If you don’t use your landline, there are broadband deals available that don’t include paying line rental, but it might not be cheaper than a deal which includes landline, so it’s best to compare both types of deal.
- A landline is usually included as part of a broadband package as it's how your home is connected to the internet
- BT Openreach owns the majority of the UK's broadband network, and consumers pay a fee to keep the network up and running regardless of which supplier they're with
- Landline free deals are available, but may not be any cheaper
Do you need a landline?
Since the introduction of mobile phones, Britain has seen a decrease in landline phone’s across the UK with landline calls dropping from 103 billion in 2012 to just 54 billion in 2017 (The Telegraph, 2019).
Even though we don’t use our home phones much, some people still choose to pay for a landline as part of their broadband deal. However, some broadband services such as Virgin Media offer competitive internet deals that do not require a landline connection.
Can I get broadband without a landline?
Yes, broadband without a landline suits families who pay for line rental but barely use it.
The type of broadband package you want depends on each family's preference. You should decide whether you want to bundle your broadband with TV and landline services.
You should also consider:
- The speed of your broadband
- How much data you will need (such as unlimited broadband)
- The length of the broadband contract (12 - 24 months or a short term contract)
- If you will use a wired connection, or Wi-Fi
Is broadband without a landline cheaper?
Most providers (except Virgin Media) use a landline to deliver broadband to your home.
This landline connection is owned by BT Openreach, who own all of the copper wire telephone network used for both broadband and home phone connectivity within the UK.
This is why providers usually charge landline costs as part of your broadband service, making it difficult to separate phone line and broadband - even if you never use your home phone.
It is possible to get landline free broadband, but you'll have to shop around first.
Who does broadband only packages?
Virgin Media is the only major cabled broadband provider within the UK to provide broadband without a phone line, due to the fact that it has its own fibre broadband network separate from BT’s.
Virgin Media might be the only cabled provider to offer no landline broadband, but this doesn’t mean they're the only 'broadband only' provider. There are plenty of mobile broadband providers which don't require a landline (or any cables) to work.
Other 'Broadband-only deals'
Some broadband providers will give customers the misconception that they don’t have to pay for a landline.
Even though you don’t have to pay the provider, you will still have to pay someone else instead (like BT Openreach) for using their phone lines in order to receive your broadband.
Mobile Broadband uses a USB dongle, data-only SIM or a Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows you to connect wirelessly to 4G or 5G internet. It’s the most popular form of broadband without a fixed landline, and one of the best options if you're looking for something flexible.
However, a fixed line broadband can work out cheaper than mobile because mobile data is more expensive. So, if you enjoy watching Netflix and playing games online then mobile broadband may not be sufficient for you and your household.
Average speeds are also more reliable using a fixed line due to less interruption from other wireless signals.
If you exceed download limits, then you might end up paying for extra data bundles, making mobile broadband more expensive than a wired alternative.
Another alternative to avoid paying for landline is satellite broadband. Satellite broadband requires having a satellite dish installed on the roof of your house. This broadband is especially useful if you live in rural areas where you can’t receive fibre optic or ADSL broadband.
However, satellite is not the most cost-effective option if you live in a house where fibre optic broadband is available.
While some satellite packages can cost around the same as fibre optic or ADSL, satellite broadband usually comes with download limits that aren't imposed on other packages.
Satellite broadband also suffers from lag, also known as latency, due to the time it takes for the signal to get to and from the satellite.
Switching broadband provider
A costly and unnecessary landline deal may be one of the biggest incentives to shop around for a new broadband provider. However, bundles packages are not the easiest to switch.
It’s recommended that you review your broadband as often as you can to find out if you’re paying more than other providers are offering for a slower service.