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Do you need a landline for broadband?

It’s a sticky question: if you want a broadband connection in the UK, are you required to take a phone line with it too? The answer is a little bit complicated.

In essence – no, you don’t need a landline phone. But you’ll need a phone line connection at your property.

Let’s break that down…

Do you need a landline to get broadband?

With most broadband providers, you need a physical phone line hooked up to your home in order to get broadband. That’s because your internet is connected through the same cables.

This is the case for all providers who use the Openreach network – including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet, Vodafone, EE, and so on.

However, you don’t have to have a landline telephone set up in your home.

With some providers, you sign up to a regular broadband package that has a free landline connection included – and it’s up to you whether you plug a phone in and make use of it. This is the case for Sky, Plusnet, and TalkTalk.

With other providers, you can choose whether you want a landline phone when you sign up…

  • If you do want a landline, the connection and phone number are included, and you can plug in a phone and make calls
  • If you don’t, you can sign up for a broadband-only package, and won’t have a phone number or be able to use a landline phone in your home at all

Some, including BT and EE, will give you a discount if you choose the broadband-only option.

However, just to make things even more complicated, some providers don’t require a landline at all. Providers with independent networks connect to your home via their own separate sets of cables. Whether you include a landline service in your package is entirely optional. This is the case for Virgin Media, and other independent providers such as Hyperoptic.

To sum up: you don’t need to have a landline phone if you want broadband. But to get broadband from an Openreach-based provider, your home must have a physically connected phone line.

Is it cheaper to get broadband without a landline?

Not necessarily.

Some providers lop a few quid off your monthly bill if you take your broadband without a landline. Others charge the same price whether you include a landline or not.

Bear in mind, too, that sometimes a broadband package with a free landline included can cost less than a package from another provider with no phone line.

If your broadband plan comes with a landline but you don't plan on using your home phone, you'll simply be put on a pay as you call plan. That way, you won't pay anything extra, unless you actually use your landline to make a call.

To help you compare broadband with landline, use our comparison tool. Just change the phone line filter to show whatever’s cheapest from each provider, and we’ll show you the lot.

Broadband deals with no phone line

To find a broadband package that doesn’t include a phone line, we’ve made it easy. You can compare all broadband-only deals for your postcode using our comparison tool.

You can get broadband-only packages from providers such as Virgin Media, BT, EE, and Hyperoptic.

Broadband and phone deals

On the other hand, if you do want a landline phone, there are plenty of broadband and home phone combo deals around. Every fixed-line broadband provider also offers home phone, in fact, so you have plenty of choice.

Better still: springing for a combo package can give you better value on your phone calls. You can get inclusive evening and/or weekend calls, cheaper international calls, and optional call features.

What if I haven’t got a phone line?

Openreach has a Universal Service Obligation for broadband and phones, so if your home doesn’t have a line connected, it should be as simple as checking you’re eligible and requesting one.

You can do this through BT, or through Openreach directly.

But if you’ve tried that route, or it’s too expensive, or if it’s impossible to get a line connected (e.g. if your property is a boat), don’t worry – there are options.

Your best bet is to try 4G or 5G home broadband. This is broadband that connects you via mobile networks rather than fixed lines, and is available from a range of providers – including EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone.

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