What is broadband line rental?

Not entirely sure what broadband line rental is and why you have to pay it? Read on…

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When comparing broadband deals, it’s easy to be enticed by offers such as ‘just £5.99 a month’.

But all too often these eye-catching deals hide the fact that you’ll have to pay £10-£15 a month on top for line rental. And suddenly what seemed like an attractive deal becomes much more expensive.

However, the good news is that thanks to a new ruling from the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), from October 31, all broadband companies must advertise the true cost of their tariffs.

In other words, if you have to take line rental in order to get the broadband, the price advertised must include it. So you’ll know exactly how much your broadband is going to set you back each month.

But what exactly is broadband line rental, and why do you have to pay it? Read on as we explain…

Hold the line

Most broadband connections use your phone line to connect to the internet. Even superfast modern connections which use fibre optic cables will harness your old copper telephone wires for the last leg of the connection.

BT owns the country’s telephone network infrastructure and charges broadband providers to use it via its Openreach business. Those providers then pass on the cost in the form of line rental.

Even if you don’t use a landline phone, which is increasingly likely in the age of mobile phones, you’ll still have to pay line rental on top of your broadband costs – that is unless you go for an alternative connection.

For example, if you live in an area served by Virgin Media’s cable network, you can get broadband without a phone line and so you don’t have to pay line rental.

Satellite broadband can be an alternative, especially if you live in a rural area and suffer from slow broadband speeds, but it is more expensive than traditional connections.

Switch with care

Until the end of October, you should look very carefully at the prices of any broadband deals you’re comparing to make sure you understand the true monthly cost of the tariff.

Remember to not only factor in the line rental charge, but also the length of the contract you’re signing up for and any additional costs for things such as a router, delivery and connection fees.

Our broadband channel can help you to save money on your next broadband subscription - click here to compare tariffs and prices.

Keep in mind too that broadband switching was simplified last year. Now, all the work involved in carrying out the switch is done by the broadband provider you’re moving to – as we explain here – so switching provider makes even more sense.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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