Most of us are probably spending too much on our broadband packages, a situation set to worsen with many providers planning to increase their prices in the new year.
Luckily, there are a number of ways you can cut down on your monthly outgoings, either by switching providers or switching plans.
In this quick guide we’ll point out what’s going up price-wise in 2014 and show you how you could save some money.
Broadband only without line rental
Most of us make calls on mobiles these days, making landline phones basically redundant. If you have a broadband bundle that includes phone calls that you don’t use then you have to question the worth of paying for that service.
Of all the fixed-line ISPs it’s only Virgin Media which offers a truly ‘broadband only’ service where you don’t pay for line rental or calls – you just get broadband.
Virgin Media broadband only currently costs £25/month and £30/month for unlimited broadband packages providing download speeds of 30Mbps and 60Mbps respectively.
If you can get wireless broadband in your home then you’re essentially getting a broadband only service, and as there’s no physical ‘line’ there’s no line rental to pay.
Set-up costs for both of these services can be expensive (typically around £100 a time) and unless you’ve already stumped up for installation, it’s perhaps self-defeating if you’re looking to save money immediately.
The main cash benefit of getting or wireless is that you’ll never have to pay for line rental.
When getting broadband from a traditional fixed line ISP, you could pay around £14.50/month for standard line rental, which works out at £174 over the year. Line rental prices also periodically rise, despite Ofcom’s efforts to control them.
Wireless broadband doesn’t have the same near-nationwide footprint that most ISP provide. ISPs like WiSpire, eXwavia and Vispa operate in Norwich, Wales and Manchester and Warrington respectively. Chances are if there’s a wireless ISP in your neck of the woods you’ll know about it.
Broadband Only with line rental
Read our feature Do I need to pay line rental for broadband?While we’ve just trashed the idea of getting broadband with useless landline calls, paradoxically you’re more likely to be better off if you take a bundle deal.
For example Plusnet’s Unlimited Broadband package, when taken on it’s own, costs £12.49/month plus line rental, which costs £14.50/month as standard if you rent your line from Plusnet.
By comparison, the Unlimited Broadband and Calls package costs £9.99/month plus £14.50/month for line rental, so by going for the bundled package you’re actually saving money.
Tesco Broadband Only costs £12/month without line rental. Right now you’re able to get Tesco Broadband with calls and line rental (£14.90/month) for free if you order before January 31.
Unless you can find a provider willing to sell you line rental for less than £1.90/month, going for the bundle deal is the cheaper option.
TalkTalk’s recently launched SimplyBroadband costs a grand total of £17.90/month, with broadband priced at £2.50/month and line rental priced at £15.40/month. There are no calls or extra features bundled with this service which is, as it says, simply broadband.
Line Rental Saver: Pay for a year’s worth up front
Line rental prices in 2014 for BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and PlusnetLine rental saver options are a good idea if you want to save money in the long run. While you’ll have to stump up a big sum initially it will pay off over a year.
BT’s line rental saver costs £141 for 12 months which will save you £44.40, if you paid the standard rate of £15.45/month for 12 months.
As the standard rate is going up from January 4, 2014 onwards to £15.99/month, you’d save £50.88/month.
Sky’s line rental saver offer costs £119.40 up front. As the standard monthly rate is £15.40, this will save you £54.60.
Read our feature for full list of line rental changes.
Cheap Broadband Deals
If you just want a cheap broadband package, consider switching to an ISP like Direct Save Telecom, which is currently offering a £1.95/month broadband and calls package. This is 24 months long and you’ll need to pay line rental at either the standard rate of £14.75/month or £119.40 for a year’s worth.
In total, the monthly cost works out at £16.70 with standard line rental. Taking the line rental saver option will see you saving £57.60, paying the equivalent of £11.90/month.
Image: Images Money/Flickr