How do broadband, landline, or home phone packages work?
Some broadband deals include all manner of bells and whistles like premium TV packages and mobile phone services. These bundle deals can save money if you need everything they offer, but many homes are just looking for affordable internet access without any unnecessary extras.
A broadband and phone deal is a more straightforward offering where you get just the basics required to get online: a phone line and a broadband service.
Some packages may only come with broadband and line rental, so calls are charged at a standard per-minute rate, while others are bundles that have inclusive calling minutes.
What will you get?
Internet and phone deals are available with ADSL broadband and fibre optic broadband via the Openreach (BT) network, Virgin Media network, and some full-fibre networks such as Hyperoptic. This means you’ve got a wide choice of packages to suit most requirements.
Phone line rental is included in the total cost along with the broadband — there are no hidden line rental fees. The telephone and broadband package may come with inclusive free calls, but if you don’t often make calls on the landline you can opt for a basic service without free calls to save a few quid.
Alternatively, if you don't want a call package but do want to make the odd call, they will be charged at the standard rate set by the network.
Home phone packages
In terms of the packages themselves, providers will usually offer free weekend calls; evening and weekend or unlimited free call packages. Some will also offer inclusive international calls on special packages.
Most broadband packages include a free Wi-Fi broadband router which will supply a home Wi-Fi network to share the connection with all your devices. It is also possible to use your own Wi-Fi router but check with the ISP first as not all providers support this.
Which providers offer broadband and phone deals?
What should I look out for with broadband and phone packages?
If the phone is regularly used for calls then an inclusive call package can be very good value. Phone deals with unlimited anytime calls, weekend calls, or evening and weekend calling to UK landlines are available from most providers. But many of the cheapest broadband and phone deals will not have inclusive calling.
Read the small print
Make sure to check how these free call periods work:
- Check the times that are classed as 'evening' or 'weekend'.
- Check the numbers that you can call for free.
- Check how long the calls are free for (e.g. not just for the first 30 minutes of every hour).
- Are you limited to a certain number of free minutes every month?
You can find all these things as you purchase your package on the provider site or in your contract.
Mobile and international calls
As well as free calls to UK landlines, there may be an option to add inclusive calls to mobiles and international numbers.
Check how much the provider charges for calls outside the allowance, especially if you’re not getting inclusive calling.
Should I get a broadband and phone package?
There are pros and cons to getting a broadband and phone package. We almost always recommend you get them from the same place (if you definitely need it):
- It's often cheaper to bundle the two things together.
- It's easier to setup and install when broadband and phone is from the same provider.
- It's less hassle and fewer bills to get broadband and phone from the same company.
- In very rare circumstances you can get broadband and phone cheaper from separate companies
- Network rates are generally affordable but if you don't get a calls package you may end up with variable phone bills at the end of the month.
- There is the potential for hidden costs, even with a call package (see above)
- On the other hand, if you include a calls package but don't actually use it, you're wasting money. Always ask yourself: do I need this, or will my mobile deal suffice?
How do I get the best deal on my new broadband (and phone) package?
Before anything else, check availability in your area to find out what type of broadband service you could get. Do this right here on Broadband Genie by entering a postcode in our comparison table. Then, consider the following when comparing:
Most broadband and phone deals will have a contract length of 12, 18, or 24 months while some student broadband packages are available for handy nine-month contracts. But remember: cancelling early will result in a termination fee.
Some short term packages (e.g. one, three, and six-month contracts) are available too, though these often have higher setup and running costs. If you have poor credit you may not be able to sign up for some providers, but no credit check deals are also available.
This column shows the average speed of the broadband connection. These figures are supplied by the provider and are based on the actual speeds received by customers. Your speed will vary depending on location, but when joining the provider you should be given an accurate speed estimate.
Broadband speeds available with phone and internet deals are exactly as you'd find for other types of broadband deal:
- ADSL (~10Mb): Only recommended for individuals or small households with very light usage requirements.
- Basic fibre broadband (~35Mb): Suitable for most small households (1-2 people).
- Superfast fibre (~65Mb): Can support multiple devices downloading/streaming HD simultaneously.
- Ultrafast (100Mb+): Suitable for almost every usage type.
Some of the cheapest phone and broadband deals may have a monthly data allowance limit. However, it’s usually best to go for an unlimited broadband service; there’s little difference in price and you’ll never have to worry about exceeding the cap.
Some providers (we know of Shell, SSE, and John Lewis) may employ either fair usage or traffic management policies. Fair usage policies may limit extremely excessive use of the connection, while traffic management might limit speeds for certain activities at peak times. It's rare you will fall foul of either of these.
Providers who don't do either of these are 'Truly unlimited providers'.
This is the fixed monthly price including broadband and phone line rental. It does not include additional costs such as inclusive call add-ons, calls made outside your inclusive allowance, or extra charges for broadband data usage (if the service is not unlimited).
These can be anything from vouchers, reward cards, or even something such as call waiting or answerphone services with broadband and phone packages.
If you already have an active line then setup costs will be fairly minimal, and there are usually a few deals offering £0 setup. But if a new line is required then the costs will be higher.
Click 'Offer details and pricing' to view more information about the phone line package - inclusive calls and other important info will be displayed here, alongside any extra features and offers.
In addition to your phone package, you could also save money by including a TV package with your broadband deal (certainly compared to buying them separately from different companies).
For more guidance, why not check out our guide on how to switch broadband.
The support you receive from your broadband provider can really make a difference to your overall experience. In our most recent Home Broadband Awards, Direct Save were found to have the best customer service. Ofcom's most recent report placed Plusnet top of the customer service charts.
Are there broadband and mobile phone deals?
Some providers offer broadband bundles including a mobile phone SIM, though these are not commonplace.
Otherwise, ISPs such as Sky, Vodafone, and EE offer discounts or bonuses on either mobile or broadband if you already have one of their services.
Can I get broadband without a phone line?
Virgin Media offers fibre broadband without a phone line. It has packages with speeds up to 1Gb, and you can also get a Virgin Media TV bundle.
Virgin is the only mass-market provider to offer such a service. You can get broadband without a phone line deals from Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) providers such as Hyperoptic and Community Fibre, but the availability of these services is currently very limited in comparison to Virgin.
Almost all other ISPs sell ADSL and fibre optic broadband services using the Openreach (BT) telephone network, which requires an active phone line to function. So even if you don’t use the landline for calls it’s still necessary to pay line rental to get broadband. Some ISPs sell broadband only, but you must still get phone service from another provider.
Meet the author: Matt Powell
Matt Powell, Broadband Genie's Editor, has been with us since 2009. A lifelong tech enthusiast, he has 20 years of experience writing about technology for print and online.
At Broadband Genie we pride ourselves on being the UK's broadband comparison experts, and Matt has offered broadband advice in almost every major UK publication: including the BBC, the Mirror, the Daily Mail, the Guardian, and many more.