Bundle deals are an increasingly common feature with broadband packages. As the UK broadband market becomes more and more competitive, many providers are now offering numerous other services in addition to a broadband connection in a bid to attract customers.
The most commonly sold ‘extra’ by ISPs in the UK is a phone service.
Broadband/phone packages often provide users with cheap or free anytime UK landline calls, while some come with monthly line rental included.
Also, as more and more mobile phone handsets become web-enabled, ISPs who run mobile phone networks now offer customers incentives such as additional minutes and texts, or free/discounted broadband services alongside a pay monthly mobile contract.
Other bundled freebies include broadband with digital TV subscription, anti-virus software and equipment such as a free wireless router.
Before deciding whether you need these extras you'll need to look at the costs you pay to different providers for services like your landline rental, phone call costs, broadband and subscription TV, and compare the total cost with the new bundled offerings.
When comparing broadband packages and prices, it is important to consider the length of the contract. Most ISP's seek to tie customers down to a minimum 12 or 18 month contract as this helps offset the costs of offering other services as part of a package, such as free phone calls.
As with most contracts, if you wish to cancel before the end of the contractual term, you will have to pay a cancellation fee. Make sure you read the small print so that you’re fully aware of the contract terms and conditions, including termination charges.
Some providers offer a degree of flexibility. For example, they may include a no minimum term contract clause, which is ideal for those who plan on moving house within a year, or will not be living at the same address for the entire duration of the broadband contract.
There are also some ISPs who specialise in providing smaller, more manageable contracts of 3 months, which are proving very popular with students and housing tenants.
Monthly cost and one off fees
Broadband costs involve a fixed monthly fee, plus in some cases, a one-off fee for a modem, wireless router, or installation.
It is important to remember that choosing a broadband package with a high or unlimited monthly usage allowance, or one with a very fast connection, may come with a higher monthly fee. In addition, your fixed monthly fee may increase if you have a monthly download usage limit and you exceed it during the month, as you will be charged for the additional kilobytes that you have downloaded.
In terms of installation, many ISPs provide customers with all the necessary equipment and instructions to set up a broadband connection themselves. However, if you want the guarantee of a secure connection you may prefer to pay a one-off charge to have it installed by a technician.
Installation fees are often charged by cable companies, while providers of bundled broadband/phone/TV services also usually require you to pay for an engineer to come out and install the services at your home. .