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If you’re ready to switch broadband providers and get started with a new broadband package, one thing that might seem a bit off-putting is the thought of paying set-up fees or installation costs.
You can usually still make a lot of savings by switching to a broadband deal with an upfront cost, but it's still worth considering providers that let you join without an extra charge. Here are a few services to consider when you’re looking to get broadband with no upfront costs.
You can get all of the following types of broadband with free installation and without any upfront costs:
Fibre-optic - superfast part-fibre and ultrafast full fibre broadband
Cable broadband from Virgin Media
Nothing about the type of broadband requires your new provider to charge you a setup fee or an installation charge. However, some services more typically charge for installation if it currently doesn't exist at the property.
For instance, if new home equipment is needed or a fibre-optic line needs to be installed, some providers – particularly the larger, more established ones – will charge an installation fee.
On the other hand, newer and smaller broadband providers looking to establish themselves in the market are more likely to offer a ‘no upfront cost’ broadband deal. So, they might be an option worth considering if they're available to your home.
If you choose a broadband provider that doesn't offer free installation, you may have to pay upfront fees. These fees can vary but typically include installation costs and setup fees. Here are some examples of upfront fees:
Broadband installation times can vary depending on the provider and the type of broadband you choose. However, most installations take about 10-14 days to book in advance.
It’s important to know that you likely won’t have significant downtime on your broadband when switching providers. Your existing connection will work up until your installation date, and if you need an actual installation (where your internet may be down), that'll take a few hours at the most.
Once booked, an engineer visit can take 30 minutes for a simple installation and up to three hours if a new line needs to be installed on the property.
You can get broadband with no upfront cost from many major UK providers.
Earning its reputation as an affordable broadband provider with excellent customer service, Plusnet doesn’t charge any upfront costs unless you need a new phone line installed, which will cost you an installation fee of £50.
Most TalkTalk broadband deals come with free setup, but you could be charged for new equipment if you sign up for a broadband and TV deal.
Despite offering some incredibly fast broadband speeds, Vodafone doesn’t charge any setup fees when you take out a new deal with the provider.
Providers that regularly charge setup fees or installation costs will sometimes waive them as part of a promotion or special offer, especially around key dates in the year, such as Black Friday.
Otherwise, be sure to factor in the additional costs when comparing broadband deals.
As the UK’s largest and longest-trading internet provider, BT still charges setup fees on most of its broadband packages – anything from £29.99 to £59.99 for some broadband and TV packages.
You might be able to get a broadband deal from BT without any upfront costs from time to time during the occasional promotion. However, the provider is more likely to offer reward cards or bill credit instead of reduced sign-up fees.
Sky’s biggest selling point has always been its award-winning TV service. As such, a setup and/or installation fee is usually attached to new Sky packages.
You’re more likely to find a discounted or free setup on higher-cost deals, such as a full-service TV and broadband subscription.
NOW Broadband deals usually include a small upfront cost, which is often waived as part of a promotion.
NOW TV memberships are very different from NOW broadband packages. Operating more like Netflix, you can sign up for and cancel these as and when you like without paying any sign-up fees.
It’s fairly typical for Virgin Media to charge an installation fee when new customers sign up because a new broadband line is usually required. However, if your property has had a Virgin Media connection previously installed, you likely won’t have to pay a setup charge.
You may often see ‘no setup fee’ on many Virgin Media deals, but you may still be required to pay an installation fee when arranging an engineer visit.
The fewer costs we need to pay to get set up on a new broadband deal, the better. However, choosing broadband deals with no upfront fees has a few minor drawbacks.
You can get a broadband and TV deal with no upfront cost, as providers like Sky often use this as a promotion to entice new customers.
With the introduction of Sky Stream TV, which requires less physical equipment to access Sky content, setup fees are lower and therefore waived more often to make the offer seem more appealing.
Of the major providers that offer broadband and TV deals, BT is the most likely to charge a setup fee for its services.
In many cases, no, you can self-install your broadband with easy-to-follow instructions provided by your broadband provider. This can save you time and money, and you can enjoy your broadband service without waiting for an engineer to install it.
However, if you need a new broadband line installed - whether it’s a full fibre cable or Virgin Media connection - you’ll need an engineer to come and set this up for you.