Help me find a suitable UK broadband provider.
September 2, 2010 4:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a broadband provider for the UK who'll give me a contract of 6 months or less, don't require a phone line (not essential but preferred), and provide a speed/download limit suitable for a house of 4 typical 20-something Internet users. I can't find one. Help me?
posted by Kirn to Technology (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think if you're not using a phone line then the options are:
- cable
- mobile network dongle

The only cable option that I'm aware of is Virgin Media, but I'm pretty sure they only do 12 month contracts.

So you are left with mobile network dongles - using a MiFi device lets to have up to 5 devices connected to a single mobile broadband connection at once. Example on the Three network. Three offer 1 month rolling contracts so that covers your 6 month limitation too. Only limitation is how good signal you get in your house/flat.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:10 AM on September 2, 2010


Try http://bethere.co.uk
posted by markx2 at 5:10 AM on September 2, 2010


Bethere require a phone line.
posted by caek at 5:12 AM on September 2, 2010


You can get a 1 month (renewable) contract through your mobile with O2, 3 and Virgin. Check http://www.broadband.co.uk/mobile-broadband/. There are various packages if you are prepared to use a landline but it depends where you live - http://www.broadband.co.uk/compare/
posted by TheRaven at 5:14 AM on September 2, 2010


IDNet would work for you. They run month to month contracts.

I've used them before with no problems. They rate well against other suppliers.

You will need a BT landline, I think, as for most other providers.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:18 AM on September 2, 2010


What you're describing sounds very much like a student house. Virgin Media offer 9-month contracts to students (since this is how long student housing contracts typically last), but it couldn't hurt to ask. Otherwise, Be broadband offer a 30-day rolling broadband, but this does require a phone line. Any ADSL broadband connection will require this, however, so the only way around it is to get a cable internet connection (so, Virgin Media) but this obviously might be tricky with the minimum contract terms.

For what it's worth, I've had lots of experience of both of these ISPs and found them to be excellent. If you want to push down the costs a little, you could try some of the countless budget broadband providers, but then you can't really ensure consistent speeds or even connectivity in some cases.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 5:18 AM on September 2, 2010


Seconding IDNet if you have to go the landline option. Best provider out there.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 5:21 AM on September 2, 2010


Is it just that you're moving house after 6mths? If you are, then most providers will let you move house as long as you start another contract. Otherwise, ignore me!

Virgin Media are (I believe) the only hard-wired provider of broadband without a BT line. Unless you get some kind of leased line or FTTH.
posted by gkhewitt at 5:28 AM on September 2, 2010


Depending on location, you might be able to cut a deal with your neighbours to borrow some of their internet access. It might void their T&C though.
posted by Solomon at 5:31 AM on September 2, 2010


IDNet will rent you a line and organise its installation. I recently used them month to month (about 8 months) for an ADSL line and service was excellent. You do need to buy or have an ADSL modem. They'll sell you one that will work well. Price and speed of service was very good.
posted by qwip at 5:38 AM on September 2, 2010


Be are now offering a phone line and broadband package - see their blog. They certainly offer short-term contracts for the broadband, but because the phone lines are new, I can't find much information on contracts for that, but you can always get in touch with their customer services. I've been a happy Be customer for the last year.
posted by featherboa at 5:57 AM on September 2, 2010


If you do not want to pay for a phone line, as EndsOfInvention suggests, you are stuck with either cable or 3G.

If you want to easily share 3G internet among 4 people you probably need to look at "Mi-Fi" where they provide a wireless router that uses a dongle, or else you need to have one PC on all the time sharing its internet connection. Either way, 3G data plans all have low bandwidth limits and long contracts, or are ridiculously expensive PAYG. 3G and large volumes of data don't mix.

Therefore, you are stuck with cable, which (practically speaking) means whichever provider has an actual physical cable running down your street.

Have a look at uSwitch for more details and costings.
posted by emilyw at 6:15 AM on September 2, 2010


Thanks for your help everyone.
posted by Kirn at 12:27 PM on October 3, 2010


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