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Line rental costs explained

Line rental costs explained

If you’ve ever wondered what line rental was, while looking at your broadband package, you’re probably not alone. Most broadband connections in the UK require or include line rental. Find out why here.

Holly Niblett
From the Digital team
minute read
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Posted 2 MARCH 2020

What is line rental?

Line rental is a charge for the maintenance of the copper phonelines that provide your home with a phone connection and broadband. If you’re using the line for either service, your supplier will charge you for its upkeep.

Why do I have to pay line rental?

It’s a recurring complaint. I no longer use my landline, why am I having to stump up for line rentals?

Even if you don’t use your landline, it’s still the case that the old phone copper line provides connection to both the internet and the telephone network. Even if you’ve switched to a new fibre optic broadband, the last leg of the journey into most homes is still down the copper wires.

Is it fair that you pay for a service you don’t use? The answer from BT is that, regardless of what you use the line for, it still needs to be maintained. That’s why the same charge applies, whether a customer uses the line for calls, broadband or both.

How much does line rental cost?

The price of line rental varies from one broadband provider to the next. You can typically expect to pay somewhere between £12 and £20.

Always compare the full prices, to make sure you’re getting the right deal. Doing so couldn’t be easier than right here at Compare the Market.

Can I pay line rental yearly or monthly?

Some broadband providers offer a service known as ‘line rental saver’, which allows you to pay a much larger amount up front, allowing you to pay much less each month. A smaller number of providers even allow you to pay the whole year up front.

What does free line rental mean?

Some broadband providers offer line rental as included, bundling it with your package as an add-on. If you use an ADSL or fibre-optic broadband service, you need to look out for any line rental fees. This is because your connection is usually carried from the street cabinet, to your home, along the traditional copper phone line.

Since October 2016, broadband providers must include the price of line rental in their headline costs. The move by the Advertising Standards Authority came after it published a joint survey with Ofcom, which showed how much trouble consumers had working out the cost of broadband from the supplier’s adverts.

At Compare the Market we show an all-in 12-month total cost. This includes line rental, as well as other ‘extras’ such as activation fees and other equipment charges.

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