A fixed price broadband deal is a broadband package that promises to remain at a static price.
With a fixed price promise, the broadband provider is giving you a guarantee that there will be no mid-contract price rises during your contract’s minimum term.
The monthly tariff you agree to pay at sign-up will stay the same for the entire duration of your 12, 18 or 24-month contract. After the contract ends, like all broadband packages, this price is likely to rise. This is when we recommend you should shop around for new broadband deals.
Can they really do that?
The freedom to increase tariffs, typically above the rate of inflation, is usually added into a provider’s contract. While this practice is subject to Ofcom regulator review, it’s 100% legal, with standard notice of 30-days given.
Fixed price broadband guards against this and lets you budget accurately for what the broadband contract will actually cost in real terms:
- A fixed price broadband deal fixes the price for the minimum contract term.
- No price rises mid-contract is given as a guarantee to new customers.
Our guide to price increases in 2023 offers extra advice on how mid-contract hikes work.
Fixed price broadband deals: the key points
Which internet provider doesn’t increase its price?
There’s a select group of providers committed to delivering fixed price broadband deals. They use this guarantee as a way to gain a competitive edge. These could be a great choice for broadband customers concerned by rising costs:
- Cuckoo Broadband
- Zen Internet
- TalkTalk (full fibre deals or paying for a 'Fixed Price Plus')
Let's give you some background on some of these providers and detail the broadband services on offer.
All of Hyperoptic’s broadband plans are full fibre with unlimited data. Packages on 12-month contracts range from around £25 per month for 50Mb to £45 per month for 1GB plans, each with a £19 setup fee. Over 24 months, these prices vary slightly, while rolling contract plans have bigger activation fees.
Hyperoptic makes a big play on guaranteeing no mid-contract increases. It even offers a ‘Switch Now’ scheme, giving up to 9 months free service while your existing minimum contract expires.
italk telecom provides standard fibre and full fibre packages, all offered on 24-month contracts. With this comes a fixed price promise, so the monthly price at sign-up is the monthly tariff for 2 years, guaranteed.
Its Simply Fibre deals start at around £25 for a 40Mb package, all the way up to around £42 per month for 63Mb average speed. For Full Fibre, expect to pay between £30-£40 for broadband speeds up to an impressive 220Mb.
Cuckoo’s full fibre broadband packages boast download speeds of 80Mb, 115Mb and a superfast 900Mb connection. Priced between £30-£55 respectively, all contracts are 12-months minimum. While broadband prices are guaranteed, the upfront setup and engineer installation fees can be quite high with Cuckoo, so be sure to consider those.
Cuckoo also boasts very fast switching times, offering an optional “Eggspress Wi-Fi” add-on (£40) that gives your router 4G access before your official activation date.
As an Openreach network reseller, Zen Internet has some of the best UK availability among fixed price providers. They give a ‘Zen Contract Price Promise’ that promises no price rises for the life of your contract, with standard ADSL, full fibre (FTTP) and FTTC options available.
Although considered quite pricey compared to other broadband providers, notable deals include Unlimited Fibre (32Mb) and Full Fibre 500 (500 Mb) for £32 and £45 per month, respectively. Both are on 18-month contracts, with a £15 upfront fee.
What is Openreach?
Openreach is the company that maintains the former British Telecom Network used for the majority of broadband and phone services. If a repair or installation is required, it’s Openreach who will send an engineer, not your provider.
More than 650 service providers using the Openreach network. That’s the majority of the UK’s broadband providers. This includes Sky, TalkTalk and BT. The exception to this is Virgin Media - it uses its own, separate cable network.
What does ADSL mean?
ADSL stands for ‘Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line’. It’s broadband technology that allows the transfer data across regular telephone lines. You can make calls at the same time as being connected to the internet.
An ADSL line will, at minimum, allow for a broadband connection of up to 8Mb. These days, that’s pretty slow and won’t allow you to do much other than emailing or basic web searches.
ADSL2+ is now available at nearly all exchanges across the UK with slightly faster data transfer rates of around 10-11Mb.
What’s the difference between ‘fibre’ and ‘full-fibre’ broadband?
Full Fibre broadband is also known as ‘Fibre To The Premises’, ‘Fibre To The Home’. This is often shortened to FTTP or FTTH. They’re all the same thing!
Instead of copper telephone wire making up the final part of the journey from that green cabinet on the street, fibre optic cables are installed right up to your home.
It’s amazing the difference in speed this small data journey can have. With full-fibre broadband you can expect to receive speeds of 1Gb+.
The downside is full-fibre is only available to a small percentage of homes in the UK, and it’s taking a good while to get everyone up to speed.
Despite having limited coverage for UK postcodes, YouFibre is a small independent provider with competitive pricing. Its terms of service commits to no mid-contract price rises on packages of at least 18-months minimum term. What’s more, they also offer an existing contract buy-out scheme to alleviate cancellation costs when switching from an existing provider.
Deal highlights range from a one year YouFibre 50Mb deal for £20 per month, to the considerably quicker YouFibre 500Mb package at under £28 per month across 24 months.
How are providers calculating their price increases?
Increases start from a rate of inflation called the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is published annually each January. The CPI rose by 6.8% for the 12 months to July 2023, but had fallen by 1.1% on June's figure.
Providers use the CPI but typically add their own percentage (3-5%) on top to cover their own rising business costs. So this was ultimately why some providers made big Spring (April) increases of 14.4% in 2023, with the CPI rate hitting a particular high of 10.5% last January.
Which broadband providers carry out mid-contract or annual price rises?
Sadly, the main offenders are the UK’s most popular providers. These include big names such as Virgin Media, Vodafone, BT, Plusnet and NOW broadband.
For a more definitive list and more info on the cost in real terms, check out our guide to 2023 price rises.
What can I do to avoid a price hike?
Choosing or switching to a provider that promises fixed price broadband is the best option. Just be sure to check the contract terms carefully, and only pick deals you genuinely want, for a price you can afford.
Some providers like TalkTalk offer an add-on, that protects against future price rises. This ‘Fixed Price Plus’ option can be added for £2 per month or comes free with their Ultrafast, full fibre broadband packages.
Otherwise, the very best way is to switch regularly. Check your contract period for expiry or terms of exit, while also keeping close eye on bundled service increases like landline line rental, call charges entertainment add-ons. Watch those bills like a hawk!
To help you along, you can always check the most current new broadband offers available to you, using our deals checker.
Broadband Genie deals checker
I don’t have a fixed price broadband deal and can no longer afford my bill
The best first move is always to speak with your provider. Talk to them, explain the issues you face – because every case is different. Ultimately, the best providers should want to help customers rather than have them default on a bill!
If you receive benefits, ask about the availability of a social tariff. These are reduced price plans that offer discounted rate for low income customers claiming benefits such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, and Income Support. For those who qualify, switching to a social tariff is free and can happen anytime and are exempt from mid-contract price rises.
We have more information about this in our guide to ‘social tariffs and cheaper broadband deals if you’re on benefits’.
Otherwise, check your contract terms and ideally switch to a cheaper deal. If you’re beyond your minimum term, then you’re free to leave without any early termination charges. Some providers, such as Sky Broadband, offer switching credit – effectively money back on your new account to compensate paid leaving fees.
The freedom for a broadband provider to raise the price of a contract before the end of your minimum term is sadly legal. In 2023, many popular broadband providers including BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Sky and Virgin Media raised their prices mid-term. In some cases, this was above the rate of inflation.
There are broadband providers out there who offer specifically offer fixed price broadband deals to give assurance to their customers this won’t happen. These tend to be smaller, independent providers and include Zen Internet, italk, Hyperoptic and Cuckoo Broadband.
Alternatively, if it’s important to you to know you won’t fall victim to a mid-contract price hike, TalkTalk also offers an extra ‘insurance’ or bolt-on. For an extra £2 per month, this 'Fixed Price Plus' extra means your bill will never rise above the rate of inflation.
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We need your address to show you the broadband deals available at your home. This information is gathered in partnership with thinkbroadband.