If you’re trying to find out how to get broadband without a phone line, you’ll need to start by getting the right type of broadband, as some are only available with an active telephone line.
The four ways you can access broadband internet in the UK are standard copper ADSL, fibre-optic, Virgin Media's cable network and 4G/5G mobile broadband. Each of these connections has their own pros and cons, however some have more limited availability than others if you want to get broadband without line rental.
Can I get broadband without a phone line?
Some locations in the UK will be able to get broadband with no phone line easier than others as it depends on the types of broadband connection you have available in your area.
Standard ADSL broadband, for example, is delivered via Openreach’s network of copper telephone wires and is available to 99% of UK homes. 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. It may actually work out to be cheaper to upgrade to a fibre broadband connection. You can check to see which packages and connection types are available in your area with the Uswitch broadband postcode checker.
Moving to a fibre or cable connection means there is more possibility of being able to get broadband without a phone line, but it will depend on what packages are available in your specific area.
Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband, which offers superfast speeds between 30-70Mbps, is by far the most widely-available fibre connection, but it uses the same copper phone lines from the local street cabinet to your home as ADSL does, so you'll need a phone line for this type of broadband to work too.
How can I get fixed broadband without line rental?
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. This is a broadband service that delivers a signal to your home without the use of traditional phone lines at all.
At the time of writing, full fibre is still fairly limited across the UK at around 18% of national coverage, and cable is only available from Virgin Media, which covers just over 50% of the country.
So while FTTC broadband is widely available, it's not the same as full fibre as it still requires a landline to connect your home to the fibre cabinet. In these cases the chances of getting broadband without a phone line are slim, and if you’re looking to bundle broadband and TV deals without a phone line, 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 to an increasing number of locations, mobile broadband has a very wide amount of coverage and are faster than ever.
A 5G mobile broadband hub could legitimately compete with some ultrafast fixed-broadband speeds, so it may be a great alternative if you don't want to keep paying for a landline you never use.
How do I get broadband without a phone line?
If you have access to either full fibre 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 24Mbps, which would be enough for basic online activities like email, Facebook, video calling and a bit of streaming, but could be limiting if you wanted to do more, especially if other members of your household are trying to do the same. Streaming Netflix on speeds like this with a family who is also using the internet 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 more then 200Mbps 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.
Read our more detailed guide on how to tether your mobile phone.
Mobile broadband is a very flexible option, giving you access to your internet connection wherever you are, and it's often the cheapest broadband without line rental available. 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 might suit your needs, compare Uswitch's best-selling mobile broadband deals now.
Cable broadband from Virgin Media
Even though some homes can get cable or fibre broadband without line rental, it can be hard to find a provider actually offering Wi-Fi without a landline for most premises in the UK.
Currently, Virgin Media is the only major provider that lets you sign up for fixed broadband without a phone line. Because Virgin Media operates independently on its own cable network separate from Openreach, the company offers several different 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.
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 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.
So broadband without a phone line could soon become the norm, but it's not quite there yet.