About 12 month broadband deals
In this guide
- How do I find a 12 month broadband deal?
- Which providers offer 12 month contracts?
- Is a 12 month contract right for me?
- What alternatives are available?
- What should I consider when choosing a deal?
- What type of broadband is available in a 12 month contract?
- Can I get a broadband bundle with a 12 month contract?
- Frequently asked questions
12 month internet contracts used to be the norm, but they’re no longer offered by all UK broadband providers. Some, such as BT and Sky, prefer their customers to commit to longer contracts lasting 18 and 24 months. Fortunately, they’re still available from some providers, and happily some of them are amongst the cheapest to be found on the market.
This page will tell you everything you need to know about 12 month broadband packages, including which providers offer them, what additional services can be included with them and whether this type of deal is right for you.
How do I find a 12 month broadband deal?
To find the best 12 month WiFi contracts in your area, simply enter your postcode into our postcode checker and we’ll show you what’s currently available at this contract length.
Which providers offer 12 month contracts?
All broadband deals come with a contract, whether it’s on a rolling month-to-month basis, or lasts for 12, 18 or 24 months and beyond.
12 month broadband contracts are pretty self explanatory, lasting a minimum of 12 months.
If you want to leave your 12 month broadband contract part-way through, it’s likely that you’ll pay an early exit fee, which could be pretty hefty, depending on your provider.
At the end of your contract, your provider will keep supplying you with broadband and billing you each month, but you’ll be free to leave and switch to another company for a better deal, or to sign up for a new deal with your existing supplier.
If you’re unsure how long you’re tied to your existing broadband contract, or what the terms for cancelling are, our guide to understanding your contract may help.
Not all UK broadband providers offer 12 month contracts. Here’s our run down of some of the best deal on offer from those that do:
Direct Save Telecom: Direct Save is a budget provider that offers no-frills broadband packages, including 12 month contracts. The brand doesn’t run credit checks on new customers.
Hyperoptic: If you want seriously fast broadband, Hyperoptic achieves average speeds of up to 1Gbps, with rolling and 12 month contacts available. The only drawback is that it’s not yet available in all areas of the UK.
John Lewis broadband: John Lewis Broadband’s 12 month deals often come with evening and weekend calls included.
NOW Broadband: NOW Broadband has a range of reasonably-priced 12 month broadband plans that can often be combined with NOW TV memberships to form TV bundles.
Plusnet: Plusnet has several 12-month broadband contracts, each with a different download speed and price. The cost of line rental is usually factored into your monthly payments.
Is a 12 month contract right for me?
12 month broadband contracts are the middle ground of broadband contract lengths, offering less of a commitment than lengthy 18 or 24 month deals, without the freedom and flexibility of a one-month rolling deal.
All have their pros and cons and if you read on we’ll explain who’d make the most out of a 12 month contract.
What alternatives are available?
Some providers offer ‘no contract’ broadband packages, which run on a rolling basis, from month to month. This type of deal gives you both freedom and flexibility, as you’ll be able to cancel your subscription at short notice (usually 30 days) without incurring a penalty.
No contract broadband packages are ideal for people who think their circumstances might change within the next 12 months, or for those who know they’ll be moving house in the near future. Despite being called ‘no contract’ broadband, you will still need to sign an agreement.
A limited number of providers offer 9-month broadband contracts, designed for students who will be moving out of their homes for the summer months, and won’t need a full 12 month’s provision.
Fixed priced broadband is also a good option for longer contracts. You'll pay a fixed amount each month for the duration of your contract and peace of mind the price won't increase during your fixed term.
For everyone else, if you don’t want to sign up for a 12 month broadband contract, longer term contracts of either 18 or 24 months are your only option.
Generally, you’ll pay much more for the flexibility of a no contract or short term broadband agreement, and less for committing to a longer period. 12 month contracts being the middle-ground that most people looking for affordable broadband opt for.
What should I consider when choosing a deal?
If you’re looking for a great 12 month broadband deal, there are a number of things to take into consideration to ensure you select one that’s affordable and right for your individual needs.
Here are some things to look out for when comparing 12 month WiFi contracts:
Download speed – This refers to how quickly you’ll be able to transfer data from the internet to your devices, affecting how smoothly you’ll be able to stream content and how easily you’ll be able to browse the web. Different types of broadband and different providers offer different download speeds, and what’s right for you is influenced by a range of factors, including how many people are in your household and the type of things you do online. If you’re not sure what broadband speed is right for you, our guide can help.
Upload speed – Upload speed refers to how quickly you’ll be able to transfer data from your devices to the internet, and is less important than download speed for most broadband users. If you upload a lot of large files or do a lot of online gaming, however, you’ll need to consider what average upload speed comes with your package. As providers don’t always make it obvious, this could involve a little research. For more information about upload speeds, read our guide.
Monthly download limits – Almost all broadband packages are unlimited, but it’s worth asking about limits, as a small number of packages put a cap on the amount of data you can download each month.
Price – For most people, the affordability of a broadband deal is the determining factor. A low monthly fee is a good starting point, but make sure you’ll be receiving an adequate speed for your needs for this price, and check things like line rental, installation costs and early exit penalties to determine whether a cheap deal is all it seems.
Broadband with free gifts and offers – Broadband providers often offer incentives like free gifts and the inclusion of other products like TV services within their broadband deals. Time your switch right and you can save money on your monthly bill and bag a freebie, too.
Inclusive calls – Line rental is usually included in the price of broadband packages, but call packages often aren’t. The default is generally a pay as you go set up, in which you simply pay for any landline phone calls you make. Call charges for this type of arrangement can be high, so if you use the phone a lot, it’s worth looking at whether you could make savings by signing up for a deal that includes free anytime or evening and weekend calls
Reputation – The providers featured in our comparison tend to be household names, but it doesn’t hurt to read up on a company before taking the plunge and signing a contract. Our broadband reviews are a good place to start.
Types of broadband available
All types of broadband are available with a 12 month contract. The type that’s right for you depends on your individual needs.
ADSL, also called standard broadband, is delivered to your home using traditional copper phone lines. It tends to offer average download speeds of about 10 or 11Mbps and it generally costs quite a bit less than fibre.
If yours is a small household that just does the basics online and doesn’t have more than one or two devices connecting to the internet at the same time, ADSL broadband should be adequate for your needs. It’s also usually the cheapest type of broadband, though the difference in cost between standard and fibre broadband is becoming smaller all the time.
Fibre broadband offers faster speeds than ADSL and comes with a more reliable connection. Most providers offer two fibre packages, offering average download speeds in the region of 36 and 63Mbps.
If you live in a larger household, or if you have multiple devices connecting to the internet simultaneously, a fibre deal should give you the internet coverage you need.
Only a couple of providers, including Virgin Media, can offer you a cable broadband deal in the UK. Virgin runs their own network that uses coaxial cables instead of copper wires. This provides a much faster connection than standard broadband and Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband, but isn’t quite as fast as a Fibre to the premises (FTTP) connection.
At the moment, you can only get a cable broadband deal in some parts of the UK.
What about broadband bundles?
Not many UK providers offer true broadband-only deals, by which we mean broadband without a phone line. Most come with a phone line because in the majority of cases, your broadband is delivered via your phone line. You may as well have the ability to make calls over it as it’s got to be there anyway.
The exception is Virgin Media and Hyperoptic, which supplies broadband across their own platform. Unfortunately Virgin Media no longer offer 12 month contracts but you can get 12 month and rolling contracts with Hyperoptic if they’re available in your area.
If you’re a regular landline phone user, it may be cost effective to look at 12 month broadband contracts that bundle together internet and call packages. There are some great deals available with things like free anytime, or free evening and weekend calls. Time restrictions will apply, so make sure you read the fine print before singing up.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get broadband on a monthly rolling basis?
Yes, there are a number of providers that offer broadband on rolling monthly contracts, although you often have to pay a premium to be afforded the freedom of not being tied in to a longer-term deal. We can help you compare no contract broadband deals.
Why are broadband speeds listed as average?
A ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) means that providers can no longer advertise broadband speeds that not many customers can get. The average speeds you see listed have to be available to at least 50% of customers, so they give you a better idea of what you can expect. Providers will give you a more accurate estimate of the speeds you're likely to get once you've given them your address details.
Can I keep my phone number when I switch providers?
Yes, most of the time you will be able to keep your phone number. Just let your new provider know that you want to keep your number and they should sort everything for you.
What is unlimited broadband?
Unlimited broadband is broadband that has no data usage limit. Most broadband packages are unlimited.
Do I need a MAC code to switch broadband?
No. MAC codes used to be essential when switching broadband providers but this isn't something you have to worry about any more. Unless you're switching to or from Virgin Media, all you need to do is talk to your new provider and they will sort everything for you.
What is the cheapest broadband only deal?
We can help you compare the cheapest broadband only deals (these come with a phone line but not with calls packages). And if it's genuinely broadband without a phone line you're after, we can do that too.