Resent paying for a landline that you barely use? The good news is that you don’t have to. Read on and we'll weigh up the pros and cons of broadband-only deals. And take a look at the best providers too.
What is a broadband only deal?
A broadband only deal is just what it sounds like - a contract that doesn’t include the cost of line rental or any other hidden extras.
Usually that means taking advantage of fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology, that allows providers to use their own network, rather than relying on the Openreach maintained network of copper cables that delivers most broadband into UK homes from the nearest street cabinet.
Can I get broadband without a landline?
Yes. An increasing number of providers allow you to take out a broadband only deal, with no need to have or pay for line rental. This comes with the potential for cost savings, ideal for those who never use a landline to make calls.
All of the above offer a speedy, reliable service. But the catch is broadband-only deals still aren’t anything like as widely available as broadband-and-landline bundles.
While BT and EE offer broadband only deals throughout the UK, many providers that use the same Openreach network offer no such option. If you want their broadband, a landline is required.
Moreover, to be able to get Virgin Media’s broadband-only service, you’ll need to live in an address covered by its fibre broadband network. This covers about 60% of UK properties, the majority of which are in cities and towns.
Availability for other providers’ broadband-only service is even more limited.
Hyperoptic is solely available in London and some surrounding areas, as is Three’s 4G and 5G home broadband service. And Gigaclear is mostly solely available in select rural areas.
The best way to find out if you can get broadband-only service in your area is to use our postcode checker. Just input your postcode and we’ll show you what’s available at your address.
Which providers offer broadband only deals?
Virgin Media has long been the market leader when it comes to broadband only deals, operating a network separate to the main one maintained by Openreach and BT, upon which most providers are reliant.
However, more and more providers are entering this space. Hyperoptic, Zen and Gigafast have all begun to get noticed, while the likes of BT, TalkTalk and Vodafone are also starting to offer ultrafast fibre broadband without the need for line rental.
Remember that some of these ultrafast broadband only deals are only available in select areas. Use our postcode checker to see what’s available where you live.
Best Virgin Media broadband only deals
Virgin Media has a comprehensive range of broadband only deals, often with perks such as vouchers to entice you to sign up for a lengthy 18-month or 24-month contract.
Its speeds range from 54Mbps right through to a lightning fast 1.13Gbps. The latter, part of Virgin’s Gig1 offering, is only available in very limited locations. Use our postcode checker to see if you can get it.
The good news is that there are a range of other options, including 108Mbps, 213Mbps, 362Mbps and 516Mbps, all available without a phone line.
Best Hyperoptic broadband only deals
Hyperoptic offers four broadband-only deals to choose from: Fast, Superfast, Ultrafast and Hyperfast, which get you average speeds of 50Mbps, 150Mbps, 500Mbps and 900Mbps respectively.
Like Virgin Media, Hyperoptic is offered on a one-month rolling contract basis, but at the time of writing its service is solely available in London and some surrounding areas.
You'll pay a premium for not having a landline, but the added cost does at least mean you have rapid and reliable fibre broadband straight to your door.
BT Broadband only deals
BT is a relative newcomer to the broadband-only market, but now offers no landline deals as standard. If you want to add a landline, you’ll need to pay an extra £5 a month.
It has a range of packages: Fibre Essential with 36Mbps speed; Fibre 1 with 50Mbps; and Fibre 2 with 67Mbps.
It also offers some even faster broadband-only packages which take advantage of FTTP tech. Called Full Fibre, it comes in 150Mbps, 500Mbps and 910Mbps variants.
What are the pros and cons of broadband only deals?
- No worries about paying line rental costs
- Access to truly superfast broadband right to your front door
- Increasing number of providers mean better deals to be had
- No landline bundled with your broadband package
- Limits the number of providers you can secure a deal from
- Access is limited by where you live
Is mobile broadband a good alternative to home broadband?
4G and 5G home broadband can be decent substitute for traditional, fixed-line broadband.
Allowances are no longer as restrictive as they used to be. And depending where you live, you can now get mobile internet with speeds that match fixed-line services.
The likes of Vodafone's Gigacube and Three's Huawei 4G Mobile WiFi, both of which we take a look at further down the page, are proof positive.
But the fact remains 4G and 5G home broadband is often pretty expensive compared to fixed line broadband.
The other downside is that at the time of writing a really fast 5G service isn’t available beyond major towns and cities.
4G is much more widely available and is cheaper than 5G, but it’s generally not as fast or stable as the best fibre broadband deals.
The best reason to choose mobile broadband instead of fixed-line broadband is if you want a service that’s portable or you’re living somewhere on a short-term basis.
Otherwise, for the time being we’d recommend you stick with a more reliable, more cost-effective fixed-line broadband service.
Vodafone Gigacube no landline broadband
Available from about £30 per month and billed as a ‘flexible alternative to broadband’, Vodafone’s Gigacube is highly rated and swaps fixed broadband connection for fast 4G mobile broadband. That means there's no need to take a landline.
You can pick up a Gigacube on a 24-month or rolling, 30-day contract.
Three HomeFi and AI Cube no landline broadband
Both good alternatives to fixed line broadband, the HomeFi and AI Cube are well priced and can be set up anywhere around the home.
And because Three's 4G network covers 99.8% of the UK population, you'll almost certainly be able to sign up where you live.
Will I save money by getting broadband without a landline?
Taking broadband without a landline seems to make a lot of sense, especially if you don’t make landline calls. But you won’t necessarily save money by doing so.
Close examination at the price of Virgin Media and Hyperoptic’s broadband-only deals and rivals’ broadband-and-home phone bundles reveals that the latter can work out cheaper, even though you’re ostensibly paying for an extra service.
So before you make a decision to sign up for a broadband-only service, it’s worth checking the price of broadband and home phone deals that are available in your area, too.
If you can find one that works out cheaper than a broadband-only service and offers a comparable broadband speed, we’d suggest you choose the broadband and home phone deal instead.
Keen to save money? Take a look at our pick of the best money-saving cheap broadband deals.
Can I get fibre optic broadband without a phone line?
Virgin Media, Hyperoptic and Gigaclear all offer fibre broadband deals that don’t require you to sign up for a landline.
Of these, Virgin Media is the most widely available. And depending on your location, you could get average broadband speeds of 500Mbps.
Virgin Media and Hyperoptic have the added advantage of offering fibre-optic broadband on one-month contracts, allowing you to leave with 30 days’ notice.
What's the cheapest broadband only deal and provider?
That largely depends on which provider is running a cut-price promotion at the time. At the time of writing, Hyperoptic's 50Mbps broadband-only deal is £22 per month, which is a really good price. However, the catch is that Hyperoptic isn't available everywhere.
Virgin Media's broadband-only products are much more widely available. And its most keenly priced M50 and M100 deals generally start at about £28 per month.
Can I get BT or Sky broadband without other add-ons?
BT offers a broadband only service as standard. Sky, however, requires you to have a landline. It gives you the option of having pay as you go calls, so you don’t have to make use of it, but you’ll still pay for the line rental as part of your monthly bill.
Can I get an unlimited fibre broadband only deal?
Yes. Hyperoptic and Virgin Media both make a big play of the fact that their fibre broadband only deals offer truly unlimited downloads, without the imposition of a fair usage policy or artificial slowdowns when you stream or play games online.
What can you save by paying line rental upfront?
If you pay the full 12-months’ landline rental upfront at the start of your contract, you can save between 10%-30% on the total price.
Some providers, like BT, will also throw in a month’s worth of free line rental when you do so.
Better still, paying upfront means you'll be protected from inflationary price increases during the period of your contract
However, not all providers offer the option to pay upfront. Those that do include TalkTalk, BT and Plusnet.
Of course, to be able to pay upfront you’ll need a lump sum of cash to hand.
And it’s worth noting that the money is non-refundable. Even if you decide to jump ship for another provider.
We take a closer look at paying landline upfront in our one-stop guide.