Do I need a landline for TalkTalk broadband?

Dan Howdle | November 20th, 2023

TalkTalk logo

The question of whether you can get TalkTalk broadband without a landline has never been one that's as simple to answer as it may at first appear. Do you need a physical line to deliver your broadband? Yes. Is that a phone line? Sometimes. Do you save money if you don't take out a landline? It depends.

These are answerable questions, but they do require a bit more than a simple yes or no. So without further ado, let's get into it.

How it works

Here's an overview of how broadband-only works on TalkTalk broadband:

TalkTalk package Average speed Phone line required? Phone line supplied? Phone line available?
Fast Broadband 11Mbps Yes Yes Yes
Fibre 35 38Mbps Yes Yes Yes
Fibre 65 67Mbps Yes Yes Yes
Full Fibre 65 77Mbps No No No
Full Fibre 150 152Mbps No No No
Full Fibre 500 525Mbps No No No
Full Fibre 900 944Mbps No No No

TalkTalk has been offering so-called 'broadband-only' deals for years now, but has always done so in a way we would (carefully) describe as 'a stretch'. It's a stretch because you couldn't get TalkTalk without a landline. Rather, you could get TalkTalk broadband but not necessarily have to have a landline contract with TalkTalk. And when people ask the question 'Can I get TalkTalk without a landline?' we are willing to be no landline from any provider is what they really mean.

Is that 'broadband-only'? You be the judge. Meanwhile, it's worth considering that while you need a landline for both ADSL and FTTC broadband packages, you don't need on for TalkTalk FTTP. Here's what that means:

  • ADSL: The oldest and slowest broadband technology available in the UK (and being phased out). It averages 10-11Mbps and is delivered over the old copper telephone network. It is now generally only offered in cases where it's the only think you can get where you live, which would account for about 0.2% of customers
  • FTTC: 'Fibre to the cabinet' has for many years been referred to as 'superfast' broadband'. It averages 36-65Mbps and is delivered to the cabinet in your street by fast fibre-optic cables, and then between the cabinet and your home on slow copper phone cables
  • FTTP: 'Fibre to the premises' is fibre-optic cable all the way. Currently providers, including TalkTalk, who offer 'Full Fibre' as it's also known do so via the Openreach network and deliver speeds of up to 900Mbps. Full Fibre is, sadly, only available currently to around a quarter of UK homes

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So do I need a landline or not?

As you can see from the table above, the answer is yes and no, depending on which package you pick, or indeed which you can get. So-called TalkTalk broadband-only deals that aren't Full Fibre are 'fake' broadband only, since you still need a landline, you just don't have to take out a calling package. They are supplied as 'pay as you go calls'.

On the other hand, with Full Fibre packages, you can't have a phone line even if you want one. Not as part of your TalkTalk broadband package anyway. We'd say this situation is less than ideal. You can either get widely available broadband where you must have a landline, or more limited-availability, faster broadband where you can't have a landline even if you wanted one. In a perfect world, we would want to see the option to have one or not available at every speed.

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TalkTalk line rental

Line rental isn't something we need to worry about anymore. If you're getting a mandatory phone line with your FTTC or ADSL broadband deal, the price of the line is rolled into the price you see. If you're getting a Full Fibre (FTTP) packages, which uses a data-only fibre line and does not come with a landline, there is no line such thing as line rental either. The price of what used to be termed 'line rental' is rolled into the price you see.

See also

Frequently asked questions

How does broadband work with no phone line?

Broadband without a phone line is possible through technologies like cable broadband or fiber optic connections. Providers such as Virgin Media offer broadband-only services using their cable network. Full Fibre broadband, like that from providers such as Hyperoptic or some areas served by Openreach, allows direct connectivity without the need for a landline.

Do TalkTalk install phone lines from scratch?

Yes, TalkTalk can arrange to install a new phone line if there isn't an existing one. This service may involve an engineer visit to your property to set up the necessary connections, cables, and sockets required for the phone line.

What broadband and phone network does TalkTalk use?

TalkTalk operates on its own network infrastructure and uses a combination of its own cables (mostly in urban areas) and Openreach (BT) network infrastructure (commonly in rural locations) to provide broadband and phone services to its customers.

Does TalkTalk use BT phone lines?

Yes, TalkTalk utilises parts of the BT (Openreach) network, particularly in areas where it doesn't have its own network infrastructure. This allows TalkTalk to offer services such as broadband and phone connections in regions where they don't have their own physical lines.

Do I still pay line rental with TalkTalk?

Yes, TalkTalk typically charges a monthly line rental fee for the use and maintenance of the phone line, even if you primarily use it for broadband services. However, the fee is invisible since it's rolled into the monthly price you will see advertised.