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Post Office broadband review 2016

Luke Thompson
Monday, April 18th 2016

The Post Office isn’t just for your stamps and letters; these days you can get broadband deals too. Everyone knows the Post Office; that’s an established reputation few competitors can match.

But just because we all know the Post Office, that doesn’t automatically make it a good choice for your broadband. We take you through the pros and cons of snapping up a Post Office broadband deal.

Cable.co.uk rating

Broadband Cable.co.uk
  • Speed & usage
  • Call plan
  • Extras
  • Value for money
  • Equipment & installation
  • Overall

Pros and cons

  • Cheap line rental
  • Unlimited data on Broadband Premium
  • Short contracts
  • Fair use policy
  • No stated speeds
  • Customer service issues

What we like

Cheap line rental

Line rental is usually a necessary evil of fixed-line broadband, regardless of whether you’re taking a standard or fibre optic service. You have to pay line rental with the Post Office, but you’ll pay a lot less per month than with some competing broadband providers.

Line rental fees are set at £16 per month, which is quite a bit below the industry average. You can make it even cheaper if you take advantage of the Post Office’s line rental saver scheme, an upfront annual payment which equates to just £14 per month overall.

Unlimited downloads on Broadband Premium

Two broadband options are available with the Post Office: Broadband Essential and Broadband Premium.

Broadband Essential is the cheaper option, and subject to a usage cap. Broadband Premium is free of any such caps and boasts an unlimited download service to give you the freedom to download large files and stream movies without worrying about an allowance. Both come with an inclusive phone plan providing free calls to UK landlines on weekends.

Short contracts

When you take out Broadband Essential you only have to sign up to a 12-month contract. For a fixed-line broadband provider, this is relatively short term, shorter than bigger providers like BT and Plusnet. However, Broadband Premium is subject to an 18-month contract.

As with all broadband contracts, early cancellation results in early termination fees. These are usually calculated by the number of months left on your contract, and can generate bills running into the hundreds in some circumstances. Be sure you can commit to a contract before you sign.

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Featured deals

  • Post Office Broadband Essential + Weekend Calls

    Post Office
    • Up to 8Mb broadband
    • 10GB download allowance
    • Inclusive weekend calls
    per month See Deal
  • Post Office Broadband Premium + Weekend Calls

    Post Office
    • Up to 8Mb broadband
    • Unlimited download allowance
    • Inclusive weekend calls
    Free unlimited broadband for 12 months
    £8 after 12 mths See Deal

What we don’t like

Fair use policy

Despite the suggested unlimited nature of Broadband Premium, you’ll find that all Post Office broadband services are controlled by a fair usage policy. On Broadband Essentials, your connection will be tempered after 10GB, and you’ll be charged 75p for every gigabyte received in excess of this amount.

On Broadband Premium you can download and upload as much as you like. However, you’ll find both your download and upload speeds considerably slowed if your downloading is a little on the excessive side.

No stated download or upload speeds

Broadband providers usually tell you the maximum upload and download speeds you’ll get with their broadband services before you sign up. Not so with the Post Office. The provider doesn’t reveal its broadband speeds at all, only going as far as to vaguely claim that you’ll receive “speeds as fast as your phone line can support”.

Average download speeds for customers using our independent speed test show the Post Office running at around 3.6Mbps, with the average upload speed at a shockingly slow 460.1Kbps. Not great.

Past customer service issues

In the September of 2013, many Post Office broadband customers became frustrated when they could no longer access their Post Office email accounts.

This was in part due to the company moving its mail services to TalkTalk, which left many customers unable to access their emails for over a week. When customers called to complain, very few were able to get through to a customer service representative, and found themselves sitting on hold for hours on end.

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The Post Office doesn’t offer the best broadband service, and its coy avoidance of giving a definitive broadband speed seems suspect. Despite this, its line rental is one of the cheapest on the market, and its familiar reputation may be of comfort to some.

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