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Can I get broadband without a landline?

A growing number of providers now offer broadband without a landline, but not all broadband-only deals will be available in your area. It’s also worth considering that a broadband-only deal could cost more than a combined broadband and landline package. Let’s take a look at your options.

A growing number of providers now offer broadband without a landline, but not all broadband-only deals will be available in your area. It’s also worth considering that a broadband-only deal could cost more than a combined broadband and landline package. Let’s take a look at your options.

Written by
Sajni Shah
Utilities comparison expert
Last Updated
3 APRIL 2023
8 min read
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What is broadband without a landline?

Broadband without a landline gives you access to the internet without having a home phone connection as part of the package.

Traditionally, you’ve needed an active phone line to get a home broadband package in the UK. But it’s now possible to get broadband without a phone line because of the gradual rollout of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) services. These deliver broadband data straight to your home through fibre optic cables rather than copper cables that connect to your landline.

Since many of us no longer use a home phone, the demand for broadband-only services is only set to grow. There are also other options for broadband without line rental, including mobile broadband, which uses a 4G or 5G signal to wirelessly connect your devices to the internet.

Do I need a landline for broadband?

Most broadband services still require a landline because your broadband and phone share the same network. The most common type of fibre broadband works on a fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) basis. This means that the fibre optic cables only reach your street cabinet, with the data transfer to your home being finished over the standard phone line used for an ADSL connection. If you’re using the standard phone line for part of your connection, you’ll need to pay line rental.

For most people, this means using a network that’s owned and operated by Openreach, part of the BT group. It’s responsible for the phone cables, street cabinets and phone exchanges that your broadband service operates on.

But all this is set to change with the move from an analogue set-up to a digital infrastructure, which means internet with no phone line could soon become the norm.

Did you know?
The ageing copper phone network may become obsolete in the next few years. In the move towards a digital future, BT’s Openreach network is planning to switch every home in the UK to an internet-based connection by 2025. Traditional analogue landlines will eventually be phased out and replaced by over-the-internet VoIP-based telephone services.

Types of broadband with no landline

If you’re determined to avoid paying line rental, these are the options available to you:

  • Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband – FTTP is a specific full fibre broadband service. It bypasses the old copper phone lines by using fibre-optic cabling all the way to your home so you don’t need a landline to use it. While this is usually the most expensive type of broadband available, it does offer the greatest speeds. However, as of December 2022, full fibre broadband was only available to 42% of UK households so most people still can’t access it.
  • Satellite broadband  – satellite broadband is available anywhere and you won’t need a landline. However, the cost might be more than paying for broadband with line rental, and coverage and speeds could be worse. To find out if you could get broadband for less than you’re currently paying and what your options are use our postcode checker.
  • Mobile broadband (4G/5G)– this is an option provided you live in an area with very good mobile phone reception. Connectivity is through a USB dongle, wireless ‘cube’, data-only SIM or WiFi hotspot. Mobile broadband is a flexible way to get online without a landline but, for long-term use, a fixed connection is often preferable. We don’t currently offer comparisons between mobile broadband services.
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Pros and cons of a broadband package with no landline

Pros

  • No phone costs – there’s no need to worry about line rental charges, extra calls or pay-as-you-go calls being added to your monthly bill.

  • Speed – enjoy access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK.

  • Flexibility – with more providers offering no-landline broadband,you increasingly have more deals to choose from.

Cons 

  • Price – broadband-only deals can be more expensive than having a standard fibre broadband connection.

  • Limited choice – although more providers are coming on board, there’s still not as much choice compared with broadband with line rental.

  • No free calls – you’ll need to pay for a separate landline if you want to make calls from home instead of bundling them with your broadband.

Is a broadband-only internet package cheaper?

Not necessarily. Some people assume that broadband-only packages are cheaper because you don’t have to worry about paying a service charge for your phone line, but this isn’t always true.

This is because broadband services without line rental run all the way to your home, rather than the street cabinet, with a standard copper phone line transferring your connection the rest of the way. These types of services usually offer the best speeds but, because of the work required to achieve them, they’re often more expensive.

Since 2016, it’s been mandatory for broadband providers to include line rental in their headline costs, so the best thing to do is to compare prices. You may find that a provider could be cheaper even with a phone line.

Which providers offer fixed broadband without a phone line? 

The main providers that offer fixed broadband deals without the need for a phone line are:

Virgin Media 

Virgin Media was the first major internet service provider to offer broadband without a phone line. It was able to do this because it operates its own cable network that’s independent of Openreach. Its Gigabit fibre broadband can deliver an average download speed of 1,130 Mbps, which is the fastest in the UK. However, this speed comes at a cost, with Virgin Media broadband usually being among the more expensive services.

It was also one of the first broadband providers to offer broadband, phone, TV and mobile in one package. This means you’re able to bundle all of your services together, offering convenience and potential discounts between packages.

BT

BT offers broadband-only deals as standard across its fibre-optic packages – you only use the broadband you want without paying for landline services. However, that means you won’t be able to use your phone for making or receiving calls – not even 999 emergency calls.

Plusnet

Plusnet offers full fibre broadband that delivers ultrafast download speeds of up to 500 Mbps. It’s a broadband-only package, so your home phone line will be disconnected if you no longer want a landline. But it means you won’t have to pay for line rental.

Other providers

Smaller full fibre networks including Hyperoptic, Community Fibre and Gigaclear offer some of the fastest speeds in the country without the need for a phone line. But these deals are less widely available, so it’s important you check the availability for your area.

What bundles are available for broadband without a phone line?

Without a phone line, your options for broadband are more limited, which can make bundles even harder to come by. That said, Virgin Media offers broadband, TV, phone and mobile, allowing you to bundle all of your major digital services together in one package.

Find out more about Virgin Media packages here

Broadband bundles with home phone

If you need to make phone calls from home, you can make the most of line rental by choosing a broadband contract with a call plan. Many providers offer inclusive UK and international calls, and even mobile minutes, as part of your internet deal.

Some providers are also very flexible with their phone packages. They might let you add or remove call bundles without facing a penalty, so you’re not tied down if you do happen to change your mind.

Compare broadband with us

Whether you’re looking for broadband without line rental, a broadband-only package or broadband with TV or phone, we can help. 

Frequently asked questions

Is broadband without a phone line the same as broadband only?

Most providers offer some type of ‘broadband-only’ deal. However, you’ll sometimes need to pay line rental, even if you don’t use their phone services.

Mobile providers like Vodafone, O2, EE and Three also offer broadband-only deals. But this option can often be more expensive than a fixed broadband service as mobile data typically costs more. If you exceed your mobile data limit, you could end up paying more for extra data. So, if you’re into Netflix and online gaming, a mobile broadband-only deal may not be the best solution for your needs.

Do broadband prices include line rental costs?

Yes, since October 2016 it’s been compulsory for broadband providers to include line rental in their headline costs. And at Comparethemarket, as well as showing the monthly cost, we include an all-in 12/18/24-month total cost, depending on how long the contract runs. This includes line rental, as well as other ‘extras’ such as activation fees and other equipment charges. 

What are the disadvantages of broadband without line rental?

  • You’re 100% reliant on your internet connection – if there’s a network problem like a power cut, there’s no reliable phone line to fall back on.
  • Limited number of providers.
  • Not necessarily cheaper than broadband with line rental.
  • Availability may be limited depending on where you live.

Is it worth paying for line rental, even if I don’t use my landline?

It might be. That’s why it’s worth shopping around and comparing deals. If you don’t want to use your landline, simply unplug your phone. It also means you’ll have more providers and deals to choose from. 

It’s also worth comparing bundle deals – for example, if you want to add TV services, it might work out cheaper to buy a broadband, phone and TV package than buying broadband-only and pay TV services separately.

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