How to choose a broadband, TV and phone deal
There are many different factors to consider when choosing a broadband, TV and phone bundle that meets your needs.
Essentially, you’ll need to select the type of broadband required, the call package that best suits your requirements and the TV channels that will appeal to your household’s hobbies and interests.
Before you start comparing this type of deal, have a careful thing about how often you imagine you’ll use a landline to make calls, and how much TV you and your household actually watch. This type of deal is only a money-saver if you actually make good use of what’s included.
If you’re thinking of switching to a combined broadband, phone and TV bundle, here are some important things to consider:
Broadband type and speed: At the heart of the package is your broadband provision - what type will suit you best and the average speed required to keep all members of your household online. If you’re not sure, our guide to broadband speeds will help you work out what provision you need.
TV: The TV element of your bundle will usually come in the form of a subscription service, with a number of different channels available. Select the channels that appeal to you, whether that’s sports or history, kids programming or home shopping. It makes little sense to pay for channels that don’t pique your interest, so choose wisely.
Landline phone: Your bundle will include line rental, as all types of broadband need a landline to bring the service into your home. Along with this, your phone bundle might include a package that covers things like free anytime or free evening and weekend called. Read the small print before signing up, as time restrictions for this type of deal usually apply.
Mobile SIM: While a mobile SIM isn’t included in many broadband, TV and phone bundles as standard, some deals do offer a mobile contract as part of the package, adding yet another service with the potential to save you money. As with all elements of the deal, carefully check what’s included and what isn’t.
What you'll get
Although you can usually save money with TV, broadband and phone packages, this type of deal has many variables, making it hard to find one that’s right for you.
Mixing and matching different services can be confusing, so here’s a basic overview of what’s included:
ADSL: Also known as standard broadband, ADSL is slower than other services, with average connection speeds of 10-11Mbps. An ADSL connection is usually enough for a single person or small household, without many devices.
Fibre broadband: Much faster than ADSL, fibre broadband can reach speeds of 900Mbps or more, though most fibre deals come with an average speed of between 36Mbps and 63Mbps. It’s ideal for larger households, or if you’re a gamer or heavy internet user.
Cable broadband: Currently, only a couple of providers including Virgin Media offer this service, which is even faster than fibre. Unfortunately, cable broadband is also unavailable in some areas of the UK.
When choosing the broadband side of your bundle, one of the most important things 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.
If you’re not sure what broadband speed you need, our guide to choosing the right speed for your requirements will help.
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 all are free to view.
Satellite: Offered by Sky TV, Satellite will give you access to hundreds of channels. A bundle will usually specify which one of Sky’s many services is on offer, such as Sky Entertainment, Sky Sports, Sky Cinema or Sky Kids. All of these are provided through Sky Q, which has a dizzying number of options.
Cable: Provided by Virgin Media, cable TV offers hundreds of different channels. It’s worth noting 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 not 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 your hobbies and interests, choosing channels that you’re likely to find a lot of enjoyable content on. If you’re not much of a sports fan, ditch Sky Sports. If you live in a child-free household, selecting the Disney channel makes little sense.
If different members of your family like to watch different channels on different devices at the same time, a multiroom TV option is your safest bet.
Pay as you go (PAYG): The most basic option for a landline, you’ll pay a set rate for any calls you make, but nothing if you make no calls at all. Charges for this type of provision can be high, so it’s best for occasional landline users.
Free weekends and/or evenings: Check the terms and conditions for this type of offer, as there will be set times when free call periods start and end. Calls made outside these times are likely to be charged at a high rate.
Free anytime calls: As the name suggests, all your calls are free regardless of when they’re made. 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. As ever, terms and conditions / restrictions will apply.
As many of us now have mobile phone contracts with unlimited calls, we often don’t use our landlines much - if at all. If you are a home phone fan, there are some great packages to be had that offer substantial savings, providing you choose carefully based on your individual needs.
Many of the UK’s most popular broadband providers also offer combined broadband, TV and landline phone services.
Here’s a run down of what’s on offer from whom:
BT broadband: The brand offers broadband speeds of up to 67Mbps with a selection of up to 200 TV channels to choose from. Only BT broadband customers have access to BT TV, which is available exclusively in bundles.
EE broadband: There’s little difference between what’s on offer from TalkTalk and EE. The latter has slightly faster top broadband speeds, reaching 67Mbps, but you get Apple TV with EE.
Plusnet broadband: The top broadband speed hits an average of 66Mbps, but the brand’s TV service is pretty basic. You can,. However, use add-ons like Sky Sports or Sky Cinema to give yourself more viewing options.
Sky broadband: Sky’s TV packages are predictably good, with options to suit all tastes. The brand’s broadband connection isn’t super-fast, but with an average top speed of 59Mbps, it’s more than enough for most users.
TalkTalk broadband: A budget-friendly alternative to the major players, TalkTalk’s TV offer is basic, with just a few extra channels to enjoy. The top broadband speed is great value, at an impressive 63Mbps.
Virgin Media broadband: Virgin Media has the fastest broadband speed in the UK - up to 516Mpbs or more. The brand also has an impressive array of TV channels and extras. Coverage is limited to certain parts of the country so make sure you check what’s available in your area.
Is it easy to switch broadband, TV and phone providers?
Switching from one broadband, phone and TV package to another with a new provider is very simple, providing you’ve come to the end of your current contract. If you’re part way through your existing contract, it’s likely that you’ll have to pay an early exit fee to make a change, which will vary between providers.
In most cases, your new provider will handle the whole process for you, cancelling your existing service and booking in any work that needs to take place to install your new connection.
If you change your mind after signing up for a combined broadband, TV and phone deal, you can cancel within 14 days and won’t incur a penalty.
If you want to switch only one or two of your services to a new provider, however, this could be more of a hassle - though it’s entirely possible and could be well worth the effort. For tips and advice on switching your broadband provider, read our guide.
Frequently asked questions
What's the best broadband, TV and phone package?
It depends on your requirements. Faster broadband, number of TV channels, movies or sports? Virgin Media and Sky offer the best broadband and TV options. NOW TV and BT also offer a good choice. Compare the latest deals and price from £23.99 per month. You can customise your perfect package with our easy filter.
Can I get broadband and TV from different providers?
You can choose to have your broadband and TV from different providers. For example, you can get broadband from Virgin Media and TV from Sky.