers define the term. This means some sort of broadband deal that does not involve having a home phone. Only Virgin Media offers this type of deal, though it's unlikely you'll save any money opting for it, since you'll still be paying line rental on that same line, albeit it'll only be carrying your broadband signal
- Broadband with pay-as-you-go calls – For most providers who claim to offer broadband only, this is what they really mean: A package that offers broadband, but with a so-called 'calling package' (bundled add-ons that offer free evening, weekend, evening and weekend or anytime calls via your landline)
- Broadband with a phone line from another provider – Some providers will sometimes let you buy a broadband deal from them on its own, without a phone line. The catch is you do need a functioning phone line that you're paying line rental for, albeit from a different provider
- Broadband without TV – When some people type 'broadband only' into a search engine, what they're actually looking for has nothing to do with line rental or home phones. Instead, they simply want a broadband package that doesn't come bundled with some sort of bundled subscription TV package
- Mobile broadband – Mobile broadband arrives at your home (or anywhere else for that matter) over the airwaves, via the same networks used by your smartphone. While mobile broadband isn't all that great an option for your home unless you really have no other choice – it's comparatively expensive and almost always data capped – it can be considered 'broadband only', since it truly does come with no other products or services attached
Frequently asked questions
What's the cheapest broadband only deal?
This varies from one day to the next. Luckily we update our listings every single day, so you should find that all broadband only deals are listed in order of price, with the cheapest first. Just bear in mind that cheapest doesn't mean best value for money. You should also take into consideration factors such as the speed offered, the quality of the equipment and so on.
Do I need a phone line for TalkTalk broadband?
Yes. With TalkTalk, your phone line carries the broadband signal into your house, and you cannot buy a broadband package from TalkTalk without also switching your phone line. You can keep your existing phone number, however.
Do I need a land line for Sky broadband?
Yes. With Sky, your phone line carries the broadband signal into your house, and you cannot buy a broadband package from Sky without also switching your phone line. You can keep your existing phone number, however.
Who's the cheapest broadband provider?
This changes all the time as popular providers are always trying to under cut one another when it comes to the cheapest price. You can see who is cheapest at your desired broadband speed using our cheap broadband comparison, which is update daily.