Assumptions & limitations
We work hard to make sure that the information you find on Cable.co.uk is complete and up-to-date. We do this by sourcing our information directly from each of the providers we work with, and by manually checking our prices at least every two weeks.
Packages you find on this site are current deals that are offered by our providers. We cannot and do not include so-called “legacy tariffs” on our site.
Legacy tariffs are old packages that customers may still be subscribing to, but that are no longer offered to new customers. As such, full details of these packages aren’t always available, and as they’re no longer on sale we don’t think that our customers would benefit from having these outdated packages taking up room in our listings.
If you’re currently subscribing to a legacy tariff you should compare very carefully before you switch as there’s a chance that the deal you're on now may be better than the current deals offered to new customers.
'Up to' and 'estimated' broadband speeds
Once you enter your postcode and/or phone number, our comparison tools provide the ‘estimated’ best speed attainable at that address.
In the case of providers which utilise the BT Openreach network, the estimated speed is attained per request from a trusted third-party provider. It, in turn, obtains this information from BT, which holds the most current snapshot of the state of the local infrastructure, the distance the property is from the exchange, and the last-known performance of the specific line itself.
Estimated speeds may not account for slowdowns during peak times due to heavy local usage.
The exceptions are Virgin Media and satellite broadband, for which dynamic speed information is not available. For these services our comparison tools therefore provide the maximum, or 'up to' line speed quoted by the provider in question.
Although we strive to keep our information as up to date as possible, it can be wise to check directly with your chosen provider.
We’re also not able to display some of the optional extras (sometimes called “bolt-ons” or “boosts”) that can be added to specific packages, as providers aren't always able to provide links to these extras that we can pass onto you. In these instances you should click “See Deal” to view the basic package on the provider’s site and then add whichever extras you want once you get there.
Discounts for existing customers
The prices listed on Cable.co.uk relate to new subscriptions where a consumer is not already subscribing to any other service(s) from that provider. The only exception to this rule is for clearly marked “upgrade” packages whereby an existing customer can add a new service to their existing subscription, for example adding HD to an existing Sky TV package.
We do this as the majority of visitors to Cable.co.uk are looking for a new service, or looking to switch their service(s) from one provider to another and so the new customer prices we list are the most relevant. If you are an existing customer who is looking to add a service to their subscription rather than switch completely, you may qualify for a further discount on these listed prices (except for the aforementioned "upgrade" packages).
Existing customers of some providers may qualify for a discounted price when they add extra services to their subscriptions via Cable.co.uk. For example, Sky TV customers can get Sky broadband at either a reduced rate or for free, depending upon the package they are ordering.
Even the best bundle or deal is likely to have limitations, so think carefully about exactly what it is that you want from your package or bundle when you're comparing deals.
Take into account the limitations of any packages and bundles so you know what isn’t included and what you’ll have to pay extra for. One good example of package limitations is inclusive calls packages.
When a provider advertises free off-peak calls it means that calls made to UK landlines in the evening or weekend that last less than an hour are included in the price. All other types of calls, such as to international numbers, non-geographic numbers or to mobile phones, will be charged at the appropriate rate set by the provider, and the charges for these calls will appear on your bill at the end of the month. You will also be charged for all calls made to landlines outside of your designated free period.
Charges for non-Direct Debit payments
Most providers featured on Cable.co.uk encourage their customers to pay by direct debit as it helps them to keep costs down, and they believe that it’s more convenient for all concerned. Some providers actually won’t accept payment by any other method, while others may add a surcharge if you want to pay by any other means.
To help you find the best deals, we always show the cheapest option that is usually only available if you pay by direct debit. If you want to pay by any other method you should check the terms and conditions at your chosen provider’s site.
All the prices on Cable.co.uk include VAT at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20%. The only exceptions are designated business packages, which are exempt from VAT under UK law. Immediately below all our comparison listings we clearly state that “all prices except business packages are inclusive of VAT”.
Unless otherwise stated, all our prices exclude line rental. If the cost of any given package includes line rental we will clearly state “line rental inclusive” within the details of that package.
Where line rental is payable in order to receive a package, you will see this clearly shown within the package details, along with the actual cost of line rental.
In general, broadband providers expect you to pay their line rental charges when you buy one of their broadband packages. In rare cases, you may find that a broadband provider does not offer a line rental service and will require you to have a line from BT.
Where line rental is shown, the cost is based on monthly payments. Many providers offer discounts for paying a full year of line rental in advance and these types of discount have not been factored into the quoted pricing.
Mid-contract price changes
In 2013 Ofcom announced new rules which mean customers can cancel a broadband, phone or digital television contract if the provider makes any changes which are considered ‘materially detrimental’ to the customer. This includes any increase in the core-subscription price, except to reflect increases in VAT.
Providers must give consumers 30 days’ notice of such changes and allow them to exit their contract without penalty.
Can’t find the package you're looking for?
It’s possible that you won’t be able to find a small number of packages or bundles on Cable.co.uk. This can be because of the following reasons:
Due to shrinking demand, we no longer list ADSL1 (speeds of up to 8Mb download) or ‘Off-Network’ broadband packages. Off-Network broadband connections are available only to users connected to an exchange that OpenReach has not yet upgraded to ADSL2 (speeds of up to 24Mb download). This typically affects those living in rural areas. If this affects you, you will notice that our comparison pages show ‘no deals found’ after entering your postcode. However, there are a select number of Off-Network providers – including Sky and Direct Save Telecom – that lease connections from BT wholesale (as they have no presence within your local BT exchange), therefore we suggest you check with them directly to see if they can offer you a cheaper deal than BT.
We list broadband, TV and home phone packages from the leading UK providers. Unfortunately, it simply isn’t feasible for us to feature every single provider on Cable.co.uk, especially those that are only available in isolated areas of the country or for which availability information is not available.
We can’t show all possible combinations of packages and services within our bundles listings. This is because some providers offer such a wide range of TV, broadband and phone packages that attempting to list every possible combination of each would make the process of comparing very difficult. We have chosen therefore to list the most popular combinations, which we feel to be the most relevant bundles for Cable.co.uk users.
There are some other packages and bundles that we can’t advertise due to their lack of availability, or because there is insufficiently detailed information available from the providers. At Cable.co.uk we would never want to include vague or incomplete information in our listings and so the decision was made to exclude packages of this nature.
In some instances, entertainment content providers may offer additional, sometimes cheaper, options via delivery channels other than through a broadband connection. For example, Amazon Instant Video also offers LOVEFiLM By Post. Please note that these other delivery methods are not listed within our comparison.
Although we strive to deliver the most up-to-date availability information, in some cases fibre infrastructure, though installed locally, may not yet have been activated. There is often an extensive period between the installation of a fibre-enabled exchange and its activation.
SIM-only mobile deals
Our SIM-only comparison tables exclude all PAYG plans, and plans offered through third-party retailers.
Our postcode checker
If you're looking for a particular package or deal and you can’t find it on Cable.co.uk there are a few things that you can do:
First, use our postcode checker so that we can show the packages that are actually available where you live, and use the filter to make sure we’re displaying the right packages based on your needs. In a lot of instances, using the postcode checker and filter should show you exactly what you’re looking for.
If you have used the postcode checker and filter but the package you're looking for still isn’t showing up, it may be because it is no longer available, or we may not have had a chance to add it to our listings yet. If this is the case then please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do everything we can to help you find the package you're looking for.
How our comparisons work
How broadband packages are sorted on our comparison pages
- By default, packages are sorted by lowest monthly cost.
- By clicking 'Package Details' in the crossbar menu of each comparison page, pages become re-sorted alphabetically by provider name. Clicking it a second time reverses the list order.
- Clicking 'Speed' in the crossbar menu of each comparison page sorts packages by speed, showing fastest first. Clicking it a second time reverses that order.
- Clicking 'Usage' in the crossbar menu of each comparison page will sort packages by their usage limits (highest first) if they have them. In this instance unlimited packages are grouped together. Clicking a second time will reorder the list to put the lowest usage limits at the top.
- Clicking 'Contract' in the crossbar menu of each comparison page will sort the list by contact length, showing the shortest first. Clicking again will sort the list by longest contract first.
- Clicking 'Offers' in the crossbar menu of each comparison page will sort the list by special offers, rewards and gifts available with the package. Clicking again will place packages with special offers at the end of the list.
- The drop-down menu to the far right of the crossbar menu on each comparison page permits users to sort the list additionally by 'Most Popular' – the packages on Cable.co.uk that have garnered the most interest both in clicks and in sales. By 'Monthly Cost' – the default for these lists. Or by 'First Year Costs' – the total a person will pay across the first year.
How TV packages are sorted on our comparison pages
- By default, packages are sorted by lowest monthly cost.
- 'Package Details', 'Contract' and 'Offers' are sorted in the same way as outlined in points 2, 5 and 6 above.
- Clicking 'Channels' in the crossbar menu of each comparison page will sort the list by number of TV channels delivered by each package, largest number first. Clicking again will reorder the list to show smallest number first.
- Clicking 'HD Channels' in the crossbar menu will sort the list by number of TV channels offered in high definition. Clicking again will sort by fewest high-definition channels.
How bundled TV and broadband packages are sorted on our comparison pages
- By default, packages and bundles are sorted by lowest monthly cost.
- Methods for resorting lists are as outlined in points 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 in the broadband section, and point 3 in the TV section above.
How mobile SIMs are sorted on our comparison pages
- By default, SIM deals are listed by lowest monthly cost.
- If there is a 'Network' section at the top of the page, the provider logos may be used to toggle each provider in and out of the list
- In the 'Tariffs & Pricing' section of the page, five drop-down lists (Minutes per month, Texts per month, Data per month, Contract length and Monthly cost) may be tailored to suit a user's specific requirements
- In the grey header strip just above the list, users may click on network, minimum contract, inclusive minutes, inclusive texts, download data and monthly cost to sort the list by these metrics.
- The 'Sort by' drop-down box at the top-right of the list allows users to sort by the same metrics as outlined in point 4.
How we calculate total monthly cost
Total contract by default does not include line rental and does not take account of any mid-contract (post-grace period) price rise.
How we calculate first-year costs
Many providers of broadband, TV and indeed mobile packages lure new customers with lower rates paid across the first half or less of the total contract period.
For example, a broadband contract may be advertised as 'Free' for the first six months (the grace period), then £10 per month thereafter. Further, in the case of broadband, line rental is rarely included in these headline prices, which is why Cable.co.uk provides a toggle to allow users of it comparison pages to include it in the prices displayed, or not.
The first-year cost, then, is the sum of the cost across the grace period, plus the sum of the cost thereafter, up to and including the twelfth month.
Please note that since line rental varies from one provider to the next by toggling to include line rental in the case of broadband and bundles, you will reorder the list to reflect the new all-inclusive costs.
How we calculate total contract costs
Total contract costs are calculated inclusive of every cost to the consumer from the beginning of the contract to the end.
So, for example, a broadband deal that's £7.99 for the first year, then £17.99 for the second on a 24-month (two year) contract, and line rental is £16.99 per month, the total contract cost will be £16.99 x 24 (line rental times 24 months), plus £7.99 x 12 (grace period monthly cost times 12 months), plus £17.99 x 12 (post-grace period monthly cost times 12 months). This would give a total contract cost of £719.52 (£407.76 + £95.88 + £215.88).
Located at the top of some of our comparison pages, you may find a 'featured deal'. A featured deal is either hand-picked by our experts, a deal wholly exclusive to ourselves or may be occasionally sponsored by a specific provider. Featured deals are clearly marked as a such.
Questions or comments?
If you have any questions at all about any of the points above please feel free to email us on email@example.com.