How do phone and broadband bundles work?
As well as being able to potentially save yourself money, signing up to a bundled deal that covers both your broadband and home phone is a great way to save time and effort. Both of these will be under one contract. That means one bill and one point of contact if something goes wrong.
But nowadays, there are so many options when it comes to signing up to a broadband and phone service, especially as the UK works towards switching off traditional telephone lines. Choices are changing fast.
To make sure you’re not overspending, or you sign up to a package that ends up not suiting your needs, we’ve put this guide together. Have a good read through before you sign up to a broadband and phone contract. Broadband Genie is here to help you make the right choice.
Wait... what did you say? They’re getting rid of UK landlines?!
A big change is coming. As more people favour mobile phones and internet video calling, fewer people are relying on traditional lines. Because of this, analogue phone lines on the Openreach network will be shut down by 31 December 2025. After this time, the UK’s phone service will be replaced with digital lines.
This move has already started. Since the 5th September, any provider using the Openreach network will no longer be able to place orders for new services that run over traditional analogue telephone lines.
Let’s explore what this means for your broadband and phone bundle options...
Which providers offer the best broadband and phone deals?
All major home broadband providers offer broadband and phone packages. Sometimes, it’s clear from the start what you’re signing up to, as the call option will be mentioned in the package name. Other times, you’ll be able to include these as an add-on later.
With some broadband plans, you may simply be offered Pay As You Go calls on top of your broadband service.
At Broadband Genie, you’ll find dedicated home phone and broadband deals from big names such as BT, Sky Broadband, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, NOW Broadband, Vodafone and Shell Energy. But plenty of smaller, alternative network providers (altnets) also have phone deals you can add on top of your broadband package.
Once you enter your address, Broadband Genie will only show you deals you can sign up. Try it now and compare all your broadband and phone line choices.
Broadband Genie deals checker
What are my broadband and landline deal options?
Your options for bundling broadband and home phone will depend on a few things out of your control, including the network infrastructure around your home and the providers that serve your immediate area. However, here are your typical call plan choices:
Pay As You Go Calls
If you’re signed up to an ADSL broadband package or a fibre broadband deal on the Openreach network, with an average download speed up to 75Mb, you should be able to include Pay As You Go calls (PAYG). Typically, you won’t be able to see this as an option until you get to the checkout stage.
Make sure you read through the provider’s terms and conditions. Any phone calls you make won’t be covered by your monthly cost, these will be added onto your bill every month. You may also have to pay a small, set add-on price (for example, to include Pay As You Go calls onto a BT broadband package, it's an extra £5 per month before you even make a call). Be sure you read up on the call tariffs, so you don’t get a shock to your bank balance.
Broadband and Phone Call Tariffs
Adding call packages to ADSL and fibre broadband packages
Alternatively, when you come to checkout, you might prefer to opt for a dedicated calls package giving you a set number of minutes per month.
Common options include:
You won’t always have to commit to these for the entire length of your contract. For example, BT will tend to let you swap between ‘Unlimited Weekend Calls’ and ‘Unlimited Evening and Weekend Calls’, but not all providers are so flexible.
If you make calls outside your calling plan, you’ll be charged the Pay As You Go rate.
I don’t talk much. Is it cheaper to opt for a Pay As You Go rate?
Although it can seem like an extra monthly expense, most provider’s call charges per minute are pretty pricey! As an example, you’d only have to talk more than 50 minutes per month to save money by signing up to BT’s Anytime Calls package. That’s not a lot of talk time.
Before you sign up to a new deal, keep a note of how long you've spent talking in a typical week. This should help with calculate whether it's worth spending more on a bundle.
Adding Unlimited Phone Call packages to fibre and full fibre broadband deals
Most broadband providers who offer a fibre or full fibre broadband service will have inclusive calls plans you can sign up to, regardless of your broadband speed. Full fibre calls won’t need a landline. Increasingly, this will be the case for all fibre broadband deals too, as customers are moved to a digital line.
Sometimes call bundles will be listed within the package name, like these top Wi-Fi and home phone deals:
However, you may also only have these options once you go through to check out.
Digital Voice Switchover
If you’re already on a fibre broadband deal, and you’ve had your home phone plugged into a traditional phone line, there are a few steps you’ll need to take once you’re moved to a digital phone line. Your existing phone will probably work, although you may need an upgrade to your router/hub. If this is the case, your provider will be in touch.
As an example, BT users will need to have a BT Smart Hub 2 to make use of Digital Voice. Rather than plugging the phone directly into the telephone socket, it has to be connected to the router. Alternatively, if you want to use your phone in a different part of the house to the Smart Hub, BT will be sending customers out a digital voice adapter, free of charge.
One of the benefits of Digital Voice is that you’ll be able to make use of extra call features without an extra fee, such as call waiting or call diverting. You may need to purchase a new digital phone if you want to use these.
How are these broadband and home phone deals different to VOIP?
It’s been possible to make calls over your internet connection for some time. This is known as VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Digital Voice is a VoIP-style product, but may not offer as many advanced features as a dedicated VoIP service. This could particularly be the case for business users.
Once Openreach switches off the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), you may find that a digital phone line doesn’t serve your business so well. If this is the case, opting for a broadband only package and looking at signing up to a VoIP subscription may be your best choice. Some options include 8x8, RingCentral and Vonage.
What are the benefits to a digital line?
- It will save you money: calls may be cheaper on a digital line. Particularly for international numbers.
- More features: You are more likely to be offered features that would have once been charged extra such as caller display, voice mail and anonymous call blocking.
- More flexible: In theory, you should be able to use your number from any location, not just when you’re at home.
Get more help on changes to your landline, in our guide: 'PSTN Switch Off: top tips to get ready for Digital Voice'.
What are the pros and cons of a broadband and phone package?
Do you have to pay extra line rental for a broadband and phone bundle?
Once the PSTN switch off takes place, you should no longer be paying line rental. Keep an eye out for emails and texts from your current provider regarding this. However, new customers signing up to a broadband and phone bundle may still have to pay set-up costs, including upfront frees for new line installations.
How do I find the best broadband and phone deals?
Type your address into our deals checker at the top of the page to see the broadband and phone deals available to you. Before you sign up, here are a few things to consider:
Most dedicated broadband and phone deals will involve an 18-month or 24-month contract. Although, 12-month contracts do exist, and you may be able to add-on call bundles to deals of any length. This may be a better option if you want to keep things flexible.
If you’re after a broadband and phone deal on a 12-month contract, your best bet is currently BT Fibre Essential, Fibre 1 or Fibre 2. You’ll be able to add call packages as an add-on.
Not everyone needs ultrafast broadband, but making sure you opt for a broadband package that can cope with your home’s needs will make your day-to-day far less stressful.
Here are our basic recommendations for everyone at home to comfortably stream high definition video on Netflix at once:
- 1 person households: 10Mb-30Mb average download speed (ADSL / standard fibre)
- Up to 3 people: 30-50Mb average download speed
- Up to 5 people: 50-100Mb+ average download speed
For help, here are some extra guides:
You’ll only find unlimited broadband deals on Broadband Genie, so you shouldn’t have to worry about being charged extra for day-to-day activities.
We think it’s a great idea to carry out a speed test to see what you’re currently getting from your broadband service before exploring other options.
If calls are included as part of the deal, this will be included in the fixed monthly price. But, the cost of these listings won’t account for any call add-ons, or calls made outside your allowance.
Get more for your money with a reward. Broadband and phone providers regularly offer incentives to new customers such as gift cards, a waive on the setup fee or the first few months free.
Sometimes, these deals might not be heavily promoted and hidden until the last minute. One little trick is to work through the checkout to see if any add-ons are available.
Can I get a broadband and mobile phone bundle?
Broadband bundles that include a UK mobile SIM are pretty rare now, though you might want to check out Virgin Media’s Bigger Combo Bundle Volt, which includes a 10GB O2 SIM with unlimited minutes and texts.
Other providers, such as Sky, Three, Vodafone or EE, regularly offer discounts or bonuses on either mobile or broadband if you already have one of their services.
Frequently asked questions about broadband and phone deals
Is it cheaper to just have broadband?
Whether you’ll save money on a bundled phone and broadband deal or not will depend on how much you chat. If you only use your home phone occasionally, you might want to consider going for a broadband only option and using a mobile phone. If you feel more comfortable having a landline, a pay as you call option could be a better option. But if you’re a keen talker, or you have family and friends overseas, a dedicated call bundle could save you money eventually.
Does a phone and broadband package with unlimited calls still exist?
Will my phone number change when I get moved to a digital line?
Unfortunately, this might happen. It depends on the services offered by your service provider. You may need to get in touch to talk about number porting features.
Visit our guide to customer and technical support for direct telephone numbers for many providers.
Will my care alarm, smoke alarm or security alarm still work over a digital line?
If you have devices or services connected to your existing phone line, such as a care alarm, smoke or security alarm, get in touch with the manufacturer to check whether your device will work over a digital line.
BT has recommended you speak to your alarm provider before moving over to Digital Voice. If you need to get in touch with BT for more advice on this, you should call 0330 1234 150.
Will my service provider need to access my premises if I switch to a digital phone line?An engineer shouldn’t need access to your home to upgrade your phone line. The only time this may happen is if you’re upgrading your broadband service at the same time. Openreach will never cold call visit your home. For more help recognising authentic messages from providers, visit our ‘guide to broadband scams’.
There are plenty of different options when it comes to getting good value from your broadband and phone. If you use your landline regularly, a bundled deal can save you money and cut down on admin at the same time. If you don't want a lengthy commitment, some providers give you the option to change add-on call packages on a monthly basis.
Kind in mind that sometimes inclusive calls can be limited to certain times in the day, so get to know your deal and if there are any restrictions.
If you only use your phone occasionally, you might not need a package that includes calls and a pay as you go option could be fine for you.
If you’ve found a phone a broadband deal that’s a perfect price, speed and contract length, but can’t see an option with calls bundled on the listing, click on the deal and work through the checkout process. More often than not, you’ll be given the option to add on a calls package, which you can view before you commit to pay.