The evolution of broadband only


Broadband only deals have become increasingly common in recent years. As more and more people decide to dump their landlines and use their mobile phones for all of the phone calls they make, broadband providers have started to respond. Many UK broadband companies still require customers to take phone lines that they don’t use. However, an increasing number allow their customers to take broadband only or a stand-alone broadband service in conjunction with a digital TV subscription or other bundled product.

Not all of the services that we’re going to discuss are available in every area. If you decide to use one of the entirely wireless options, you’ll need to live in a fairly urban area with good mobile reception. Some of these are only available in London, others are usable in most major urban centres. Take a look at a comparison website like Broadband Choices to get a quick and easy overview of the options that you have available to you.

The cable option – Virgin Media

If you live in an area with cable TV service, then you’ll be able to sign up to one of Virgin Media’s broadband only deals. These don’t require you to take a phone line at all. However, the standalone broadband option can often be more expensive than the option that comes with a phone line. This is because, if you don’t have a phone line, Virgin don’t have the opportunity to make money out of you by charging for phone calls. If you’re able to take a phone line, then it’s often worth doing so, even if you decide not to plug a telephone into it.

Go wireless – 4G modems and tethering

If you only use broadband in your home occasionally and don’t use it in conjunction with devices like games consoles or your TV, you might be able to get away with tethering on your mobile phone. This means that you won’t need to pay for a separate broadband connection at all. Simply ensure that you buy enough data as part of your package to cover your use at home and out and about and you won’t have any problems. Be aware that not all mobile phone companies will allow you to use your entire data allowance for tethering, read all of the small print and give them a call with any questions that you have before you commit to a contact.

If you already have a mobile phone deal that you can’t change then don’t worry. Many mobile phone companies offer discounted MiFi and mobile broadband modems to their existing customers. Take a look at the account management area of their website or pop into the store to see what’s available. You’ll often find that your network is keen to do a deal with you, particularly if the sales staff have targets to hit.

Dedicated wireless options

Finally, if you live in London, you have access to a third option, the dedicated wireless broadband company. Operators such as Relish offer an entirely wireless broadband solution that operates outside of the networks run by companies like Virgin and BT. They’ll deliver you a wireless modem that’s a little bit like a MiFi system that you’d get from a mobile phone provider.

Relish has a signal checking service on their website but you will be able to get out of the contract if you don’t have a good signal in your home and you let them know quickly. Performance is comparable to a traditional, copper line ADSL connection, although Relish has recently launched a new option that offers speeds that are comparable to Virgin Media’s fastest fibre services. Depending on how you use your internet connection, you may find this massively restrictive or it might not be a problem.

Hopefully, we’ve demonstrated why broadband only deals have become so popular among certain consumers. As the number of options on offer has increased and it’s become increasingly common for people to use mobile phones for all of their telephone calls, it’s no surprise that broadband only is becoming more and more popular. However, the vast majority of people continue to get broadband in conjunction with a phone line, even if they don’t use it.