£18.00 p/m for 12 months, £0.00 Setup Costs
NOW’s Brilliant Broadband with Free Anytime Calls is a great package. It includes an unlimited broadband connection with average download speeds of 11 Mbps (716 Kbps upload) and unlimited landline calls to landline and mobile numbers in the UK - making it a great choice for chatterboxes up and down the country. NOW are also offering a 3-Month entertainment pass for NOW TV with this deal. This is one of the cheapest anytime call deals out there at the moment, so don't overlook this cheap offer.
£15.90 p/m for 12 months, £0.00 Setup Cost
Post Office are bucking the market trends with their low-cost broadband deal. This package boasts zero fee increases over the twelve-month contract and packs an average download speed of 11 Mbps (2.5 Mbps upload) for just under £16, with no upfront costs. This unlimited broadband package lets you download what you want, when you want, for an affordable monthly cost and no surprise price hikes.
£28.99 p/m for 18 months, £9.99 Setup Costs, £70 Reward Card
With BT's Superfast Fibre package now only £28.99, you'll be hard pushed to find a better deal from such a well-known and trusted provider. This plan is perfect for households who are looking to use a few different devices at a time, with a variety of streaming, gaming, and downloads all occurring at once.
Overall this deal costs just £9.99 in upfront fees, with a monthly cost of £28.99 for the duration of the contract. BT also has a 'Stay Fast Guarantee' at the moment, meaning you if don't get the speeds promised BT will refund you £20.
£27.00 p/m for 12 months, £35.00 Setup Cost
For users who are seeking solid fibre broadband but don’t necessarily need the sheer grunt of a 350 Mbps connection, we present to you Virgin’s M100. The package runs for a minimum term of 12 months and serves up a connection with average download speeds of 100Mbps, making it a good choice for smaller households and users who want to stream and surf without any bells and whistles.
What broadband deal is right for you?
It's important to consider what type of user you are before selecting a new connection. File sharers, TV bingers and gamers should generally steer well clear of download limits – unless promotions are available to give you some wiggle room.If you’re a more casual user, sending emails and cruising Instagram and Facebook for example, then limits shouldn’t be an issue, but beware, excess data charges can be a very unpleasant surprise when your bill arrives.
What broadband speed do I need?
- 5 – 20Mbps – This sort of speed should suit pretty much any casual user or small family. However, be aware that some slower connections can come with download limits.
- 20 – 50Mbps – This speed is common across the UK. If the connection is stable, it should be fine for a medium-sized household and general usage.
- 51 – 100Mbps – Power users, gamers and file sharers should be considering this sort of speed. A larger household of moderate users may also want to give this some serious consideration.
- 100 – 200Mbps – If you’re heavy user then this speed should be your banker. Files will download quickly and it should be able to handle multiple tasks/users without any major slowdown issues.
- 200+Mbps – If you have the budget for it then this is a great option. No matter what you get up to online, speed is king, and a fast fibre connection will be your best friend. Fibre also usually comes with faster pings, which are essential for serious gamers.
Should I get a bundle deal?
Broadband providers are always looking to sweeten the deal with users by offering a bundle of TV, broadband, phone and mobile bills all thrown together. This is because bundling a home phone plan alongside a broadband and TV package will often enough be more cost-effective than sourcing each separately.
Most of the big hitters will offer some kind of bundle deal, including Virgin Media, Sky, BT, EE and TalkTalk, but it can be hard to tell whether the deals will provide the right bang for your buck.
The best deal for you will always depend on internet speeds, mobile network coverage and your budget. But, if you play your cards right, you could save money and get a stellar package that can include free sports channels, free calls, increased data, and even more.
If you already pay for services with a provider it may be worth seeing how much it would cost to add on a new service alongside you current contract. Most, if not all, will have a special box to tick if you’re already supplied by the company.
In summary, the main appeal for bundle deals is the convenience and potential savings on offer. Most providers will offer some kind of bundle deal which can be an increasingly convenient time-saver because you only ever have to deal with one company, rather than several.
What is fibre broadband?
Fibre broadband is a connection which supplies internet access to your home via fibre optic cables. It's normally faster than conventional broadband.
Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) are the two types of fibre broadband. FTTC is most common in the UK, offered by the likes of BT, Sky and the other main ISPs.
FTTC utilises fibre optic cables to deliver the bandwidth from the exchange to cabinets on the street. It's then served to your home using standard copper cables. It usually delivers speeds of up to 76Mbps.
FTTP offers an end-to-end fibre optic connection from the exchange all the way to your home or business. It can deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps and is offered by companies like Hyperoptic, Gigaclear and B4RN. The more advanced infrastructure means that FTTP is generally more expensive to install and isn’t currently as widely available.
Do I need a phone line?
Most ISPs in the UK use BT’s network to deliver a connection to peoples’ homes. This does require an active phone line.
Right now, the only major ISP that delivers high-speed broadband without a phone line is Virgin Media, and that is because the company has its own fibre network. You can snap up a 200Mbps fibre connection from Virgin (if you live in a served area) for less than £40 per month – with no phone line required.
Can I get fibre broadband in my area?
First off, use the postcode checker at the top of this page to see if fibre broadband is available in your area. Don’t forget to double-check that your speeds are what you have been promised, once you have your connection. This guide will lead you through the process.
Which companies offer fibre broadband?
Almost all UK ISPs offer a fibre service. These providers include Virgin Media, Plusnet, EE, BT, Post Office, TalkTalk, John Lewis, Now Broadband, Vodafone, and Sky.
As mentioned, there are also smaller, independent suppliers that offer full FTTP broadband services, such as Hyperoptic and Gigaclear, although coverage around the UK is significantly more limited.
Fairness for Customers
Ofcom’s new Fairness for Customers initiative has ensured that the UK’s biggest broadband companies put fairness at the heart of their business.
All of the UK’s biggest providers have signed up to the commitments, including BT, EE, Post Office, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, and Vodafone.
The pledged commitments have been put in place to ensure customers are getting a fair deal, while any vulnerable customers experiencing changes in circumstance will be treated more fairly.
Not only that, but operators have promised to not put any barriers up when customers want to change service or when something goes awry with their current setup. This is to ensure any problems that arise are fixed and compensated for adequately, further implementing Ofcom's commitment to fairness.
New regulations are coming into effect that will require broadband providers to inform customers when their contracts are about to end and of their best alternative deals. Ofcom has informed providers that they have until February of 2020 to update their systems and start sending out notifications to their relevant customers.
There are a couple of things to look out for when shopping for a new deal.
Download limits are not a good thing. Some providers will give you a limit and once you’ve consumed that much data, you’re liable for surcharges. These are usually per GB and can be really high. Always check before you purchase.
Above all else, gamers need stability and a solid ping – which is the time it takes for your connection to get a response once it’s made a request. Ping is measured in milliseconds and faster is always better.
If you’re sending out files, then upload speed is a factor to consider, as well. It’ll never be as high as your download speed, but for a truly smooth connection, you should be looking for 30 per cent of your downstream speed, minimum.Some connections may also throttle your usage at peak times, which means that when the network is busy, your speed drops – sometimes significantly. This can be a real problem, and unless you’re a casual user, it should be avoided.
If you’re settled in your home and have a strong idea of what your usage is going to look like, then signing a longer deal shouldn’t be a problem. Often, the best deals come with a long contract attached.
If you’re a more flexible renter or a student, you should not be signing a long plan. 12 months might be fine, but 30-day rolling contracts are often your best bet, though these can be more costly, obviously.
It’s also worth reading the small print carefully, which often promises annual price increases. These are usually in line with the RPI (retail price index) and can significantly affect the cost of your monthly bill.
Some providers will need you to have a landline telephone connection in your home before they will sell you a connection (even though it’s 2020!), and the standing cost of that can push the advertised price of your bill up.
Other providers, especially those offering shorter, rolling contracts, might ask for an upfront payment for your equipment. This is pretty common and can usually be avoided if you’re signing a longer-term deal. For satellite broadband, this fee can be high.
As well as billing you for extras, many providers will also give you a few perks for signing. Free gifts, vouchers and cash-back schemes are common, and they can be a nice bonus to offset any additional spending.