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Plusnet
  • Up to 17Mb broadband
  • Unlimited usage allowance
  • Pay only for the calls you make
  • 12 month contract
17Mb
speed
(up to)
Unlimited
monthly usage
(traffic managed)
£6.99
upfront
cost
Post Office
  • Up to 8Mb broadband
  • Unlimited download allowance
  • Inclusive weekend calls
  • 18 month contract
8Mb
speed
(up to)
Unlimited
monthly usage
Free
upfront
cost
Origin Broadband
  • Up to 17Mb broadband
  • Unlimited usage, pay for calls you make
  • Plus £16.40 p/m line rental
  • 12 month contract
17Mb
speed
(up to)
Unlimited
monthly usage
(truly unlimited)
£9.99
upfront
cost
Sky
  • Up to 17Mb download speed
  • Unlimited usage
  • Pay for calls you make
  • 12 month contract
17Mb
speed
(up to)
Unlimited
monthly usage
(truly unlimited)
£6.95
upfront
cost
TalkTalk
  • Up to 17Mb broadband
  • Unlimited usage
  • Pay for calls you make
  • 18 month contract
17Mb
speed
(up to)
Unlimited
monthly usage
(truly unlimited)
£6.75
upfront
cost
TenTel
  • Up to 17Mb broadband
  • 5GB monthly usage
  • No calls included, pay for what you use
  • 6 month contract
    17Mb
    speed
    (up to)
    5GB
    monthly
    usage
    Free
    upfront
    cost
    EE
    • Up to 17Mb broadband
    • Unlimited download usage
    • Inclusive weekend calls
    • 12 month contract
    17Mb
    speed
    (up to)
    Unlimited
    monthly usage
    (traffic managed)
    £6
    upfront
    cost
    Plusnet
    • Up to 17Mb broadband
    • Unlimited usage allowance
    • Inclusive anytime calls
    • 18 month contract
    17Mb
    speed
    (up to)
    Unlimited
    monthly usage
    (traffic managed)
    £6.99
    upfront
    cost
    TenTel
    • Up to 17Mb broadband
    • Unlimited monthly usage
    • No calls included, pay for what you use
    • 18 month contract
    17Mb
    speed
    (up to)
    Unlimited
    monthly usage
    (truly unlimited)
    Free
    upfront
    cost
    Sky
    • Up to 38Mb download speed
    • 25GB monthly usage
    • No calls included, pay for what you use
    • 12 month contract
    38Mb
    speed
    (up to)
    25GB
    monthly
    usage
    £41.95
    upfront
    cost
    Sky
    • Up to 17Mb broadband
    • Truly unlimited monthly usage
    • Inclusive evening & weekend calls
    • 12 month contract
    17Mb
    speed
    (up to)
    Unlimited
    monthly usage
    (truly unlimited)
    £6.95
    upfront
    cost
    Post Office
    • Up to 8Mb broadband
    • 10GB download allowance
    • Inclusive weekend calls
    • 12 month contract
    8Mb
    speed
    (up to)
    10GB
    monthly
    usage
    Free
    upfront
    cost
    SSE
    • Up to 38Mb fibre broadband
    • Unlimited download usage
    • Inclusive anytime calls
    • 18 month contract
    38Mb
    speed
    (up to)
    Unlimited
    monthly usage
    (fair use policy
    & traffic managed)
    Free
    upfront
    cost
    SSE
    • Up to 76Mb fibre broadband
    • Unlimited download usage
    • Inclusive anytime calls
    • 18 month contract
    76Mb
    speed
    (up to)
    Unlimited
    monthly usage
    (fair use policy
    & traffic managed)
    Free
    upfront
    cost
    BT
    • Up to 17Mbps broadband
    • 12GB usage, 5GB BT Cloud
    • No calls included, pay for what you use
    • 12 month contract
    17Mb
    speed
    (up to)
    12GB
    monthly
    usage
    £7.95
    upfront
    cost
    135

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    What you need to know

    • Prices last checked and verified 23rd May 2016
    • Broadband speeds may vary
    • Monthly costs exclude line rental unless indicated
    • All prices are inclusive of VAT except business packages
    • You should have the right to cancel without penalty if your provider increases charges during the minimum term of your contract
    • The line rental prices shown are for payment on a monthly basis. Some providers offer reduced prices on line rental when an upfront payment is made for 12 months

    How to compare and buy student broadband

    How do I compare student broadband deals?

    With the new university year looming on the horizon it’s the right time to start looking for student broadband. Here’s how to find the ideal student broadband deal.

    It’s easy to compare student broadband deals

    We’ve made comparing student broadband as straightforward as possible. The cheapest monthly price is listed at the top, but you can re-order the lists however you like. Once you’ve chosen your deal, click the blue button to visit the provider’s website.

    Availability

    As with all broadband services, availability is key. You can only sign up to providers that are available in your area. To find out which providers and packages are available to you, simply enter your postcode in our checker at the top of the page. It’s worth noting that many student broadband deals are no longer available by the end of October, once the full university term gets underway.

    Check the detail

    Before you choose, make sure you study the deals to see what’s included. You can find more information by clicking on the deal name on the left-hand side of the column.

    Do you get free broadband in halls of residence?

    If you’re approaching the first year of university, then you don’t need to worry about student broadband as most halls of residence have broadband already installed. However, if you’re starting your second year, it’s likely that you’ll be moving into a shared house, in which case, you’ll need a broadband connection.

    Many student broadband packages are subject to nine-month contracts

    The best student broadband deals are on short, nine-month contracts. These contracts generally run from October and can terminated in June, leaving the summer months free of bills. If you’re intending to stay for the summer, you may be better off looking at longer contracts.

    Upfront fees may be high

    Many providers offset the risk of short-term contracts by charging a high upfront fee for installation and set-up. A provider may also ask you to pay for a couple of months in advance, just in case you drop out of university (we know you won’t) or some other difficulty arises.

    Why choose a student broadband deal?

    There are several great reasons for choosing a cheap student broadband deal. Here are three that we think are the best.

    You don’t have to pay for broadband in the summer

    After spending nine months attending lectures and doing your own washing, it’s understandable that you’ll want to flee back home for the summer. When you do, you don’t want to be paying for a broadband service that you’re not using. Luckily, the nine-month contracts offered by some providers solve this problem by keeping the summer months free of bills.

    A cheap way to get online for student households

    If you’re trying to get online on your lonesome, it can be an expensive endeavour. Equally, if everyone in a student house is paying for their own broadband service, you’ll all be paying out more than is necessary. It’s worth clubbing together, plus, some providers will allow you to put more than one name on a contract, which will help protect everyone involved.

    Fast broadband lets you do more online

    There are two types of student broadband: traditional, copper-cable broadband and fibre optic broadband. Traditional broadband is more widely available, but is nowhere near as fast as fibre. Fibre speeds range from 38Mbps to 200Mbps, whereas most traditional broadband speeds hover around 16Mbps. Faster broadband means all your downloadable content, from movies to music, will transfer more rapidly.

    Pros & cons

    Pros

    • No summer broadband bills
    • Cheap for student groups
    • A range of broadband speeds

    Cons

    • Installation can be expensive
    • Availability is limited
    • Bundles are usually subject to longer contracts

    Which student broadband deal is right for me?

    If you haven’t yet decided who is the best broadband provider for you, here are three additional options you may wish to consider.

    Avoid line rental by choosing broadband-only

    Line rental often applies with student broadband. This is due to the majority of providers using the BT network, which operates via the established telephone infrastructure to carry broadband. The only provider who offers broadband without a phone line (and therefore, without line rental) is Virgin Media: a company that operates its own, private fibre broadband network. By dropping line rental, you could save up to £17.99 a month on your student broadband bill.

    Longer contracts are available if you intend to stay

    Nine-month contracts are ideal if you want to head home for the summer. Not everyone will want to, however. For those who wish to remain in their student digs, many providers offer longer contracts that stretch to the full year and even beyond.

    Bundles are available if you want more services

    Broadband is just one service of many. It’s likely that you’ll want a TV service to complement your broadband and home phone. If this is the case, you may wish to consider a bundle. Some providers offer the chance to take multiple services in one package at a reduced overall rate, with some even offering the ability to take them on a short, nine-month contract.

    What will I need?

    You’re almost ready to choose a student broadband package. Before you do, there are two things you need to be 100 percent certain about.

    Make sure you can afford the monthly payments

    Student broadband offers a cheap option when you split the bill between multiple students. But what happens if one or two of your housemates renege on payments, drop out of university, or simply refuse to pay? If this happens, and the account is in your name, you’ll need to be able to continue to pay the monthly broadband bills. Failure to pay will result in penalties that may impact your financial capabilities in the future.

    Make sure that broadband isn’t already included in your household bills

    Some landlords may include broadband access in the rental agreement for your student household. If broadband is already supplied to your future property, you won’t need to take out broadband yourself.

    How do I switch?

    In order to switch, or to sign up for student broadband for the first time, there are three main steps to take.

    Check your rental contract

    Broadband may already be present at your property when you move. The landlord may include the service with your monthly bill, or the infrastructure for fibre from a particular provider may already be in place. There may be other restrictions, so be sure to check before you sign up.

    Sign up for student broadband through our comparison page

    Once you’ve chosen a deal on our comparison page, you can sign up by clicking the blue ‘see deal’ button on the right. This will take you to the provider’s website where you can finalise your purchase. Once purchased, you’ll be given an activation date.

    Cancel any existing services

    If you’re entering your third year at university and have had broadband before, you will have to cancel any existing broadband products to avoid paying for multiple services.

    Six essential questions before you buy

    1. Am I entering my second year of study?
    2. Is a nine-month contract right for me?
    3. Do I want a home phone?
    4. Would I prefer to go broadband-only?
    5. Can I split the bill?
    6. Will I be solely responsible for payments?

    Cable.co.uk recommends

    If you can get all your future housemates together before you buy student broadband you can determine exactly what type of package you require. By working out what type of activities your broadband service will be used for ahead of time – such as streaming movies, downloading games, or listening to music – you can avoid purchasing an unsatisfactory package.