The four ways you can access broadband internet in the UK are ADSL, fibre, cable and 4G / 5G mobile broadband. If you’re trying to find out how to get broadband without a phone line, you’ll need to start with the right type of broadband connection.
Can I get broadband with no phone line?
You absolutely can get broadband with no phone line, but it will depend on which type of broadband connection you have. Standard ADSL broadband, for example, is widely available to 99% of UK homes as it’s delivered via Openreach’s network of copper telephone wires.
Since ADSL broadband is delivered via a phone line, you’ll need a landline in order to access the internet, even if you don’t want or need one for calls. If ADSL is the only type of broadband available at your property then it looks like you’ll need to keep paying for line rental and service charges in order to maintain access to your broadband.
Note: it’s worth checking to see if ADSL really is the only option available to you and if it actually works out to be the cheapest with all the additional charges. You can check to see which packages and connection types are available in your area with the Uswitch broadband postcode checker.
What do I need in order to get fixed broadband without line rental?
In order to get broadband without line rental, you’ll need to have access to full-fibre broadband or cable broadband. This is a broadband service that delivers a signal to your home without using traditional phone lines at all. This is often called Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband or cable broadband. At the time of writing, the former is still fairly limited across the UK and cable is only available from Vrigin Media.
So while fibre broadband is widely available, it still requires a telephone line to connect your home to the fibre cabinet, so the chances of getting broadband without a phone line are slim. And if you’re looking to bundle digital TV in with your fixed broadband the options are even more limited, unfortunately.
Your best bet if you want to get broadband without a phone line is to consider mobile broadband. With 4G essentially a standard in most areas, and 5G rolling out this year, mobile broadband speeds have a very wide amount of coverage and are faster than ever. A 5G mobile broadband hub could legitimately compete with fixed-line services.
How do I get broadband without a phone line?
If you have access to either FTTP broadband, cable broadband or mobile broadband, you could say goodbye to your traditional landline and still access great broadband speeds. So here are some of the pros and cons of each:
If you’re set on getting broadband without a phone line, then mobile broadband may be a good solution, depending upon what your typical internet usage is.
Mobile broadband that runs on the current 4G network will have average speeds of 21Mbps, which would be enough for basic online activities like e-mail, Facebook and Skype, but could be limiting if you wanted to do more. Streaming Netflix on speeds like this would be frustrating and you'd spend a lot of time waiting for episodes to buffer.
Obviously, the big game-changer for mobile broadband is the rollout of 5G across the UK. If you’re in an area that has a strong 5G signal, your mobile broadband speeds could very well out-pace your fixed-broadband options, with download speeds of 500Mbps being a very real possibility. You could then be able to connect your devices to your mobile broadband either via a 5G hub or by tethering them directly to your mobile device.
Mobile broadband is a very flexible option, giving you access to your internet connection wherever you are. Its biggest disadvantage is reception, as there are plenty of areas in the UK that have a weak 4G signal. If you happen to live in one of these so-called ‘not-spots’ then mobile broadband won’t be a good option for you.
It's definitely worth checking coverage maps ––– especially for 5G –– before making any mobile broadband purchases.
If mobile broadband sounds like might suit your needs, compare Uswitch's best-selling mobile broadband deals now.
Cable broadband from Virgin Media
Even though you can theoretically get cable or fibre broadband without line rental, it can be hard to find a provider actually offering broadband without a landline.
Currently, Virgin Media is the only major ISP that lets you sign up for broadband without a phone line. Because Virgin Media operates independently on its own cable network independent of Openreach, the company offers several different broadband-only packages that don't require you to sign up for a landline.
However, it’s often the case that Virgin Media broadband packages with no phone line are actually more expensive than ones that include line rental. So even though you can get broadband without a phone line, it may still be better to get a landline and just not use it.
Future plans to upgrade the UK phone network
Openreach, the network that provides the majority of phone and broadband connections across the UK, is committed to switching over to entirely digital phone services.
BT plans to migrate all of its users from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to IP by December 2025, making landlines a thing of the past and allowing networks to compete directly with offerings such as Skype and WhatsApp.
So broadband without a phone line could soon become the norm, just not yet.