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Depending on where you live, you may be able to choose from a range of broadband suppliers and types of deals. It’s always worth doing your research to see which firm can offer you the best price for your Internet plan.
There are 3 main types of broadband connection, and different providers offer a range of packages based on these connection methods. Where you live will affect which types you can access.
Firstly, there is standard ADSL broadband, which uses the existing telephone network and offers speeds of up to 11Mbps. This connection used to be the most common for household customers, but over time, consumers have increasingly opted for fibre-optic broadband, which delivers higher speeds through fibre-optic cables.
Finally, households that can’t access fibre-optic broadband but still want a fast connection may be able to get mobile broadband. This method uses the same 4G network that your smartphone uses. This type of connection is increasing in popularity as consumers move away from getting fixed-line connections.
Regularly shopping around pays off: when we checked in July 2021, the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive basic 36Mbps fibre connection was around £5 a month, but this can be higher at different times of the year.
While it’s possible to get a standalone Internet plan, major providers typically offer bundles combining several services such as broadband, landline calls, mobile contracts and TV.
Larger suppliers like Sky, BT and Virgin Media regularly market package deals. If you find the right deal, you can save a decent amount when compared to the cost of getting the services separately.
According to the industry watchdog Ofcom, 80% of UK households buy bundled services from telecom firms as opposed to buying each service separately.
Once you’ve decided to switch broadband suppliers, your best bet is to use an online comparison site, as they can show you a range of deals from different firms in one place.
Before making the switch, make sure you’re able to move without paying any hefty penalty charges. Suppliers can make it difficult to switch away before the end of a contract by levying an extra charge to let you out of your contract early.
Once you’ve decided which package you want and you’ve read all the conditions attached to it, make your purchase and give your details to your new supplier. Most providers make it easy to switch to them when you buy online.
If the supplier you’re switching away from uses the Openreach phone network, then you won’t need to tell that firm that you’re leaving – this is all arranged automatically by your new supplier.
You should then automatically receive letters from both your current supplier and your new supplier, which have to include certain pieces of information, including the services you’re switching, any early contract termination charges you may have to pay and how your switch may affect other services you may have with the firm you’re switching your Internet plan away from.
Your new provider will need to give you an expected date for your switch over to be completed. This typically takes around two weeks.
If you’re switching to, or from, a fibre-to-the-premise or “full-fibre” service or a provider that doesn’t use the Openreach network – such as Virgin Media’s cable service – you will need to stop your service with your current provider and start a new service with a new provider. You should contact both providers.
Your old provider will confirm that your contract is ending – and explain any charges that might apply – while your new provider will let you know when your new contract will start.
If you use a bundle of services with a provider, like home phone and broadband, you’ll usually be switched in one of the ways outlined above, but your landline will probably need to be cancelled at the same time.
Home broadband came under the spotlight during lockdown, with 60% of the UK’s adult population working from home at the peak.”
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