With the Cost of living crisis getting worse with energy prices set to soar in April 2023 as well as many broadband providers increasing their prices by up to 16% there is still one area you can save money: cut the cost of your Broadband bill.
In this post we will explore how you can save money by shopping around for a better broadband deal.
Broadband deals are still out there:
The cost of living crisis is gripping the nation with energy prices set to soar to eye watering levels as well as many other products and services.
Where the advice used to be shop around for an energy deal that is sadly no longer the case. The good news is that you can still shop around for a broadband deal and in some cases you may not only save money but have a faster connection!
What deals you can get depend on what broadband technologies are available in your area in this post we shall be giving a high level overview of deals on a selection of the biggest networks too find out what you can get read our guide here and also checkout our previous post on choosing the right provider for you.
One of the first things you need to do is see when your current contract is due to end soon thats the best time to look for a deal and change before you go out of contract and end up paying the eye wartering out of contract prices!
Please note any deals/prices quoted in this post are correct as of 18/02/2023 always check for the latest deals as they do change frequently.
Deals on Openreach FTTP/Full Fibre network
Openreach operates the largest full fibre network in the UK with over 8 Million property’s now live.
Some regions have different pricing due to regional discounts.
To see if you are one of those 8 Million checkout our guide here for checking.
The cheapest 100Mbps package on Openreachs FTTP network is with Vodaphone at £25 per month on a 24 month contract note the upload speed is only 15mbps.
Plusnet is the cheapest for the 160/30 speed at £27.99 on a 24 month contract.
Lots of ISP’s oon the Openreach network have recently discounted there FTTP prices so worth shopping around.
It is worth noting with both of these deals that they and a lot of the other providers like EE, BT, SKY etc all put their prices up during the contract and as its linked to inflation it could increase by a lot.
A better option and a cheaper one in the long run is to choose a provider that does not increase their prices and has a shorter contract length.
Shropshire based Aquiss offer 12 month contracts and do not increase the normal price of the package during the contract.
They currently have a sale on where the first 6 months are half price.
Their 160/30 package works out the equivalent of £31.50 per month which rises to £41.25 for their 900/100 top speed package all with free install.
Virgin Media O2
Virgin Media who recently merged with mobile operator O2 are the 2nd largest network in the UK operating a cable based network as well as mobile phone network.
If you can get Virgin Media’s cable/fibre service then its worth seeing what deals they can offer you which if your already an O2 customer you may get a decent bundle deal.
At the time of writing for just their broadband you can get 125Mbps package for £30 per month on an 24 month contract with the first 6 months charged at £15.
As Virgin media have merged with O2 you can also get fantastic savings when bundling with O2’s mobile contracts.
Note Virgin Media are one of the many providers that increase their prices during the contract term.
If your facing in contract price rises this April with Virgin you may be able to get out of your contract early and switch to a cheaper provider.
Full Fibre Alt-Nets
Alt-Nets are alternative networks to the big players like Openreach and Virgin Media.
There are lots of alt-nets popping up round the UK building brand new independent full fibre networks.
A lot of these alt-net networks tend to be local and available only to small pockets and as stated earlier we are not going to list them all it is worth checking using out guide here to see if any alt-nets are operating in your area.
Alt-nets can offer decent broadband deals especially if they are new in your area you can get some really good early bird deals so always keep an eye out for those.
There are some alt-nets that operate as Wholesaler’s and build to larger areas.
City Fibre and Full Fibre Fibre Heroes are two of the largest alt-net wholesalers building their networks across multiple regions.
Fibre to the Cabinet & Mobile Broadband
If Full Fibre broadband is not yet available where you live then the next most popular and widely available broadband product is known as Fibre to the Cabinet or Superfast Fibre where the Fibre ends at one of these green street cabinets as pictured above and copper delivers it to your home from your nearest cabinet.
Usually there are two speed products to choose from
40/10 mbps (maybe called Unlimited fibre, Fibre 1, Standard Fibre)
80/20 mbps (maybe called Unlimited Fibre Extra, Fibre Max, Super fibre)
Note these are the max speeds for each speed profile and what you actually get depends on the length and quality of your copper telephone line when you go though the ordering process on a site they should give you an estimate of what speed you can get on your line.
If the speed estimate shows below 40mbps then there is no point paying for the 80/20 package and in most cases they should not even offer this as an option.
Only go for the faster 80/20 package if you can get a decent speed say over 60mbps.
As a general rule of thumb a 40/10 package you should be looking at paying the equivalent of £15-22 per month.
for the faster 80/20 package around £22-25 per month.
Now TV offers the best 80/20 deal at £22 on a 12 month contract which is the same price as their 40/10 offering not so long ago they were doing this for £20 per month so keep an eye out for deals.
PlusNet currently offer their 40/10 for £21.99 and 80/20 for £23.99 on an 18 month contract.
Note both of these providers put prices up during the contract.
If Fibre to the Cabinet is not an option or too slow then mobile broadband may be an option.
Three are usually the cheapest in this area their 4G and 5G home broadband with unlimited downloads currently costs the equivalent of £17.50 per month on a 24 month contract or £24 on a temp monthly contract with no upfront costs.
If your lucky enough to live in an area with decent Three reception especially on 5G then that’s a really great deal we recently reviewed Three’s 4G home broadband service and their 5G Home broadband service.
If your interested in a service from three use our referral link for up to £40 cashback.
Note Three are one of the many providers that put their pricing up each year.
If you have a spare 4/5G router or dont mind buying one yourself (you can get them quite cheap of eBay/CEX) you can use Smarty who operate on Three’s network and get unlimited data on 4/5G for £20 a month on a rolling contract.
Unlike Three Smarty do not increase their prices each year.
If your interested in Smarty you can get a £10 gift card using our referral link.
There is also another broadband technology called Fixed Wireless where you have an Ariel installed on your home pointed at a transmitter site usually seen in rural areas where other broadband options are a no go.
Prices for those services vary by region but our local one Air Band offer some good deals recently did one for £20 per month and free install and 12 months Free Netflix for a 40/10 service.
If options are very limited in your area then satellite broadband may be your only option and the best in this area is Starlink who have recently reduced their pricing but its still pricey at £75 per month plus upfont cost for the equipment coming in at £460!
Social Tarrifs are broadband packages for people on certain benefits such as Universal credit and are designed to help low income households get access to affordable broadband.
There is a list of the packages available on Ofcom’s website.
Note that some new customer broadband deals may work out cheaper than some of the social tariffs so do check to make sure you are getting the best deal.
Get your broadband for Free
There are other ways you can knock money off your broadband bill even if you have the best deal going!
One way is to choose or see if your provider has a referral scheme also known as refer a friend.
Sometimes you have to go digging around the small print/ website or just ask the provider if they offer such a scheme.
These work by you recommending someone else be it a friend, colleague or Bob two doors down to the broadband provider your with and if they signup you get a reward and hopefully the person your referring does to!
What you get in return varies depending on the provider can range to a few quid off your bill to a month free or a voucher.
For example we offer a referral for three’s services for up to £40 cashback.
Also a £10 giftcard with our Smarty Refferal link if your after a cheap mobile phone contract or 4/5G Data plan.
Other ways to save money are looking at what you pay for and seeing if you can trim back e.g. if you currently have and pay for a landline telephone consider if you actually need this.
As the majority of us have a mobile phone and some form of contract usually one that includes unlimited mins then you could ditch the landline and in some cases save money.
Some providers offer extras such as broadband protection or similar or speed boosts round the home a lot of the time you can get similar services free or pay upfront for products such as a mesh Wi-Fi system so you don’t end up paying extra per month.
When considering Broadband deals its also worth looking at Bundle deals that some providers offer e.g. if you have Sky TV then they offer some good bundle deals with broadband and mobile phones.
Just look at the deals carefully and work out if its better to get a bundle deal with one provider or keep them separate.
As the energy crisis deepens its also worth looking at the power consumption of your router and other related devices such as Mesh Wi-Fi systems and comparing with other models on the market to see if you can save money by investing in newer/ lower power consumption models or even cutting down on the number of devices if possible.
It may seem tempting but do not turn your router off each night as this can cause your broadband connection to slow down as the provider will see this as a faulty line and penalise your connection.
Certainly turn off your router and other related equipment if your not going to be using it for a long period say if your going on holiday and this will save you a bit of money.
Some other technology around your home can be switched off when not using it to save money for example chargers, TV’s , monitors etc.
With the price of electricity now and in the near future every little will help!