How to land the best broadband deal

Published:
31 January 2012
Topic:
News,Broadband

Broadband providers regularly bombard us with messages about connection speeds, download speeds, ultrafast broadband, superfast broadband and usage limits. Right now, three of the main providers are all promoting offerings like these to attract your custom.

But how do the broadband deals measure up against each other? We take a look in more detail.

BT Infinity

The latest BT Infinity campaign is promoting the idea that, because its high speed broadband is up to four times faster than the UK average, it lends itself to 'effective multi-platform usage'.

This means that you can run games consoles, tablets (such as an iPad) and laptops, browse online and download simultaneously using the one wireless router without any lapse in performance.

This is thanks to superfast BT Infinity broadband, which has download speeds of up to 100Mb and upload speeds of up to 15Mb.

BT is currently offering this superfast broadband on an 18-month contract with unlimited usage, a free BT Home Hub, as well as evening and weekend calls for £35 per month. Users can also upgrade to unlimited anytime calls for an extra £4.90 per month.

However, this has not yet been rolled out across the entire country so you will need to check for availability in your area.

Broadband and Anytime Calls

If you do not want to pay that much for broadband, or don't require a superfast connection, then the Broadband and Anytime Calls package could be a better option.

This online exclusive deal offers up to 20Mb download speed, a monthly usage limit of 10GB, free anytime calls and a free BT Home Hub with free connection for £16 per month. BT is also offering four months free on its 18-month contract.

If you want to subscribe to BT's television service then you can get a 12-month contract for the TV Essential package, which comes with a free Vision+ digital box and 70 Freeview channels, for an extra £4 per month.

However, there are some additional costs involved as all Broadband and Anytime calls packages are subject to an extra line rental charge of at least £10 per month while the TV Essential deal has a £40 activation fee.

Sky

Sky's Winter Broadband Sale is offering both new and existing customers half price broadband for 12 months and you don't need to sign up to one of Sky's television packages to take advantage of the offer.

Sky's broadband has up to 20Mb download speed but, unlike BT, there is no monthly usage limit so you can browse and download as much as you like and there will be no extra charges. The package also comes with inclusive evening and weekend calls to UK landlines.

The half price deal means that you can get Sky Broadband Unlimited with calls and Sky wireless 'N' router for just £5 per month for the first 12 months, rising to £10 per month after this introductory period.

If you want to add a Sky television package then you can get Sky Broadband Unlimited with Sky TV and calls for £23.75 per month for the first 12 months after which time it will rise to £27.50 per month.

This comes with everything that the previous package offers and also includes Sky's Entertainment package which has 70 Freeview channels and an extra 44 entertainment channels including Sky 1 and Sky Atlantic. New subscribers also get a Marks & Spencer voucher worth £50.

Existing Sky customers can also add the Broadband Unlimited with calls bundle to their existing package for just £3.75 per month for the 12 months and then £7.50 per month thereafter.

As far as additional costs go, all of the above Sky deals are subject to a monthly line rental fee of £12.25.

Although Sky is not currently offering superfast broadband, it is planning on launching Sky Broadband Unlimited Fibre in April which will offer up to 40Mb broadband speeds. This will cost an additional £20 per month plus a one-off set-up fee of £50 for new customers.

Sky is also launching a new service, powered by The Cloud, which will give Sky Broadband Unlimited customers free access to more than 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country.

In addition, Sky is launching a new internet TV service that will increase the ways in which Sky's content can be accessed.

Virgin Media

Virgin Media has gone head-to-head with BT by rolling out ultrafast broadband with download speeds of up to 100Mb and unlimited downloads.

Virgin is offering its ultrafast broadband with a free Virgin Media Super Hub wireless 'N' modem router and unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles on an 18-month contract for £35 per month if you have a Virgin phone line.

If not, then you can get this package for £40 per month for the first three months and £45 per month thereafter.

As an online exclusive, Virgin is also offering free installation worth £49.95 when you take 100Mb broadband with a Virgin phone line and the deal also comes with Spotify Premium free for six months.

Virgin also offers a basic 10Mb broadband and phone bundle that provides broadband with a download speed of up to 10Mb and no usage limit, unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles and free installation for £4 per month for three months and £13.50 per month thereafter.

For £5 per month for the first three months and then £18.50 per month after that, Virgin is offering a similar bundle that comes with 30Mb broadband and six months' free Spotify Premium subscription.

To include Virgin's television service you can subscribe to the TiVo 1TB £20 a month bundle, which offers broadband with download speeds of up to 10Mb, unlimited monthly usage and a TiVo set top box with 75 digital TV channels with the capacity to pause, rewind and record live TV.

In addition, you get free weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles, free installation and three months free for £20 per month.

However, although installation is free a one off TiVo 1TB activation fee of £49.95 applies and all deals are subject to Virgin phone line rental of £13.90 per month.

Scour the whole market before making your choice.

So which provider is currently offering the best deal on broadband?

This will depend upon your circumstances and how you use the internet. For example, Sky is offering the cheapest package as part of its Winter Broadband Sale. However, the deal only comes with unlimited home phone calls in the evenings and at weekends. If you use your telephone at other times of the day, then the BT package may be more suitable as it offers free calls to landlines and 0845 and 0870 numbers at any time of day.

It is important to compare all of the deals currently available to ensure that you get the best deal to suit your needs and the best place to start when comparing broadband packages is the MoneySupermarket comparison tool.

This allows you to compare the cost of standalone broadband, combined broadband and home phone packages as well as broadband, home phone and television packages - and could save you up to £218.

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing.

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About This Author

Les Roberts

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Senior writer

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