Get the best broadband deal
While superfast broadband is now a reality in some areas of the UK, telecoms watchdog Ofcom has spoken out about how widespread connectivity issues are still a reality.
Despite average UK download speeds hitting 31.9Mbps in November 2013, not all homes and businesses are able to benefit from the next-generation technology – and it’s not just in rural areas.
According to Ofcom, UK towns and cities are also affected by slow broadband speeds, yet too many people stick with their provider despite poor speeds and high prices.
If you’ve never switched broadband providers, you might even be able to get more bangs for your buck. Follow these tips below to secure the cheapest and best value broadband deal.
Pay line rental upfront
The majority of consumers pay BT for their line rental, no matter who their broadband provider is. However, BT’s line rental has soared in the past six years from £11.50 in 2008 to £15.99.
TalkTalk, PlusNet and Tesco are three providers offering phone and broadband for less than £20 a month. There’s a catch though – you’ll have to pay for 12 months upfront.
If you’ve got the cash it’s well worth doing. For example, TalkTalk’s Simply Broadband is a bargain £3.50 a month. Line rental is a similar price to BT at £15.95, but pay upfront and it’s just £10.50. Over the year, that’s £168 for phone and broadband – a £65.40.
You might also find it cheaper to go for a phone, broadband and TV bundle if you already pay for TV with Sky, BT or Virgin.
Keep an eye on data
The cheapest broadband packages don’t offer much in terms of data allowances, and if you’re not careful, you could end up paying more than if you’d opted for an unlimited package
While 2GB may have been plenty of data a couple of years ago, now we eat our way through data like nobody’s business.
Just browsing the net, sending and receiving emails as well as streaming the occasional video will probably use up 10GB throughout the month. If you’re one for watching catch up TV, you’ll need more – just one episode could eat through 1GB.
To give you an idea BT Infinity starts from £15 a month, but that restricts you to a 20GB download limit. If you want to upgrade to 40GB, you’ll have to pay £16 a month and totally unlimited starts from £23 a month.
Watch your speeds
Broadband adverts bombard you with figures for download speeds; upload speeds, average speeds, up to speeds and so on.
Yet all this is pretty irrelevant as the advertised speed is not necessarily the speed you will get. That all depends on the exchange you use and how close you are to it.
In general, fibre broadband does offer a faster and more reliable connection as it doesn’t rely on the old network; it uses fibre optic cables that offer the same service no matter how far a property is from the exchange.
However, it’s also much more expensive. If you’re a fairly light user, you will find that speeds of 14-16Mb are perfectly adequate, whereas superfast speeds of up to 30Mb may be preferred for heavy users.
You can boost your internet speeds without having to pay a lot more. For example, signal boosters and sing the Ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi can all impact on the actual speed achieved.
It’s worth comparing broadband packages to see the costs over 12 months.
It’s usually the landline cost that bumps up the price of your broadband, so it’s important to consider the price of both.
One of the cheapest deals on the market is TalkTalk, although you will have to pay 12 months up front to get the best price of £14 a month. Buy before 30th June 2014 and Tesco has a similar upfront deal, but that’ll set you back £17.80 a month.
If you already pay for a landline and don’t want to switch, there are broadband only deals. Unfortunately, they don’t save you £15 a month though.
PlusNet is one of the best providers for broadband only deals. Their cheapest is £8.40 a month, but once you’ve factored in the extra £25 connection fee and £5.99 for delivery of the router, it works out at £11 a month.
Finally, the only operator to provide broadband without the need for a landline at all is Virgin Media. It costs £25 a month for its fibre optic broadband, but with £5 off for the first three months and a £49.95 installation charge, it works out at £27.90 a month.
|Written by :|
|Jemma is a news & research reporter for compareandsave.com.Having worked as a journalist on a number of personal finance websites; she now spends time researching and commenting on UK personal finance stories and investigating new ways to help our readers save money.For press enquiries, please visit our Media Centre page.|