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How to get broadband without a landline

Looking for broadband without line rental? No problem — browse a range of ways you can ditch the landline.
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girl using an old rotary landline phone

If you're like a lot of UK households, you probably rarely use your landline. According to our research, four million homes have disconnected their landline altogether since the year 2000.

In fact, we found that of the 80% of homes that are still connected to a landline, 26% don't even have a handset plugged in. This means a large number of broadband customers may still be paying for a landline they're not using.

Do I pay line rental?

Line rental is different to paying for a landline service. Nowadays, you won't be charged extra for line rental, as the cost is just part of the overall price you pay for a broadband service. What would cost you extra is a dedicated home phone plan.

Most broadband connections still rely on copper phone lines to get to your home - even if you don't use a landline phone at all. So you may technically be paying line rental, but it's at no extra expense unless you also choose a calls plan from your provider.

You can avoid paying line rental completely if you opt for mobile or satellite broadband, but currently, those options are quite limiting. And they don't necessarily cost less, either. So you will likely be better off keeping all deals in mind when deciding what you need.

Browse our range of broadband-only deals

Choose between dozens of broadband deals on Uswitch.

Is broadband without a landline cheaper?

You can often save money if you don't select an additional landline plan from your broadband provider and just stick to its broadband-only offering.

There might be times when a provider is running a special promotion on its broadband and home phone deals, where they could seem more enticing than its broadband-only options. But the vast majority of the time, you can reduce your bill by a few pounds a month if your next deal doesn't include a landline plan.

If you still regularly use your landline to make or receive calls, it's important to decide whether cutting the cord is worth the hassle, or the time it would take to adapt to life without one. It's still a very useful service for many people, so there's no shame in still using one if you still find value in it.

So how can I get home internet without a phone line?

In order to get fixed internet without a landline, you’ll need to have access to full fibre broadband (also known as fibre-to-the-premises) or Virgin Media's cable broadband.

These are the only fixed-line broadband services that deliver a signal to your home without the need for phone lines. But they come with one huge benefit — they are capable of much faster broadband speeds, with ultrafast and gigabit broadband connections available.

At the time of writing, full fibre is still fairly limited across the UK at around 50% of national coverage, and cable is only available from Virgin Media, which covers around 56% of the country.

Find out more about full fibre broadband with our dedicated guide.

Can you get broadband without a landline?

Yes, it might be possible to get internet with no phone line. But this will depend on whether the right broadband network is available in your area.

Broadband typeUK coverageAvailable with no phone line?
Copper ADSL99%No
Part-fibre97%No
Full fibre~50%Yes
Cable (Virgin Media)~56%Yes
Mobile broadband(N/A - check with network)Yes
Satellite(N/A - check with supplier)Yes

Unfortunately, for those looking to do away with their home phone line, it's still needed for the types of internet connections that rely on a copper phone line to get to your home.

The five main ways you can access broadband in the UK are:

  • ADSL

  • Fibre-optic (part-fibre and full fibre)

  • Virgin Media cable

  • 4G or 5G mobile broadband

  • Satellite broadband

Each of these connections has its own benefits and downsides, and some have more limited availability than others if you want to get broadband without line rental.

Which providers offer broadband with no landline?

While many providers offer broadband deals without an additional home phone package, there are some providers that don't rely on phone lines at all to deliver their service. These include:

  • Virgin Media, which uses its own network

  • Smaller full fibre providers like Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, Community Fibre and KCOM

But many of the larger providers offer full fibre too. And while their network coverage only reaches about one-third of UK properties, there are ultrafast no-landline deals on offer from BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Plusnet too.

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Internet without landline alternatives

If you have access to either full fibre broadband, cable broadband or 4G/5G mobile broadband, you could say goodbye to your traditional landline and still access great broadband speeds. So here are some pros and cons of each:

Mobile broadband

types of broadband 4g 5g mobile broadband graphic

If you’re set on getting broadband without a landline, then mobile broadband may be a good solution. Mobile broadband that runs on a 4G or 5G network will have average speeds of 24Mbps, which would be enough for basic online activities like email, Facebook, video calling and a bit of TV streaming.

You can purchase a mobile internet dongle from a number of UK networks. Once a SIM card is inserted it operates like a mobile broadband router. Then just connect your various devices to the dongle Wi-Fi and you can access the internet without line rental.

If you have a 5G mobile phone contract, you could also tether your devices to your phone to experience these speeds without a 5G broadband hub. But this is quite an impractical solution in the long term.

Read our more detailed guide on how to tether your mobile phone.

Should I choose mobile broadband?

Mobile broadband is a very flexible option since it can provide you with broadband without a phone line and no contractand it gives 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 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.

You should always check each network's coverage maps — especially for 5G — before making any mobile broadband purchases.

If mobile broadband sounds like it might suit your needs, compare Uswitch's best-selling mobile broadband deals now.

Cable broadband from Virgin Media

types of broadband virgin media cable graphic

Even though some homes can get cable or fibre broadband without line rental, it can be hard to find a provider that actually offers Wi-Fi without a landline for most premises in the UK.

Currently, Virgin Media has the most widely-available fixed broadband network that doesn't need a phone line. Because Virgin Media operates independently on its own cable network, the company offers several broadband-only deals with no landline included.

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 cheaper in some cases to get a landline and just not use it.

Browse our best deals from Virgin Media

Choose from a range of internet speeds depending on what you need.

Full fibre broadband

Full fibre broadband, also called fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), is the future of broadband for the UK. There has been significant investment from both the industry and the government in rolling it out to as many properties as possible in the next few years.

It works by using fibre-optic cables all the way from the broadband exchange to your property, so no copper phone lines are needed for the connection. And since fibre cables can transmit more internet data than copper, it's a lot faster too. BT Full Fibre and Sky Ultrafast deals are two examples of the types of deals this technology can support.

Full fibre is capable of providing internet speeds of 1Gbps (that's 1000Mbps) and beyond, which will future-proof your home broadband for years to come. However, its coverage across the UK is still currently quite low, at just around half of UK properties.

This won't be the case for too long, though. The network is growing incredibly quickly, and the government has plans for gigabit broadband to reach at least 85% of UK properties by 2025. So you don't have long to wait if you currently can't access equivalent speeds.

Openreach's copper switch-off

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, the owner of Openreach, plans to migrate all of its users from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to Internet Protocol (IP) by December 2025, making copper landlines a thing of the past and allowing networks to compete directly with offerings such as Skype and WhatsApp.

In short, the plan is to move from an analogue setup to a digital infrastructure. So, the internet with no phone line could soon become the norm, but it's just not quite there yet.

Do you still use your landline?

UK Fixed landlines in millions 2010-2020

Uswitch conducted a survey in 2021, which showed that roughly five million households in the UK revealed that they never use their landline for phone calls. The survey also revealed that more than a third (35%) stated that they only got the landline in order to access their broadband.

There were big differences reported between over-65s – of which 95% still had a landline – compared to just 52% of 18-24-year-olds. 83% of those that lived in rural areas also kept their landlines since mobile phone reception was weak or unreliable, unlike urban areas in which less than two-thirds still had a home phone.

Finally, research from Ofcom in 2017 revealed that 29% of people said that the last person to actually call them on the phone was a nuisance call. So if you're weighing up the pros and cons of getting rid of your landline, now might be the time to switch to a broadband-only deal and save yourself some money.

Browse our range of broadband-only deals

Choose between dozens of broadband deals on Uswitch.

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