Battle of the Broadband: the search for value

Sam Jackson

May 19, 2014

November 13, 2018

Battle of the Broadband: the search for value

Finding cheap broadband is all about prioritising to find value, so we're breaking down broadband packages to make it easier to cut through the marketing and get a clear view of what you need.

Cheapest first year

Once added extras like phone calls and TV are stripped aside, there is surprising value to be found. When working out the deal, we've factored line rental, introductory deals and installation costs into our price comparison to come up with the total you'd pay for the first year after switching. And, surprisingly, with focus placed squarely on broadband, there were no data caps among the cheapest deals:

  1. EE (Unlimited, speeds up to 17Mb/s)*, £208.80
  2. Primus Saver (Unlimited, speeds up to 16 Mb/s), £214.80
  3. TalkTalk (Unlimited, speeds up to 16 Mb/s), £222.90
  4. PlusNet (Unlimited, speeds up to 16 Mb/s) £227.86
  5. Virgin Media (Unlimited, speeds up to 50Mb/s)*, £239.88

*EE is only available to existing EE mobile customers

**Virgin Media is only available in selected areas

Cheapest ongoing contract

Of course, when it comes to budgeting and saving money you have to think long-term. Switching won't always be easy, or deliver savings, so it's worth knowing who offers the best value when the introductory rates disappear. So here's the top five once the carrots have been consumed:

  1. DirectSave telecom (Unlimited, speeds up to 14Mb/s), £212.40 [1st year: £246.30]
  2. TalkTalk (Unlimited, speeds up to 16 Mb/s), £233.40
  3. Primus Saver (Unlimited, speeds up to 16 Mb/s), £240.00
  4. EE (Unlimited, speeds up to 17Mb/s), £256.80
  5. Sky (Unlimited, speeds up to 16 Mb/s), £274.80 [1st year: £243.70]

DirectSave were, in fact, the only provider we researched who had no introductory rates, it was only the £33.90 up-front cost that pushed their first year fees out of our first year five. But they deserve kudos for their clear pricing.

PlusNet and Virgin, meanwhile, were unceremoniously dumped in the second year after price hikes took their annual costs to £293.88 and a whopping £377.88 respectively.

Best value by speed

This one's a trickier, but more effective, measure of your value for money. We've calculated how much you pay for each Mb/s of speed, according to the provider's maximum announced figure:

First year:

  1. Virgin Media (Unlimited, speeds up to 152Mb/s), £3.47 per Mb/s
  2. Virgin Media (Unlimited, speeds up to 100Mb/s), £4.38 per Mb/s
  3. Virgin Media (Unlimited, speeds up to 50Mb/s), £4.80 per Mb/s
  4. Primus Saver (Unlimited, speeds up to 76Mb/s), £5.33 per Mb/s
  5. TalkTalk (Unlimited, speeds up to 76Mb/s), £5.44 per Mb/s

Second year onwards:

  1. Virgin Media (Unlimited, speeds up to 152Mb/s), £3.47 per Mb/s
  2. Virgin Media (Unlimited, speeds up to 100Mb/s), £4.38 per Mb/s
  3. TalkTalk (Unlimited, speeds up to 76Mb/s), £5.44 per Mb/s
  4. PlusNet (Unlimited, speeds up to 76Mb/s), £5.53 per Mb/s
  5. Primus Saver (Unlimited, speeds up to 76Mb/s), £5.62 per Mb/s

Whichever package you opt for, the important thing is to ensure you get a realistic view of the prices on offer. You can use our price comparison tool to compare broadband deals, but it's vital to check ongoing costs. And if extra offers like TV and phone bundles persuade you to opt for packages with data limits, check whether charges are applied for exceeding them.

 

Posted by Money Dashboard

 

Sam Jackson

Money Dashboard

Subscribe for updates

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox

Success! Keep a look out in your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.