Broadband and line rental
Compare the best broadband deals including line rental
Users tend to be attracted to broadband deals offered at low prices, without realising that the provider has hidden the line rental cost. If you are looking for the type of connection that requires an active landline, look for deals that mention charges clearly quoted as ‘broadband including line rental’. Fortunately, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has now made a new rule requiring the actual costs of deals including tariffs to be shown.
Line rental is the cost you pay to have an active landline connection. Most broadband users have to pay for line rental because a majority of broadband providers require the users to have an active landline connection. Copper phone lines are not only integral for standard ADSL broadband connection, but are also required for a certain type of fibre broadband called Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) broadband.
So, even if your landline usage is negligible, you will most likely have to pay for broadband line rental. If you want to avoid that, there are alternative options for you in the market that will allow you to get a good broadband deal without line rental cost.
For broadband without line rental, you must try getting access to one of those broadband connections that either fully works on fibre optics or mobile broadband. Unfortunately, the UK currently has limited areas with access to full-fibre broadband. With only 18% national coverage for full-fibre broadband, opting for mobile broadband is easier. Mobile broadband makes use of 4G in most of the areas, as 5G is in the process of rolling out across the country. 5G broadband, however, is much faster.
There are quite a few broadband-only options now available in the UK; Virgin Media is one of the major internet service providers that does not require users to have an active landline as a prerequisite.
Virgin Media does not make use of the conventional BT copper telephone lines to carry signals, meaning that if you find yourself a good Virgin Media cable broadband deal, you might save on the monthly line rental.
Previously, providers were intentionally miss-advertising broadband and line rental deals with claims such as ‘free line rental’, but ASA’s research revealed the presence of hidden costs in such deals, forcing providers to share true costs instead of luring new customers with false claims. This has led to more customers wanting to move to broadband-only options in order to save on such costs.
Here are a few options for you to choose your broadband deal from, that won’t require you to pay line rental:
The only internet service provider that owns a fibre-optic technology called DOCSIS and has a cable network exclusively for its customers. Virgin Media provides some of the fastest broadband speed in the UK, some of which go up to 362Mbps. Although Virgin Media broadband does not charge any line rental cost, it might be more expensive than some other options. It is always better to compare deals and look for possible service bundling options. For instance, you can sign up for a Virgin Media broadband and TV bundle, and benefit from discounts here.
Full-fibre broadband, contrary to standard ADSL broadband, does not require the use of conventional BT copper phone lines. It carries signals using fibre optics. However, full-fibre broadband has much less coverage at the moment. There are two types of fibre broadband, namely:
- Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband.
- Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband.
Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband requires the use of a phone line to carry signals from your local street cabinet to your premises, therefore opting for FTTC broadband won’t relieve you of a landline rental.
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband
FTTP broadband fully uses fibre optic cables and bypasses the phone line. It is, however, more expensive, and its availability is restricted to some areas at the moment.
Satellite broadband is available everywhere, even in areas that offer no other broadband connection. Satellite broadband is a relatively expensive option, but if you’re travelling through a desolate area, or if you reside in a remote spot, then satellite broadband is the only, and not just only-rental-free, option for you.
A great line rental free option is mobile broadband. These days, almost everyone owns a mobile phone and appreciates the convenience of portability that it offers. Mobile broadband lets you connect to the internet network, on the go. Instead of phone lines or fibre-optics, mobile broadband works by using the mobile network, a USB dongle, or a wireless router. As long as you’re based in a region with good signal reception, mobile broadband is the best broadband-only option for you.
Some of the best broadband deals including line rental come with a free phone line when you purchase the package. Such deals might lure you in with features that you don’t require, for example, you might have already signed up for a deal that includes a landline. If you want to change this situation, then you have two options:
You could simply remove the landline connection from your current offer, but as most internet providers don’t allow you to be picky with different parts of a broadband deal, you might as well cancel the entire contract and get one without line rental.
Keep tabs on your contract end date, as you may not want to switch to another provider before your previous contract ends. Internet service providers charge early exit fees, which in some cases may cost you more than sticking to the same deal. If you’re okay with paying early exit fees, which could cost up to £80, then you can switch to a different provider at any time. Otherwise, practice precaution.
Also, look out for cheap broadband and line rental offers, as well as offers for broadband-only deals. Many providers offer special introductory discounts to attract new customers. Be sure to benefit from them.
By the end of 2025, BT may have shifted all of its users to Internet Protocol (IP). Openreach is also in the process of switching over to digital phone services completely. So, in the future, broadband might be inclined towards zero dependence on landlines, making line rentals a thing of the past.
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