If you rarely use your home phone, having to pay for line rental along with your broadband can be really annoying, but they often come as an all or nothing package.
So, where can you get broadband without a phone line? And can you save money by ditching the landline? broadbandchoices reveals all...
Broadband-only deals - do they exist?
Although your broadband and home phone may feel like completely separate services to you, both require the same thing in order for you to use them - a working phone line at your house.
This is why broadband providers include line rental when you take a broadband package with them.
However, there are a couple of exceptions to this:
- Virgin Media is the most major provider that offers broadband-only deals. It supplies broadband via its cable network, so you can have broadband without needing to have a functioning phone line. That means if you live in an area covered by the Virgin Media network - currently about 60% of the UK - you can avoid paying for line rental.
- Relish is another broadband-only provider, though a less widespread one. Operating only in central London and Swindon, it offers mobile broadband, similar to 4G - meaning a phone line isn't needed.
Check whether Virgin Media or Relish are available to you by popping your postcode into our postcode checker on the right and seeing if Virgin Media packages appear in the results, it only takes a couple of seconds.
Can I get fibre optic broadband without a phone line?
Yes, you can. All of Virgin Media's broadband options are fibre optic, and all are available on their own without a landline. If you can get Virgin Media in your area, you can get fibre without a phone line - with average download speeds of 362Mb on the fastest Virgin Media fibre package, no less.
Can I get unlimited broadband without a phone line?
Absolutely - Virgin Media and Relish both offer landline-free broadband that comes with unlimited downloads, so you can use your connection to your heart's content.
Getting broadband and phone from separate providers
For most providers, getting line rental along with your broadband package is unavoidable, however not all providers insist that you take their line rental package.
This gives you the option of getting your broadband from one provider and using one of the cheaper providers for your home phone service.
If you have an existing landline deal that you are happy with, or have found a great value deal elsewhere, this could be an option for you.
Plusnet is one of the only providers that’ll allow you to take your home phone services from another provider (as long as it is a BT based landline provider) in order to get its broadband. However, you’ll pay more for your broadband as a result, so make sure the line rental you’re paying the other provider is cheap enough to cover the difference - or it's won’t be such a bargain.
Can I get BT or Sky broadband without a landline?
No, we're afraid not. Broadband from most providers - including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet, Vodafone, and more - is delivered via the phone line itself, so a landline is essential. Luckily, the cost of line rental is included in the cost of your broadband, so you won't be forced to pay for something you don't use. And you don't need to connect a landline phone up either - your broadband will work just fine regardless of whether you can make and receive calls.
What can you save by paying line rental upfront?
Everyone loves a discount, and it’s doubly great when it’s a discount on something you have to pay for anyway.
You can save between 15-30% on the annual cost of your landline this way.
Mobile Broadband - an alternative to home broadband?
With the arrival of 4G there is no denying that mobile broadband has become a real contender in the broadband stakes. However, it isn't a like for like alternative to your fixed line, a.k.a. home broadband connection just yet.
If you’re outside of the 4G network, the speed you get on 3G or even 2G mobile networks will feel distinctly sluggish compared to your home connection and will make more significant online activity such as streaming video, downloading large files and so on a complete no-no.
There is also the issue of data limits. Home broadband packages increasingly come with unlimited data allowances, but with mobile broadband deals it's far less common and much more pricy. If you get a package with a fixed data limit you'll have to pay if you go over your limit during the month.
And remember, if mobile broadband is replacing your home broadband you’re likely to use it far more than you would if you had broadband at home too.
Bundling can save you money
Although you may not use your home phone and wish you didn’t have to foot the bill for it, it’s worth bearing in mind that when your home phone service is added to broadband, TV and even your mobile phone services, it can save you a tidy sum on the full cost.
Although it’s currently only Virgin Media, Sky, BT, and TalkTalk that offer packages covering all four services, many others offer packages that include your broadband, TV and home phone. The combined cost can save you loads on the equivalent separate services making the line rental feel less painful.