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Broadband costs: How to save serious money

Broadband costs: How to save serious money

Broadband expenses are just one of our bills set to soar in the cost-of-living crisis. Here’s how you could save up to £160 a year

Few of us can imagine living without our broadband connection these days but many will now be wondering whether they can still afford it.

It's all too easy to spend £300 or £400 a year on staying connected, which is yet another expense to bear on top of everything else.

The good news is that you do not have to ditch it altogether (unthinkable), you could make significant savings by switching to a cheaper supplier. Here are some of your options…

See if you can get a social tariff

If you are struggling on a low income, you may qualify for a "social tariff", with prices starting from just £15 a month.

These are available to users who receive a state benefit such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit and is aimed at keeping them online.

Incredibly, only 1.2 per cent of those who are eligible have taken advantage, which regulator Ofcom calculates could save users as much as £140 per year.

BT, Sky, Virgin Media and others offer social tariffs from £15 a month, and you can check what’s available and how much it costs on the Ofcom website here.

If you're out of contract, get going

Those who are not eligible for a social tariff could still make big savings, simply by shopping around. Only do this if your broadband contract has ended, otherwise, exit penalties could wipe out any savings. Most broadband contracts run for 12, 18 or 24 months. Once it has ended, you are free to switch.

Yet millions stay with the same supplier even though they are at liberty to shop around, and waste £162 a year by staying put, according to comparison site Uswitch.comThrowing away money away like that can no longer be justified, in the middle of the worst cost of living crisis ever.

There are plenty of choices, with big names like BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Vodafone and smaller rivals like Hyperoptic, NOW Broadband and Plusnet.

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Check your speed before switching

Broadband suppliers providers typically reserve their best deals for new customers, which means you may be able to get faster, full-fibre broadband for less than you are paying today.

Before you start comparing deals, work out how fast you need your broadband to be. If you just do a bit of browsing, emailing and streaming, then a speed of 30 megabytes-per-second (Mbps) may be enough. Larger households with multiple users may need to upgrade to around 60-100Mbps, as will avid online gamers.

"Resist the temptations to buy more speed than you need, because then you will be throwing money away"

To find out how fast your current broadband connection is, Google the phrase "broadband speed checker" to run a fast and free online test. It takes seconds and gives you a good idea where to start.

Resist the temptations to buy more speed than you need, because then you will be throwing money away.

Compare rates and beware of hidden fees

You can compare different deals at comparison sites such as Uswitch.comComparethemarket.comGocompare.com and Moneysupermarket.com, or specialist sites such as Cable.co.uk and Broadbandchoices.co.uk.

Remember that not every broadband supplier will operate in your area. Check by entering your postcode on their website.

As well as download speeds, you should check whether there is an activation or delivery fee, a cap on maximum downloads, or an extra charge for line rental.

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Go a bundle on a better deal

Also consider getting a bundle, as you could save money by wrapping up your broadband, mobile, digital TV and landline services in a single package.

Finally, do not be afraid to haggle. Get a choice of rates, and ask your favourite supplier to beat the best one. They may be more flexible than you think.

Switch to a better broadband and help save the planet

Effortlessly reduce your carbon emissions by switching to climate-positive broadband that cuts your carbon footprint, simply by being a Your Co-op customer. Through thier climate impact partners Ecologi, They will reduce your monthly carbon emissions by up to 50kg just by choosing thier ethical broadband.Co-op bundle this service into all broadband offerings so you can easily make the change to a more sustainable lifestyle.

 

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