About TV, broadband, and phone deals
In this guide
- Best broadband, TV and phone deals in August 2020
- What you'll find in a bundle
- Breaking down a bundle
- Best broadband, TV and phone providers
- The pitfalls of broadband with a free gift
- Frequently asked questions
If you're subscribing to a TV service, a package deal can help you save money. Combine your phone, broadband, and TV bills into one with the help of a bundle.
What you'll find in a bundle
TV, broadband, and phone deals offer you a convenient alternative to shelling out on separate subscriptions. You'll sign one contract, which gives you access to home broadband, a subscription TV service, such as Sky, and a landline phone. Prices are competitive, so you can save money — provided, of course, that you actually use the services.
- Broadband — Broadband is at the heart of every bundle offer. This could be ADSL or fibre. A standard bundle will give you full digital connectivity.
- TV — The TV side of your bundle comes in the form of a subscription service. You might find a number of different options with various channels available. For example, if you're sports-mad, look for a bundle that will give you full access to the sports channels you want.
- Home phone — Your bundle will almost always include line rental. That's how broadband comes into your home. As well as this, a bundle may include special phone deals, such as free weekend or evening calls.
- Mobile SIM — This isn't always included in a bundle. However, some providers do now offer a mobile contract as part of the package. This way, you'll
Best broadband, TV and phone deals in August 2020
Virgin Media Big Bundle
Save £89£29.99 p/mZero one-off cost Get Deal
- 108Mb average speed
- 125 channels
- Inclusive calls
Sky TV + Broadband Superfast
£39 p/m£29.95 one-off cost Get Deal
- 59Mb average speed
- 301 channels
- PAYG calls
NOW Broadband Brilliant Broadband + Entertainment
Free Anytime Calls£24.99 p/m£4.99 one-off cost Get Deal
- 11Mb average speed
- 11 channels
- PAYG calls
Breaking down a bundle
Although you'll usually save money with a bundle, sometimes it can be hard to work out which one is best for you. That's because you're mixing and matching different options. At the very least, you'll need a basic idea of what's available.
Types of broadband
- ADSL — Also known as standard broadband, ADSL is slower than other services. With connection speeds of about 10-11Mbps, an ADSL line is usually enough for a small household without many devices.
- Fibre broadband — This is much faster than ADSL, with some providers offering average speeds of 500Mbps or more. It's ideal for large households, or if you're a gamer or heavy internet user.
- Cable broadband — Currently, only Virgin Media offers this service, which is even faster than fibre. Unfortunately, this isn’t available everywhere in the UK.
There are other types of broadband connection out there, but you won't commonly come across them in bundles. Things might change in the future — this is one area of technology that is constantly improving.
When choosing the broadband side of your bundle, the most important thing to consider is speed. You can often save money by going for ADSL, but if you need a fast connection, it's worth spending a little more.
Types of digital TV service
- Freeview — If you have a TV licence and compatible box or TV set, then you already have access to Freeview. There are dozens of channels available, and you won't have to pay to view them.
- Satellite — This is offered by Sky TV and will give you access to hundreds of channels. A bundle will usually specify which particular service is being offered. This could be the basic Sky Entertainment, or something more specialist like Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, or Sky Kids. All of these are organised through Sky Q, which often has a dizzying number of options.
- Cable — This is what you will get if you choose a bundle from Virgin Media. Again, there are hundreds of channels available. Note that Sky Atlantic is not available on cable, but other Sky channels are. If you have a suitable TV, cable can give you 4K UHD content.
- Streaming (IPTV) — You may never have heard the term IPTV, but you've probably used it. That's because IPTV covers all the on-demand internet TV services, from Netflix to BBC iPlayer. Some subscriptions, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, are available as part of a bundle these days.
When choosing the TV part of your bundle, think about what you're going to watch. If you're not much of a sports fan, a Sky Sports package could be a waste of money. Look for the service that suits your tastes. You may need to look for a multiroom TV option if different members of the family like to watch different channels at the same time.
Types of home phone
- Pay as you go (PAYG) — This is the most basic option for a landline. You'll pay a certain rate for the outgoing calls you make. If you don't usually use your home phone, then this is a cost-effective choice.
- Free weekends and/or evenings — With one of these options, you'll be able to make free calls at certain times. Check the terms and conditions to see exactly when the free hours start and end.
- Free anytime calls — As the name suggests, all your calls are free. If you use your landline a lot - for example, if you have a home business set up - this is worth considering.
- International discounts — An international calling package gives you reduced rates when you call people in particular countries. If you have family living abroad, this can be a good idea.
Look for a phone option that suits your calling habits. Nowadays, a lot of us never use our landlines, so free minutes might not be much of a benefit. If, on the other hand, you're still a home phone fan, then you can find a package that works for you.
Best broadband, TV and phone providers
- Virgin Media: Virgin Media have some of the fastest broadband speeds available. Up to 516Mbps or more, which no other provider comes close to. They also have an impressive TV offering, with hundreds of channels and extras. Coverage is limited to certain parts of the country so make sure you check what’s available in your area.
- Sky: The TV packages are excellent, with a number of options to suit different tastes. The broadband connection has an average top speed of 59Mbps, which is more than enough for most users.
- BT: Broadband speeds go up to 67Mbps and BT TV has almost 200 channels. That's still far fewer than the rival offerings from Sky and Virgin, though. Only BT Broadband customers have access to BT TV, which is exclusively available in bundles.
- TalkTalk: This is often a more budget-friendly alternative to the major players. TalkTalk TV is quite simple in scope, offering just a few extra channels to enjoy. The top broadband speed averages 63Mbps.
- EE: There's not much to choose between TalkTalk and EE. The latter has slightly faster top broadband speeds, reaching 67Mbps, but you get Apple TV with EE.
- Plusnet: The top broadband speed hits an average of 66Mbps, while the TV is, again, pretty simple. However, you can use add-ons like Sky Sports or Sky Cinema to give yourself some more viewing options.
- Vodafone: You can get top speeds up to 63Mbps with Vodafone, and like EE, they offer Apple TV with an Apple TV subscription for 1 year.
Frequently asked questions
Why should I choose a bundle?
With a bundle, you'll usually save money, and enjoy a bit more convenience. There are often special offers for new customers, too, which can make the deals even more enticing.
Is it easy to switch TV and broadband provider?
It depends. Switching broadband is actually a very quick process, but your new provider may have to come to your home to install new equipment. If you're switching TV provider, then you'll have to hand in your old set-top box. This means you'll lose any shows or information you've saved there.
Which provider has the best TV, internet and phone deals?
Deals are always changing, so there's no fixed answer here. Check back regularly, as you may find new deals as often as every week.
Do I need a TV licence with a TV, broadband, and phone deal?
Yes. This is a legal requirement in the UK. Your bundle will not include your TV licence payment, so this is something that you must organise separately.