How to get broadband without line rental

Few of use our landlines to make and receive phone calls anymore and the only reason many of us have them is because you have to have one to receive broadband. You might well ask “why you can’t just get rid of it and not pay the extra?” Well, there are some services options that offer a broadband connection without the need to take a fixed line, but they are few in number and offer little benefit other than that they are generally faster.

The other type of “broadband only” deal you might come across is for a 4G box that will connect you to the Internet via the cellular network. While these do work well enough, they are really only there to cover areas where you can’t get fixed-line access – but you can get 4G. They generally would not be good enough for a business of any size to use. That may change when 5G is widely available, but that’s going to be a while and even then, a fixed line connection will definitely be the best option for most businesses.

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Can I get broadband without a phone line?

The answer is yes, but the question may be, is it worth it? Right now, not many service providers offer broadband without a landline and those that do can only make it available in certain places. The services you can get without a phone line will be fast – maybe offering download speeds of as much as 300Mbps or even higher. But they will also be significantly more expensive than a standard broadband connection

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What is broadband without line rental?

Broadband without line rental is basically where you can have a fibre connection from an independent network directly to your premises or home. Under these circumstances there is thus no need to use the copper wires that are already in place all over the country connecting homes and businesses to the national network, which is maintained by Openreach.

It is because almost all broadband services use the national infrastructure to connect you (they simply buy bandwidth wholesale and then make a small portion of that available to each of their subscribers. You need a phone line because that’s the way that broadband works on the national network. There just isn’t any other way.

One day, when every connection to every premises in the UK is a fibre connection not a copper one, this will change. But that prospect is so distant, it’s not even worth consideration right now.

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Can I get broadband without line rental?

If you don’t have a phone line, you won’t have to pay line rental, so the answer is yes. But really you can’t think the phone line as an extra for services where you do need one. It’s essential the broadband to work. It’s better to think of it as a complete package – not one that separates out the cost of the line.  The problem here is one of perception – and that’s been perpetuated by the way broadband has been marketed.

Historically, in pre-Internet days, you would have paid for the rental of a phone line and then be charged for call costs on top of that. These would be shown separately on your bill. That still happens today, but since hardly anyone makes landline calls, the line rental charge tends to look like an extra.

It would probably make more sense to add that cost to the overall charge for the broadband – but that makes the broadband look like it costs more. In practice, ISPs do have to be clear about the total cost of a broadband service these days, but that was not always the case and consequently, the perception that the landline is some line of additional cost has perpetuated.

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Is broadband cheaper without a phone line?

While the cost might be a little but lower, it won’t be dramatically lower than you’d normally expect to pay for a super-fast or ultra-fast broadband connection. If you need a connection that will give you 100Mbps download speeds or more, you should expect to pay a lot more for it than you would for a standard connection.

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Who offers broadband without a phone line?

Only a handful of service provider who have their own network infrastructure. Such companies are few and far between – setting up a national wide fibre network is hugely expensive, which is why there are only a few companies doing it. To make it pay, they tend to target one city, town, or area at a time, so availability of such services is confined to places that are in reach of their network.

This is why most Internet services providers purchase space on the national network instead – as they can then reach out to the whole country. And as they are using the established BT / Openreach network, in order to provide broadband, they also need to provide a phone line.

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What happens to my old phone line?

This is worth noting as, once you have relinquished it, you won’t simply be able to go back and reclaim your old phone number. It will go back into the system and be re-allocated to some other line – even if it’s never going to be used, every line has to have a phone number.

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What about businesses and broadband-only deals?

Broadband-only might seem like a good idea for businesses, even if the cost saving is small. But the fact is that most businesses do need a phone line, so having one is a good idea. In practice every business will now b moving over to voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology for their phone services, which means that all calls will be routed through the broadband connection anyway. For businesses, the focus should be squarely on your needs, not be on whether or not there is a perceived ‘extra’ cost for line rental.

That said, if you have several lines in place and you are moving to IP-based voice, you should get your supplier to check if you need those additional lines anymore. The chances are you do not and will make real savings by shutting them down. It’s worth remembering here that you can easily retain your existing phone numbers when you switch to a VoIP service.

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