Short-term Internet service in London
January 13, 2013 4:58 AM   Subscribe

I am studying abroad for the semester in London. My flat mates and I are looking for an Internet solution that doesn't require a contract. We picked up a 3G hotspot from Three but it isn't very fast. Is it possible to get actual broadband service without a 12- or 18-month contract?
posted by Kronios to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Yup! I know that the very good Be do a 3 month contract:

O2, who share a broadband network with Be also do one.

I think that Sky possibly also do one, though not sure.

I'm sure that others do as well.
posted by Magnakai at 5:05 AM on January 13, 2013

Zen run a broadband contract on a monthly basis. It's slightly more expensive than other ISPs for this reason, but when I was a customer about 4 years ago they ran an excellent service. Like for everything else tho, check that there are no additional hidden costs before you sign up.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 6:21 AM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

A couple of google results.

Some additional information
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 6:26 AM on January 13, 2013

I was with Be* for several years. Their service is very good. I only left because I couldn't afford to pay extra for unlimited downloads (they actually ARE unlimited, unlike most), when I could get a 40 gig limit for less. If they were cheaper, I'd be with them now.
posted by Solomon at 7:00 AM on January 13, 2013

Zen run a tight ship. You'll have to buy your own router and have a BT phone line though & the latter will probably come with a 12 month contract even if the ADSL supplier doesn't.

You might get better bandwidth from your 3G hotspot if you can connect to it an external antennae, in which case I suspect the 3G hotspot will still be your cheapest and best option if you're only here for a few months.
posted by pharm at 7:12 AM on January 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Plusnet do a month-to-month contract (or did back in 2010 when I was with them, anyway), and their customer service was great.
posted by Catseye at 8:22 AM on January 13, 2013

Wireless broadband dongle, pay as you go with credit card topup online if necessary. Pick one up from EE, O2, Three shops.
posted by bifter at 9:11 AM on January 13, 2013

BT wifi is expensive but easily accessible.
posted by misspony at 9:17 AM on January 13, 2013

Best answer: I'm on a rolling month to month contract with Plusnet. It's ended up being longer than I thought, probably about 18 months. No complaints so far.

You'd have to pay for your router and line rental.
posted by PJMcPrettypants at 1:55 PM on January 13, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! Plusnet was very reasonably priced for unlimited broadband, month-to-month, and had excellent support when I called to set up.
posted by Kronios at 4:53 AM on January 15, 2013

( for academic interest )

ADSL pricing in the UK usually has 1-year contracts because there's a connection fee that all providers need to pay to Openreach who manages the copper to the exchange. If you take a contract then the ISP is usually willing to eat the cost but if it's just for a few months, they'll lose money. This is why you'll sometimes see a termination charge as it's just a way for the ISP to recover their outlay.
posted by quiet at 4:52 AM on February 18, 2013

quiet, Plusnet explicitly said this to me when I arranged my house move with them. Like everyone else says, they've got great friendly customer service. In a Sheffield accent, too.
posted by ambrosen at 9:33 AM on March 23, 2013

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