Black Friday: the phrase can either fill you with dread or joy. It’s a time to get some great deals on electronics and other Christmas gifts, and broadband providers have started piggybacking on the uptake in electronics purchases by offering Black Friday broadband deals.
But with so many offers, it can be hard to figure out which ones are the best.
We’ve compiled this guide to give you our take on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and help you navigate what to look for in broadband bundles.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday comes to us from the US. The name refers to the Friday following Thanksgiving, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Therefore, Black Friday is always the fourth Friday in November. This year, it falls on 24 November.
Since the early 20th century, this day has come to signal the beginning of the Christmas shopping season for a few reasons. In America, Thanksgiving is a major holiday, and there are televised parades – usually sponsored by department stores – to celebrate the holiday. At the end of most parades, Santa Claus makes an appearance, which inevitably makes people start thinking about Christmas and shopping.
This is convenient because students and most non-retail employees have both the Thursday and Friday off of work, giving most people a four-day weekend – perfect for shopping.
Why is it called Black Friday? Black Friday is one of the biggest, busiest shopping days of the year. Because of the increase in spending, there’s a popular theory that the day gets its name from older accounting systems which wrote losses in red ink and profits in black. The uptick in sales on this day drive enough profits to move stores out of the red and into the black – but this is just a theory. In reality, no one knows exactly where the name came from.
One thing is clear, though: Black Friday is here to stay.
What's Cyber Monday?
While many people still go shopping in stores on Black Friday, thanks to store-only offers and doorbuster sales, retailers noticed an interesting shift in the early 2000s.
In 2003 and 2004, online sales for retailers – particularly clothing stores – spiked on the following Monday. This could be due to people who were too busy with family or travel over the Thanksgiving weekend to get any shopping done, or maybe people needed back-up gifts after missing out on limited-time Black Friday deals in store. Or maybe employees returning to work after a long weekend wanted to carry on shopping rather than focusing on work again.
Online retailers quickly took advantage of this trend and coined a new term and holiday in 2005: Cyber Monday.
This year, Cyber Monday is 26 November.
How to get a good Black Friday broadband deal
Before you rush into signing up for a broadband contract, make sure it’s actually a good offer for you.
If you’re looking to switch your broadband after buying some new electronics, think about what kind of deal you’re after. With new devices being added to your home, maybe you need to up your data allowance or speeds – but by how much? If you’re just checking e-mails and Facebook, you might not need a heavy usage deal. If you’re planning on shelling out for a Netflix subscription to get through the colder months, however, you might want to opt for an unlimited package.
Did you just buy a new TV on sale? Look for broadband bundles that also include TV packages. And if it’s a smart TV, don’t forget that your TV will now be using your data and broadband, too.
Don’t be swayed by any freebies on offer – make sure you read the fine print and keep your actual usage habits in mind. Check out how long those discounts actually last for, too. Are they only good for a few months or do they last the entire contract?
Speaking of the contract, consider the cost of the full contract, not just the monthly rate. Yes, it requires some maths, but what you think is a good deal might not actually be a good deal once you add it all out.
Finally, make sure you check your current contract – if you’re still in one – to see what fees you’re required to pay if you switch providers. If these fees are too high, it may offset the savings you’d get from any Black Friday broadband deals. Keep in mind you'll need to notify your provider roughly 30 days in advance, even if you're out of contract, before you can switch, but you can use this to lock in a great broadband deal now, even if your contract ends in December.
Black Friday broadband deals
More deals are being announced every day. Here are the ones live now.
We'll also be keeping our Black Friday broadband deals table updated, too, to compare all deals.
NOW TV Black Friday deals
NOW TV are offering heavy discounts across both their TV combos and their TV passes. For just £19.99 per month, you can get ADSL broadband and the Entertainment pass, which gives you nearly 100 channels, including Sky Atlantic — the only way to get the channel outside of subscribing to Sky — and 11 other pay TV channels. If you're just looking for TV, all of their TV passes give you two months for the price of one, or you can sign up for a full year for less than half price.
Plusnet Black Friday deals
Plusnet are offering discounts up to £197 on both their ADSL and fibre broadband packages. They've also slashed setup costs and are offering cashback on certain deals.
BT Black Friday deals
BT are splashing out for Black Friday, offering monthly discounts on ADSL and fibre broadband, cutting setup costs and giving away BT Reward prepaid cards across every broadband package. The biggest draw for sports fans, however, is likely to be their offering of free BT Sport for 18 months — meaning you can get their Starter + Sport TV package for free right now when you take out an Infinity package.
TalkTalk Black Friday deals
TalkTalk's offering Black Friday discounts across the board. For Black Friday and Cyber Monday, TalkTalk have discounted the monthly prices of their ADSL and fibre broadband, and waived activation fees. If you take TalkTalk TV, you can pick up the Entertainment Boost for just £6 per month, which gives you 30 pay TV channels and 300 hours of on-demand TV. Their TV Plus Box — which lets you record live TV — comes with this package and is now free.
EE Black Friday deals
EE is offering EE Reward prepaid cards on its broadband deals, ranging from £50 up to £125, depending on which package you take. They're also discounting setup fees on certain products.
Post Office Black Friday deals
ADSL broadband provider Post Office is getting on on the Black Friday savings. Sign up for broadband with Post Office now and you'll get a £30 bill credit.
First Utility Black Friday deals
First Utility are offering discounts on the monthly price of their ADSL and fibre broadband for everyone, not just First Utility energy customers. Keep in mind, too, that prices do not rise once your contract has finished.
Sky Black Friday deals
This Black Friday, new customers can sign up with Sky Fibre Unlimited and Box Sets TV for £50 per month, each priced at £25. Additionally, Sky has cut costs on their Variety bundle to just £25 per month.
Virgin Media Black Friday deals
Virgin Media's Full House TV bundle — which includes 100Mbps broadband and 270+ TV channels, including BT Sport — is discounted down to £46 per month. They're also including six months of Netflix for free on this package.
Compare all Black Friday broadband deals now.