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Broadband, TV and phone bundles beat single service deals

More than half of British homes now get their digital TV, phones and broadband through a bundled deal instead of separate contracts.

Bundles have almost doubled in popularity to 57 per cent of British homes in 2012, from 29 per cent in 2005, says communications regulator Ofcom.

The official watchdog’s Communications Market Report for 2012 says the most popular bundle is a home phone line and broadband, in 27 per cent of homes.

UK takeup of communications bundles, Ofcom 2012

UK take-up of communications bundles, Ofcom CMR 2012

That’s probably because the growth of unbundled telephone exchanges makes it far cheaper to get a bundled deal, and easier to switch from BT to another provider.

Bundles began with cable, providing TV, phone and internet access, but are now available from dozens of different providers.

A triple-play bundle of home phone, broadband and multi-channel TV is now the choice for 19 per cent of UK homes, and grew three per cent in the last 12 months.

English homes are most likely to use bundled services (58 per cent of homes), but they’ve grown by five per cent in Northern Ireland since early 2011.

Scottish and Wales has remained stable, at 47 per cent, but Welsh homes are most likely to have a triple-play bundle.

Just two per cent of the UK has thrown in its lot with one provider for a quad-play bundle of broadband, TV, home and mobile phones.

Communications bundles by UK nations, Ofcom CMR 2012

Communications bundles in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Ofcom 2012