What is a broadband package?
It is a combination of entertainment services offered as one product by the same supplier. They are sometimes called bundles.
The services included in a package run alongside each other, with suppliers offering a discount for combining two or more in a bundle.
What does a package include?
You will usually be able to combine:
Broadband: You can choose from several types of broadband connection including standard ADSL, fibre, mobile or satellite. You will also have a choice of data limits and download speeds.
Home phone: If you opt for standard ADSL or cable broadband, you will need a phone line as part of your package and it could be cheaper to combine these services as a bundle. Package options usually include some free evening and weekend calls.
TV: This usually includes the standard channels available on Freeview, plus a number of others exclusively offered by the supplier. You can also include additional sports or movie channels for an added cost.
Mobile: Quad-play services provide the option to include a mobile SIM contract in your broadband package, combining all four products under one monthly bill.
Why should you get a package deal?
The main benefits of a broadband package are:
Cost: Many companies offer discounts for combining two or more services, or give you extras like inclusive phone calls or free TV channels.
Convenience: Having your entertainment services wrapped up in one package can save time and effort when managing your account and paying your bill.
Flexibility: You can build the service you need by adding different call packages and TV channels to your bundle, depending on your preference.
Yes, but you may have to keep paying your monthly contract or pay an early cancellation fee.
You may also have to return any equipment supplied by your broadband company, like your wireless router or TV set-top box. Check your provider's cancellation policy for full details of any associated costs.
Which package should you get?
There are lots of options, so consider what you want from your broadband bundle and choose a package that suits you.
Households with four or more members will need more from their broadband service, so you may want to opt for a family package.
They typically offer faster speeds and a larger data allowance than standard bundles, and you can include additional TV channels or mobile contracts for every member of your household.
Family bundles come at a higher monthly cost than basic broadband packages, but higher speeds and data limits mean your connection is less likely to be disrupted.
Special student packages are available for houses with multiple tenants and usually come with an unlimited broadband data allowance.
They also include added entertainment features, like catch up TV and free weekend calls.
The contract terms tend to be shorter which allows students to avoid paying the cost of broadband after the academic year has finished.
Business packages differ from standard consumer broadband by including extras like a fixed IP address, personalised email domain, and additional security.
They also include more generous data and call allowances, and faster broadband speeds.
Most providers offer priority helplines for businesses so if your connection does go down, you can get the problem fixed as soon as possible.
If you are an occasional internet user and you are looking for a basic package, a mobile broadband contract may be the best way to get online.
Providers tend to offer discount if you are an existing mobile phone customer and they may include extras like TV subscriptions or unlimited calls.
Although mobile broadband comes with lower speeds and data limits, it is usually cheaper, and many providers offer pay as you go options or monthly contracts.
Is a broadband package right for you?
While the potential cost saving and convenience makes package broadband tempting, you should weigh up whether you actually need the services included in a bundle.
If you pay extra each month for a phone or TV contract that you do not use, then standard broadband service is probably the best option.
Be aware of all the costs, like installation and setup fees or monthly line rental. Give yourself a budget and find a deal that stays within your monthly allowance.
You may also find the quality or variety of package services differs between providers. For example, you may be happy with the connectivity of BT's broadband service but want the sports and movie variety that Sky offer. In this case, you are best opting for separate broadband and TV services.
Where to find a package deal
If you think you would benefit from the additional services or could save money by switching to a package deal, it might be time to start shopping around.
You can compare current broadband packages on our comparison pages.