A throwback to the days when every home had a landline, a broadband and phone deal could be the perfect bundle for people who don't rely on their mobile phones.
If you are in the market for broadband or a new phone deal, you might be able to save more money by bundling your internet and landline together into a package. So, if you like to catch up with friends and family on the home phone as well as stream movies, video call, online shopping or send emails, a broadband and phone deal could be perfect for you.
There’s a reason why most of the broadband deals out there include phone calls, because the majority of the UK’s broadband service to homes is supplied through the existing phone network, either through ADSL broadband or fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband.
These broadband services rely on the copper cabling that runs to each house to deliver both phone services as well as broadband. That means that most broadband deals need an active phone line for them to work, so it makes sense for internet service providers (ISPs) to bundle them both together.
It’s a cliché, but the best broadband and phone deal is the one that suits your specific needs. Having said that, here are the top things to look out for when shopping for a broadband and phone deal:
One of the most crucial aspects of broadband and phone deals is how many minutes of calltime are included in your deal. If you know that you will be using your home phone to regularly call loved ones, make sure you keep an eye out for a deal with lots of inclusive minutes.
When looking for phone and internet deals you should think about when you will actually be calling people. Generally speaking, there are three different times that providers will bundle free minutes with: evening, weekends and anytime. So, if you regularly call your Mum after dinner – evening calls will be perfect. Or if you catch up with a friend on weekends – weekend calls are best.
If you don’t regularly have a routine or want the flexibility to pick up the phone whenever you want, ’anytime calls’ is your best bet.
Once you’ve worked out what times you can call for free, the next step is to see how long you are able to make those calls for.
A number of ISPs will put a time limit on phone calls, for example, you could call a mobile number in the evening for free but after 60 minutes you will start to be charged. By knowing the time limits, you can easily hang up before the time and call back – protecting yourself from unnecessary extra charges.
Have a look at how much calls will cost you outside of your free minutes – it’s usually between 8p and 20p per minute. By finding the cheapest charges you’ll be protecting yourself from larger bills if you need to ring someone outside of your included free calls.
Line rental can be a significant cost for any broadband and phone deal, but there are some providers that will bundle this cost in its deal. When you’re comparing deals, make sure you take into account the line rental costs – it could drastically change which deal is the best value.
Sometimes you might want to opt for some extra phone services that are rarely offered as part of a bundle but can be added as an optional extra. Services like caller blocking, three-way calls, call reminders and much more are offered by a number of providers.
If you want to add these to your broadband and phone deal, it’s best to contact your potential supplier directly and ask them how much adding the service would cost.
You might be making a lot of international calls if you have friends or loved ones abroad. In that case, talking to your potential new provider about their international call options is also a really good idea. Many will offer an international calls add-on that could save you a lot of money in the long run.
If you’re trying to find the best broadband and phone deal, the speed of your broadband package is extremely important. Understanding what speeds you need is really important here, because, as a rule, the slower the broadband the cheaper the cost.
If you have a small household and will only be using the internet for occasional tasks like emails and video calls, a slower connection could be all you need. If there’s lots of people in your household or lots of devices that connect to the internet, opting for a faster speed will make sure that everyone’s internet connection stays as fast as possible.
Just like checking how much calls outside the bundled minutes will cost, it’s always worth checking that your broadband and phone deal includes unlimited downloads. Almost all broadband deals include unlimited downloads, but it’s worth checking just in case.
When comparing broadband and home phone deals, make sure you look at how long the contract is. Contracts range from monthly rolling ones, up to 24-month ones. The length of contract is really important to consider if you are currently renting – since the majority of landlord contracts are for 12 months.
Matching your phone and broadband deal to the length of your rental contract is a great idea because it means you can avoid having to pay out hefty cancellation fees if you need to move out at the end of your contract.
The most crucial question here: how much will you save by bundling broadband and phone into one deal?
Generally speaking, because the delivery of most broadband services in the UK relies on the home-phone network, a phone and broadband deal will offer you the best value possible if you want to use both services. But it’s always worth checking the cost of setting up each service individually to see if you can find a better deal.
The rise of mobile phones means that we are all using our home phones less and less. Ask yourself if you even need a home phone anymore. If you don’t, there are some broadband deals with no landline included, which might save you some money on your monthly bills.
Finding the perfect phone and broadband deal can be complicated, here’s a few of the most common questions answered:
Full-fibre broadband, also known as fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), doesn’t actually need to use the existing home phone network because it uses a dedicated fibre-optic cable from the cabinet to your home. But just because full-fibre broadband doesn’t need a landline, there are still plenty of ISPs out there that still offer a phone and full-fibre broadband deal.
If you are shopping around for a new broadband and phone deal, more often than not you will be able to keep your phone number. All you need to do is let your new provider know that you want to keep your number and they should be able to take care of the rest.
However, if you’re moving to a new house and changing provider, you might not be able to keep your old landline number – your best bet will be to get in touch with your new provider to check if it’s possible or not.
If you have a broadband and phone deal, you will need to pay line rental. Line rental covers the cost of upkeep the phone line that runs from the cabinet to your home, which can be delivering both the phone service and the broadband.
Some suppliers include the cost of line rental in their price, so your quote is exactly what you pay every month. When comparing phone and broadband deals make sure you keep your eye out for line rental costs … it can add up.
If you want to switch broadband suppliers, nothing will happen to your phone line. Because a lot of broadband services run off the same openreach phone network, nothing will physically change with your phone line when you switch home phone suppliers.
You do not technically need a landline to get broadband. If you think that you don’t need a phone and broadband deal, you could be better off finding a broadband service that doesn’t need a landline, if it’s available to your property. If you can get a full-fibre broadband (also known as FTTP) connection at your home, you won’t actually need a landline to get broadband.
Alternatively, you could look into satellite broadband – but this is more aimed at rural spaces where the connection is limited and so can be quite pricey. If you have good mobile signal, or 5G coverage, you could look into a mobile broadband deal – lots of providers now offer a home router that operates off the 4G or 5G network. Read more about getting broadband with no landline here.
If you have friends or loved ones abroad, staying in touch with them can end up being pretty costly. Most providers have an international calling package that you can add to your bundle.
Another option is to find a voice-over-internet-provider (VOIP) that offers cheap international calls. VOIP can be set up just like a landline phone, with a receiver connecting to the internet to make calls, or you can set one up on your computer.
A lot of the basic broadband and phone packages are suitable for those that don’t really use their landline a lot. In fact, Brits are using their landlines half as much now as they were in 2012.
But, because most of the broadband offered in the UK relies on a phone line connection – you might want to make use of the phone, just in case. This is very common, and the more basic broadband and phone packages will let you receive calls on a landline number for no cost…the deal might include some times where you can make calls for free too.