With home phone lines becoming increasingly redundant, more people are turning to broadband-only deals instead.

Key Points

  • Broadband only broadly means deals which solely include internet, but it can mean a range of things depending on the provider
  • People generally don’t require a home phone anymore and don’t want to pay for something they won’t use
  • Sometimes it’s cheaper to include a line rental, even if you don’t need it


What does broadband only mean?

While defining the term has divided the industry, broadband only is usually referred to as a type of internet package which doesn’t’ include TV or a home landline.

Usually, broadband only can be categorised into:

  • Broadband without a phone line
  • Internet only
  • Mobile broadband
  • Broadband without TV


Broadband without a phone line

This is the most common way a broadband only deal is referred to, as a package you purchase without a phone line and any of the costs associated with it.

You can’t get standard broadband without line rental, but some companies offer full fibre, also known as fibre to the premises (FTTP), or mobile broadband-only deals where you won’t require a phone line.

Currently, Virgin Media is the only major household name that allows you to sign up for full fibre broadband without a landline.

It’s not necessarily cheaper to exclude a phone line, so it’s important to compare the different options available to you. Remember, you don’t have to use a landline even if it’s part of your offer.


Internet only

An internet only broadband does what it says: it just provides you with a connection to the internet.

You might end up with a phone line with this type of deal, but it’s only there to deliver broadband to your house. These sorts of packages will not give you anything on top of your internet, meaning no home phone, no free minutes, and no TV subscriptions.


Mobile broadband

Similarly, there’s no surprise here - mobile broadband is broadband that connects through data technology (so 3G, 4G and 5G). While traditional broadband uses fixed cables and lines, mobile broadband works in the same way as accessing your internet using data.

Mobile broadband can come in multiple forms:

  • Dongle - a small gadget that is inserted into the USB port of your computer
  • Personal Wi-Fi - a portable hotspot that acts as a mini router by using a small gadget to connect to 4G
  • In-car Wi-Fi - a device that’s plugged into your car, allowing you to stream music
  • Data-only SIM cards - these work similarly to SIM cards you use on your mobile phone, except they don’t allow texts and calls

Broadband without TV

Excluding a TV from your package counts as a broadband only deal. Customers usually opt for this because they don’t have a TV set.


Which providers offer broadband-only deals?

Virgin Media are arguably the most well-known provider who offer broadband-only deals, without the need for a phone line.

If you’re looking for broadband in London, Community Fibre offers internet without phone line rental.

Plusnet offer cheap no-frills internet. Hyperoptic also offer a range of broadband-only deals at affordable prices. Both will require a landline, though.

Or for mobile broadband options, both Three and EE provide a range of cableless packages.


Advantages of broadband only

  • Don’t pay extra - with broadband only, you won’t be paying for a service that you don’t use, like a home phone or TV.
  • Easy to manage – broadband-only deals tend to be a lot easier to understand and manage than massive packages with loads of little extras added in. You decide what you have, and that’s it.
  • Portable - mobile broadband is often portable, so you’re not fixed to one location. You can take a mobile router with you, allowing you to access the internet while commuting or in a different location.


Disadvantages of broadband only

  • Cost - sometimes it can be cheaper to just buy a deal with line rental, even though you don’t use it.
  • No centralised billing - this means you can’t take advantage of the discounts that suppliers may offer for having multiple bills with them. If budgeting is up your alley, you might miss out by having a broadband only deal.
  • No home phone - although people don’t use landline phones very often anymore, they can still be useful as a backup. If your mobile network is down for any reason, you won’t have a home phone to fall back on.


Fibre broadband without line rental

Fibre optic broadband is supplied through cables that run from a cabinet on your street into your home, or directly to your door if it’s ultrafast. Fibre broadband that runs directly to your home means you can access the internet without needing an active phone line.

Virgin Media and Hyperoptic offer superfast fibre broadband without using a phone connection.


Bundle deals versus broadband only

While broadband only may seem like the best option if you just want the internet, you shouldn’t disregard a bundled deal.

Sometimes, a broadband bundle might be cheaper, despite having extra products added on to it. You might find a deal that includes line rental and still costs less money per month than a broadband only deal.

If a provider is offering a good deal, and it includes a phone line or TV that you don’t need, you could still consider it in order to save money.

If you’re looking for broadband and want access to a particular TV service, it’s better to bundle than to buy them separately.

So in some cases, a broadband only deal might not be the cheapest option out there.

You can use our postcode checker to check your coverage and compare deals available in your area.