Wary of committing to a broadband contract for 18 months or 24 months? The good news is that 12-month broadband contracts are still around if you know where to look. We take stock of what’s on offer and weigh up the providers you’ve got to choose from.
What types of broadband can you get on a 12-month contract?
Mobile broadband on 12-month contracts is also easy to come by from the likes of Three, Vodafone and O2.
12-month fibre optic broadband deals
Need a faster connection for a busy home? Or maybe you need a speedy service because you play a lot of online games or stream video in multiple rooms simultaneously? If so, fibre’s a good bet.
The good news is that superfast broadband, reaching speeds of up to 67Mbps, is available throughout the UK, as it completes the journey to the home using copper wires from your nearest street cabinet. Crucially, it’s also as affordable as ADSL. Faster, full fibre services are available in some major towns and cities too.
12-month standard broadband deals
Suited to people who live alone, or smaller households. A standard broadband service typically gets you an average speed of 10Mbps-11Mbps.
Such speeds are fine for email and web browsing, but not so good for streaming and, these days, often cost the same as snappier superfast fibre broadband.
Which broadband providers offer 12-month broadband?
Community Fibre 12-month broadband deals
Community Fibre offers fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband in various boroughs of London, with ultrafast speeds up to 920Mbps.
Contracts are available with a choice of 12-months or 24-month terms, both of which include free installation and the option to add calls.
Hyperoptic 12-month broadband deals
Hyperoptic has an independent FTTP broadband network all over the country, in select neighbourhoods or buildings.
With speeds up to 1Gbps, it offers some of the fastest broadband in the UK. Pick between its 12-month, 24-month, or one-month contracts.
NOW Broadband 12-month broadband deals
Sky subsidiary NOW Broadband offers cheap, reliable fibre and standard broadband on 12-month contracts.
All packages include anytime calls for 12 months as standard and line rental. No activation fee.
Onestream 12-month broadband deals
Onestream simply offers great value fibre optic broadband with speeds up to 67Mbps, available nationwide.
Take your choice of a 12-month, 24-month, or rolling one-month contract.
Plusnet 12-month broadband deals
One of the UK’s best customer-rated providers, with 12-month contracts available on standard and fibre packages.
However, be aware that you can't buy these online - you'll need to contact Plusnet directly. A small activation fee also typically applies.
What are the best 12-month broadband and TV deals?
Not many providers offer 12-month broadband and TV bundles, especially as TV deals tend to be 18 or 24 months. But NOW Broadband is worth a look.
That’s because you can sign up for a 12-month broadband package and then add or subtract TV add-ons whenever you like, meaning you can access Entertainment, Movies or Sports plans, with the best shows, films and live Premier League action without committing to a long contract.
What other contract lengths are available?
These days, most broadband contracts last 18 months or 24 months. That obviously means sticking with one provider for a longer time, but the benefit is that they tend to be cheaper – and let you lock that price in for a longer time.
A few providers also offer no-contract broadband also known as 1-month rolling contract broadband. This works on a 30-day rolling basis, so you only pay for a month’s worth of broadband and can cancel it at any point with no penalty fees.
If you know you’re going to be at your property for a set period, then you can also take out short term broadband or 6-month broadband deals. The latter will allow you to take out a longer contract, but won’t tie you in for a major period, meaning you can end your plan when you move home. This is a great option for students. Remember you’ll be bound by contract terms on such deals, so you won’t be able to leave early without paying a penalty.
It’s a great option if you only need broadband temporarily or don’t want to sign up long-term. Just be aware that the shorter the contract length, the more you’ll likely be paying – and no-contract broadband usually comes with high upfront costs too.
Can you get pay-as-you-go broadband instead of a 12-month contract?
You can’t get pay-as-you go home broadband. However, you can get short term broadband by purchasing a MiFi or wireless dongle, which uses a mobile signal to deliver the internet via a SIM card. You can then pay a network to top this up with data as you need.
You can get such dongles on a longer contract too. The benefit of that is that you won’t need to pay as much up front for the device and that you can take it with you when you move, providing maximum flexibility.
Be aware that 4G dongles are likely to offer far slower speeds than home broadband, especially inside. A growing number of 5G dongles does, however, mean you can get home broadband speeds, although the cost is higher.
What are the pros and cons of 12-month broadband deals?
Not sure if 12-month broadband is right for you? To help you make up your mind, below we’ve outlined what’s good about it and everything that’s not so good…
- You’re not signing up for 18 months or 24 months.
- Prices are in line with longer-term contracts.
- Ideal if you’re taking out a one-year lease on a rental property.
- More flexible than longer-term deals.
- More flexible than longer-term deals.
- Nine-month or one-month deals are available if you’re looking for a shorter commitment.
- Longer term deals let you lock into a fixed price.
- Provides less long term price security than a longer contract.
Sources and methodology
*Based on average monthly bill of £32.69 from nationally representative sample (1000) vs cheapest monthly cost for superfast broadband (>55Mbs), Vodafone £22/m. Annual saving £128.28.
Can I get broadband on a monthly contract?
You can. Although you won’t get quite same sort of selection of providers and deals to choose from as longer-term broadband deals. And you’ll usually be liable for set-up costs.
Does Virgin Media offer 12-month contracts?
No. Right now, Virgin Media only offers 18-month and 24-month contracts on its broadband, home phone, and TV packages.
Does Sky offer 12-month contracts?
No. Right now, Sky only offers 18-month deals on its broadband and TV packages. Sky Glass is available on longer-term deals – but not 12-month ones.
Does BT offer 12-month contracts?
No – at least, not for broadband. Right now, BT only offers long two-year deals on its packages. That includes broadband on its own, or bundled with TV.
If you just want a BT landline, however, all its home phone packages are available on a 12-month basis.