Almost all types of broadband connection require a physical landline in order to deliver internet service. Many people choose not to make any calls on this, or use it on a pay-as-you-go basis, being charged for the individual calls they make.
If you know you’ll be using your landline regularly, a combined broadband and phone package could save you money, as well as offering the convenience of paying one bill for two separate services and dealing with one provider if things go wrong.
Most broadband and phone details include things like free evening or weekend calls, though restrictions apply, so always check the small print.
If you’re a fan of digital TV and have reached the end of your existing contract or haven’t yet signed up to a provider, you can add TV services to your broadband package. This can save you money as well as being a convenient way to manage monthly bills. Many of the UK’s most popular broadband providers also offer TV services, with BT broadband, Sky broadband, Virgin broadband and NOW Broadband leading the field.
For the biggest savings and an ultra-convenient service, some providers offer deals that bundle together a broadband internet connection, TV services, and landline calls in one package.
While some providers only offer broadband packages, most also combine either broadband and landline phone calls, broadband and TV services, or all three together in one deal.
Here’s a rundown of what broadband bundles are on offer from the UK’s biggest and best broadband providers, from no-frills budget provision to the all-singing, all-dancing ultrafast deals available from the likes of Sky fibre and Virgin Media fibre.
|Provider||Broadband & phone||Broadband & TV||Broadband, TV & phone|
|Shell Energy broadband||Yes||-||-|
The type of broadband package that’s right for you depends on a number of factors. Always weigh up the pros and cons of each deal against your individual needs before signing up, and be sure to check the small print to ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises part-way through your contract.
There are a number of factors to take into account when choosing broadband packages and providers.
The speed of your broadband service is one of the most important things to consider. A good speed is one that will allow you and the rest of your household to do the things you enjoy online. Let’s say, your household has over five people who actively use the internet, with activities such as video streaming (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc.) and online gaming, you’ll need a bundle that offers great broadband speed, e.g., Virgin’s Mega Volt bundle.
Most broadband packages now average £25-£35 per month for a decent fibre connection. Although bear in mind that the prices advertised will - in the majority of cases - only be valid for the initial contract period, whether that is 12 or 18 months, and after that, will shoot up drastically meaning you will pay a lot more each month. If this is the case, either be ready to take on that extra cost or be prepared to switch provider again to keep your costs down.
Most broadband packages come on an 18-month contract as standard, although some may come on 12-month or 24-month contracts. The longer the contract, the more time you will have before the price goes up, but equally, you are tied in for a fixed period. If you think your circumstances may change, its worth considering a one-month no-contract broadband deal, which you are free to cancel at any time without being penalised. These short-term contracts are usually more expensive but you have the flexibility to cancel without notice.
Most providers levy some sort of upfront cost to new customers. Sometimes it is as little as a tenner to cover the postage and packaging cost of the router; at other times it can be as much as £30 – or more. If you do choose a one-month contract, be aware that these often come with very large upfront costs.
As a minimum, when you sign up for a broadband deal you will be provided with a router by your broadband provider. Most routers provided are of sufficient quality to get you connected, but some are better than others. If you sign up for a TV package as well, you will be provided with a set-top box (or several if you sign up for a multiscreen package). When you decide to terminate your contract, most providers will expect you to return their equipment, although some will let you keep it. You can check the terms and conditions of your contract to find out.
Most broadband providers use incentives to pull in new customers from time to time, including reward cards, vouchers, monthly discounts and free gifts. Just make sure you do the sums before leaping at what seems like a bargain.
This is another critical consideration, as you’re likely to run into difficulties one time or the other. According to the latest Ofcom data, 57% of Virgin's customers were satisfied with how the company handled complaints, compared to a 53% industry average and the highest on record among UK telecom providers. EE also scored great, at 55%. The lowest was Tesco mobile at 49%.
Likewise, Ofcom’s latest data showed that 92% of EE's customers were satisfied with their service, the highest on record. On the other hand, Virgin scored the lowest at 83%, much lower than the industry average of 91%. The government-controlled Ofcom is the most credible, neutral source of customer satisfaction surveys, so you should take their figures more seriously to help you choose a suitable broadband bundle.
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