Broadband, TV and phone explained
In this guide...
- How to get the best deal
- Why choose a broadband and TV deal?
- Pros and cons
- Which deal is right for me?
- What will I need?
How to get the best deal
You’re in the right place to compare broadband and TV packages. To make the comparing process as straightforward as possible, here is everything you need to know.
All the latest broadband with TV deals are listed on our comparison page. Deals are listed in order of price with the cheapest first. We show you the broadband speed, number of TV channels, call plan, upfront cost (for installation) and monthly fee. You can reorder the list by clicking on any of these column headings. To find out more about each deal, click on the deal name. This brings up a window with additional information. Once you’ve chosen a deal, click the blue ‘see deal’ button to visit the provider and purchase your new package.
Availability between providers differs. There’s a particular restriction on fibre broadband, which is still undergoing rollout across the UK. It’s worthwhile checking what’s available in your area by using our postcode checker at the top of the page.
It can be pretty exciting once you’ve found a deal that looks like it may be perfect for you. Don’t dive in headfirst though: not until you’ve checked the following details.
While they may sometimes look similar, different packages contain different services. A standard broadband service with an average download speed of 10Mbps is quite different to a fibre package that comes with 200Mbps. To avoid choosing the wrong deal, be sure to check what each deal contains. You can do this by clicking on the deal’s name.
Some bundled plans require installation. Others do not. You can check whether these fees apply by examining the ‘upfront cost’ column. Be careful though, as there may be additional costs once you’ve signed up. You may be charged for router delivery, service activation, or the installation of new phone lines.
Why choose a broadband and TV deal?
Taking all three of these telecommunication services from one provider is called ‘bundling’. Bundling has a few important advantages over splitting your services between different providers. Here are three.
Taking multiple services from one provider is usually cheaper than splitting them across two or three. This is especially true of broadband and phone, where internet access is often dependent on your phone line. Providers may also offer half-price and similar deals for new customers to incentivise bundling.
It’s difficult to keep track of multiple account details. All those usernames and passwords can make your head spin. Bundling solves this problem. One provider means one point of contact: one account, one username, one password, and one bill.
Bundles may only contain three services, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Broadband speeds, TV channels, and even call plans vary across providers and deals, and there’s bound to be one that’s perfect for you. Don’t forget – you can check the content of each deal by clicking the deal’s name.
Pros & cons
- Bundling can save you money
- One account to remember
- Wide range of choice
- Availability is limited for fibre
- Line rental a requirement
- Installation can be expensive
Which deal is right for me?
There are a lot of deals to choose from. But sometimes, too much choice can be a bad thing. If you’re having trouble deciding, here’s a brief breakdown of the deals offered by the four main players.
Sky has a particular focus on TV content. The provider has more television channels than any other, and boasts some of the best options for hardcore telly fans, such as Sky Atlantic, Sky Cinema, and all the Sky Sports channels. It offers both standard broadband and fibre broadband, and has several options for call plans, including international plans.
Virgin Media boasts the fastest broadband speeds of any widely available broadband provider in the UK. The 350Mbps download speed is fast enough to stream a dozen high definition movies at the same time. Speaking of movies, Virgin’s TV collections can be upgraded with Sky Cinema and Sky Sports, just like Sky’s. However, there aren’t as many channels, and HD options are limited.
BT is one of the most well-established telecoms providers in the UK. It may not excel in any department, but its broadband speeds comfortably match those of Sky and TalkTalk, with a maximum speed averaging 67Mbps. TV content is lacking, with limited channels and a similarity to Freeview – though you can still add Sky Cinema and Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Extra.
TalkTalk may not have the punch of Virgin’s broadband or the scope of Sky’s TV service, but it does have one thing going for it: it’s cheap. If you’re looking for a triple-play package on a budget, TalkTalk may be a good choice. You can also add mobile plans for an additional cost.
What will I need?
There are a few requirements you may wish to consider before choosing a broadband and TV plan. These include:
Work out what your household needs
This should be one of the first steps you take towards choosing a TV, broadband and phone package. Sit down with the family and decide what it is you all want from a bundle. Think about channels and think about what you regularly do online. Chances are you may need a smaller package than you were anticipating. And that means a lower monthly bill.
A landline is required for broadband and phone
If you want a phone plan, you need a phone line. All broadband providers require a phone line to supply internet access, with the exception of Virgin Media. One of the drawbacks of having a phone line is the inclusive line rental cost, which is usually around the £18 mark. If you need a new phone line installed, you’ll have to pay an installation cost on top of the standard charge.
Broadband is often a pre-requisite for TV providers
Both TalkTalk and BT have TV services, and both of them require broadband to function. This is due to the way that content is delivered. You won’t be able to split services if you just want TV from these providers; you have to sign up to their broadband service as well. You may even need to choose fibre broadband if you want HD content and multi-room functionality with BT.
How do I switch?
You’ve compared prices, you’ve looked through the deals, you’ve read our guide, and now you’re ready to switch. Here’s how you do it.
It’s worth reiterating; make sure you know what’s in the deal before you buy. There’s nothing worse than going through the whole sign-up procedure just to find that the package you’ve chosen lacks some of the channels you were desperate to watch.
In most cases, all you need to do to switch providers is sign up to a new package with another supplier. They’ll handle the entire transfer process for you. However, if you’re switching to or from a Virgin Media broadband, TV and phone package, you’ll have to call and cancel your current services yourself.
If you’re still contracted to your previous provider it may be best to hold off on switching. Cancelling while you are still in contract will likely result in you having to pay termination fees, which can be expensive.