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Broadband without a contract - sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Well, it might be more available to you than you’d think, as many providers now offer their broadband services on a 30-day or ‘no contract’ basis.
These contracts offer you heaps of flexibility, which is perfect if you’re renting short term or only need a connection for a few months. But that flexibility comes at a higher monthly price, which may set you back a bit more each month than a longer contract would.
Find out all you need to know about no contract broadband deals.
‘No contract’ is a popular way of describing 30-day, or monthly rolling contracts. These three phrases are all used to mean the same thing - a contract that resets every month - which means you only need to give 30 days’ notice to cancel it.
This type of contract gives you more flexibility than any other as you can keep it for as long (or as short) as you’d like. And if you’d like to cancel it or switch elsewhere, you won’t be charged any exit fees because you haven’t committed to a 1- or 2-year-long agreement.
However, there is usually a catch with this contract length: the monthly price. These tariffs often charge a lot more per month than longer contracts do. So they’re normally best suited to people who only need a connection for a short period of time - or those who are happy to pay a premium price for the short-term flexibility.
Another thing to keep in mind is that 30-day contracts are less common than longer contracts, with only a few broadband providers offering them as standard. So you’d have to make sure a provider that supports this contact length is available to your home before you set your heart on it.
No contract and 30-day broadband deals are very useful for anyone looking to get a short-term broadband connection. But there are some things to consider before you start seeking them out.
Great for short-term renters or those who don’t want to commit to a 1-2 year contract
No early exit fees & 30-day notice period to cancel
Not locked into mid-contract price increases
High monthly prices and an expensive upfront cost
Low availability & choice compared to longer contracts
You can get almost all types of broadband - in particular fibre-optic and mobile broadband - on a no contract or monthly rolling plan.
That includes all of the following types of connection:
Virgin Media cable broadband
4G or 5G mobile broadband
Not every provider offers this type of contract, so you may find that your options are slightly limited when it comes to browsing different deals. Longer contracts of 18 and 24 months are a lot more popular in general.
However, this is mainly down to what types of tariff the provider has available - contract lengths aren’t usually determined by the type of broadband connection.
A few providers offer their broadband service on a no contract or monthly rolling basis. Some offer it as standard alongside their longer contracts, whereas others will only let you move onto one if you reach out to them directly.
Virgin Media has a no contract option for most of its broadband deals, but not on its two fastest connections M500 and Gig1. That means you’ll have to choose between the following products if you want a monthly rolling tariff:
However, it will cost a lot to use its no contract service. Not only does it come with a £35 setup fee, but you’ll have to pay a £45 rolling contract fee upfront in order to use it. Adding this onto the higher monthly prices too, this option comes at a huge premium.
NOW Broadband offers a no contract option with its deals at no extra monthly cost, but it has a more expensive £60 activation fee that you’ll need to pay upfront beforehand.
This still makes NOW’s no contract option far cheaper than Virgin Media’s, especially when you consider how low its monthly prices are in general. But you won’t get access to the ultrafast fibre broadband speeds available with Virgin.
NOW Broadband products available on a no contract tariff include:
Plusnet only has one no contract broadband deal, and it’s for the provider’s slowest package, Unlimited Broadband.
This is a copper ADSL broadband connection with average internet speeds of 10Mbps, so it may not be fit for purpose for anyone used to fibre broadband. And while it’s also Plusnet’s cheapest deal, the monthly prices of its faster part-fibre packages are only marginally higher, and likely worth the extra amount per month.
On Uswitch, 30-day contracts are currently available with two full fibre providers - Hyperoptic and Cuckoo.
Full fibre broadband provider Hyperoptic offers its packages at a range of different contract options, including one-month (no contract), 12-month and 24-month.
All of its broadband deals are available at all of these contract lengths, which gives you maximum flexibility - provided you can get its broadband service at your home. Hyperoptic also doesn’t charge any mid-contract price increases during your term with it.
|50Mb Fibre Broadband||57Mbps|
|150Mb Fibre Broadband||158Mbps|
|1Gb Fibre Broadband||900Mbps|
Another full fibre provider, Cuckoo also prides itself on flexible contracts and no mid-contract price increases.
Its monthly prices and setup costs are usually higher than Hyperoptic for no contract broadband deals, but it has great ultrafast internet speeds and flexible contract terms that make things easier for you if you’re seeking a short-term connection.
|Really Fast Broadband||100Mbps|
You should seriously consider no contract broadband if you only need a broadband connection for a few months. Despite their higher monthly (and upfront) prices, your total cost will still likely be a lot lower than taking out a 1-2 year contract and paying early exit fees when you need to cancel it.
For example, if you’re renting somewhere for a maximum of about nine months, you will likely be financially better off by choosing a monthly rolling, no contract deal. Longer contracts are available for lower prices, but you’d have to make sure their early exit fees are cheaper than the upfront cost you’ll need to pay for a no contract tariff.
However, if you’re planning on using your broadband for longer than this, it may make sense to choose a longer, fixed contract of 12, 18 or 24 months. And even though these usually come with mid-contract price rises, the overall cost would likely still be lower than a monthly rolling agreement.
Otherwise, you’d have to be comfortable paying a premium price for an extended period of time. But if you think the flexibility of a no contract deal is worth the money, you can obviously feel free to continue with the handy 30-day notice period.
The most popular contract lengths on offer from broadband providers are 12, 18 or 24 months long.
They’re referred to as ‘fixed term’ contracts because you’ve agreed to pay a certain amount each month for a specific length of time. After that term ends, your price may increase, but you’re also free to re-contract or switch at just 30-days notice.
Most people are probably better suited to one of these contracts over a 30-day rolling deal. They’re a lot cheaper, and they’re potentially a more stable option if you own your own home or your rental contract is longer than a year.
Of course, you could still choose a no contract tariff if one of the above applies to you - it will just be a much more expensive service to keep rolling on for years on end.
Six-month broadband contracts are unfortunately very rare - so much so that there currently isn’t any notable broadband provider that offers them.
If you want broadband for six months, your best bet would be to choose a no contract (or monthly rolling) broadband deal. You could stay with that provider for five months, and then give 30-days notice to cancel or switch elsewhere so your contract will end at the time you’d like.
That’s the easiest part - all you need to do is get in touch with your provider and ask them to cancel your contract.
You still need to give 30 days’ notice, but you won’t have to pay any early exit fees, because you’re always free to cancel or switch providers when you’re on a no contract deal. If you wanted to cancel during a 1-2 year contract, you’d have to pay off the remaining months in exit charges.
Plus, if you switch to another provider that uses the same broadband network - such as from NOW Broadband to BT or Sky, which all use the Openreach network - you won’t even need to contact NOW to cancel your contract. Your new provider will do that work for you.