Are you interested in switching providers or setting up a new broadband connection? Many people are dissuaded from switching ISPs because they're worried about the costs they may incur. Other customers are unsure of the total cost of a package once the set-up, line rental and data have been taken into account.
Thanks to new regulations, broadband packages must now be advertised with 'all-in' pricing, so there shouldn't be any unknown charges on your monthly bill. That being said, there are a few situations where you might be charged extra.
This simple guide should help you understand the associated costs of broadband in addition to a breakdown of the regular monthly charges. These vary widely between providers, so it's always worth taking a close look at the terms and conditions of a package before signing up.
Types of broadband
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- ADSL broadband - broadband connection provided through a BT line
- Cable broadband - broadband connection provided with fibre-optics
- Mobile broadband - internet connection is via a USB dongle or a MiFi
ADSL broadband charges:
Landline charges - Because ADSL runs through existing telephone cables, there must be an active telephone connection at the home or business looking to get ADSL broadband. If there is no active landline at the residence or business, you'll be liable to pay a set-up charge of £122.50 and a monthly line rental of around £12-£14 thereafter. This won't include calls, data or anything else — it's just to have the phone line.
Wireless routers - It isn't your connection that's wireless, it's the equipment. Any home or office connection can be wireless with a wireless router. Most ISPs now offer free wireless routers with their broadband packages; however, if bought separately, you can expect to pay anything from £30 to £150, depending upon the type of router you choose. You can determine what type of router you need on our wireless router guide.
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Cable broadband charges:
No landline charges! - As cable broadband is transmitted over fibre-optic cables and not traditional copper phone wires, there's no need for an active phone line at the premises in which cable broadband is to be installed.
Installation charges - Fibre installation charges depend on your provider and the timing of when you sign up. Depending upon when you buy it, you might be paying between £14.99 and £50. However, if you buy your package at the right time and get the right offer, you might be able to get it free.
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Mobile broadband charges:
One-off purchase cost - Providers may impose a one-off charge for the USB device itself; however, they are usually free when you sign up for a 4G monthly contract. Alternatively, the costs can sometimes be waived if you spend enough elsewhere, such as buying a lot of credit or threatening to shop somewhere else.
Overseas charges - As with a mobile phone, usage overseas can be expensive and vary from provider to provider. Recently, however, an EU ruling over charges has made surfing while travelling on the Continent cheaper and more accessible than ever. In June 2017, roaming charges within the EU will be dropped entirely. So long as you stay away from areas like Kazhakstan, Siberia and the Arctic, you'll find yourself paying reasonable prices.
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Broadband charges common to all types:
Connection charges - Some internet service providers charge a one-off fee to activate your broadband connection. This varies from ISP to ISP, or sometimes can be waived, depending upon the package you sign up for.
Excess usage charges - If you exceed the monthly download limits of your package, you may be charged fees for each extra gigabyte you use. In order to avoid excess charges, many heavy-use customers choose unlimited download broadband packages.
Cancellation charges - Should you wish to terminate your connection before the end of your contract, you may be liable to pay cancellation fees. These vary depending on which ISP you are contracted to and at what point in your contract you cancel.
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