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No upfront cost broadband

No upfront cost broadband curbs the initial outlay of setting up a new broadband deal, increasing affordability for customers.

John Lewis Unlimited Broadband with Evening & Weekend Calls

12 months discounted Broadband
John Lewis Broadband
Contract length
12 months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
10Mb
No setup cost
£20 /month
View deal
12 months discounted Broadband

TalkTalk Fixed Price Unlimited Fast Broadband

18 months discounted Broadband
£9.95 installation fee discount
TalkTalk
Contract length
18 months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
11Mb
No setup cost
£22.95 /month
18 months discounted Broadband
£9.95 installation fee discount

Plusnet Fixed Price Unlimited Fibre Broadband & Phone Line

18 months discounted Broadband
£60 Reward Card
Plusnet
Contract length
18 months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
36Mb
No setup cost
£22.99 /month
18 months discounted Broadband
£60 Reward Card

SSE Unlimited Fibre and Line Rental Only

18 months line rental discount
SSE
Contract length
18 months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
35Mb
£10 setup cost
£23 /month
18 months line rental discount

TalkTalk Fixed Price Unlimited Faster Fibre

18 months discounted Broadband
£40 voucher
TalkTalk
Contract length
18 months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
38Mb
No setup cost
£23.5 /month
18 months discounted Broadband
£40 voucher

SSE Unlimited Fibre Plus and Line Rental Only

18 months line rental discount
SSE
Contract length
18 months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
63Mb
£10 setup cost
£26 /month
18 months line rental discount
Exclusive

Plusnet Fixed Price Unlimited Fibre Extra & Phone Line

18 months discounted Broadband
£75 Reward Card
Plusnet
Contract length
18 months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
66Mb
No setup cost
£26.99 /month
18 months discounted Broadband
£75 Reward Card

John Lewis Fibre Broadband with Evening & Weekend Calls

12 months discounted Broadband
John Lewis Broadband
Contract length
12 months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
36Mb
No setup cost
£27.5 /month
12 months discounted Broadband

Plusnet Fixed Price Unlimited Fibre Broadband with Evening, Weekend UK & Mobile Calls.

18 months discounted Broadband
£60 Reward Card
Plusnet
Contract length
18 months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
36Mb
No setup cost
£27.99 /month
18 months discounted Broadband
£60 Reward Card

Plusnet Fixed Price Unlimited Fibre Broadband with Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls

18 months discounted Broadband
£60 Reward Card
Plusnet
Contract length
18 months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
36Mb
No setup cost
£31.99 /month
18 months discounted Broadband
£60 Reward Card

This table has been limited to display a maximum of 10 deals; sorted by the highest download speed first.

* The "average" download speed displayed in Mb is the speed available to 50% of customers with this product during peak time (between 8pm and 10pm). The actual speed you will get depends on a variety of factors such as your cabling, your area, how far you are from the telephone exchange as well as time of day. The majority of providers will tell you the speed you will likely receive when you begin your online sign up — this may differ from the average speed displayed on our table.

The deals available at your postcode are subject to local availability. The provider will confirm availability for your line.

Money services are provided at no cost to you, but we may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to.

What broadband has no upfront fee?

When it comes to broadband deals, no upfront cost can be a very effective incentive to get customers to sign up, and if you want to avoid having to pay out anything for at least a month, then it might be just the motivation you need to get your switch to a new broadband provider in gear.

A no set-up fee offer is available on all types of broadband as this is an offer run by internet suppliers and it is up to them to decide which free installation broadband they want to offer. Here are the types of broadband providers may add a no upfront cost deal to:

Standard ADSL broadband

Standard broadband or ADSL is not fibre optic broadband. Instead of running on modern fibre cables, it runs on traditional copper cables. 

Standard broadband will always be the cheapest broadband deal offered by any provider, and if you are able to jump on ADSL broadband deals with no upfront cost, you’ll enjoy a fantastic low-cost way to get online.

Fibre optic internet (FTTC)

FTTC stands for Fibre to the Cabinet and it refers to the fact that fibre wires are used up to the point of your street cabinet, where it reverts back to traditional copper the rest of the way to your home.

FTTC internet is generally marketed as “fibre” without any distinction between FTTC and FTTP (more on that below) and will often be split into several options in terms of speed, with lower ranks offering around 36Mbps and the highest being around 65Mbps, though some providers may go up to 100Mbps.

Fibre optic broadband (FTTP)

FTTP stands for Fibre to the Premises and is also known as Full Fibre. This type of broadband is 100% delivered by fibre cables, without relying on copper phone lines at all. For this reason, it’s one of the only types of broadband you can access without needing a working phone line and it also delivers the best speeds, with ultrafast and even hyperfast performance.

Currently, very few providers offer this type of broadband, with Virgin Media being the provider with the widest service area. So far as free installation broadband goes, you might want to hold out for such a deal if you’re after FTTP broadband as it is also the most expensive.

One provider, Gigaclear, does offer installation for free (though other costs may apply) but, not only is the service area of this provider tiny, the installation process is also very invasive.

Do different types of broadband have different set up fees?

This depends on your provider, but generally, you should find they remain the same or certainly not drastically different between deals. At the time of writing the following providers charge the below prices as set up fees:

BT broadband set up costs 

Currently, BT has no mention of set up costs on its site, but it does mention that every new customer will need to pay £9.99 towards an otherwise free Wi-Fi router. If you need a new phone line set up this, as with all other providers, will also be charged as extra.

Virgin Media set up costs

Virgin Media offers three types of fibre optic broadband at different speeds, but all three have the same setup cost of £35.

TalkTalk set up costs

At present, TalkTalk doesn’t impose any set up fees on its broadband deals.

Plusnet set up costs

Plusnet is known for good value, often running deals that waive set-up fees or offer cashback. Currently, Plusnet charges a set-up fee of between £5 and £10 depending on your plan, and these are sometimes discounted plan-by-plan rather than across all offerings.

NOW Broadband set up costs

NOW Broadband tends to take a different approach with its deals, often bundling in free TV options. Currently there are no setup fees charged, but there is a £5 delivery cost for the router.

Vodafone Broadband set up costs

Vodafone’s deals will often include £0 upfront costs, so you can essentially enjoy free broadband for your first month.

John Lewis Broadband set up costs

John Lewis Broadband is unique among other suppliers for having fixed prices, no matter your location, so it may prove to be great value even without discounted set up costs, though currently there are no set up fees.

Can I get free broadband?

If you secure a deal with a supplier that requires no set-up fee and no postage and packaging, you will be able to enjoy what is essentially ‘free’ broadband until your monthly bill is due. It’s a small perk with all things considered, though, so you shouldn’t really base your judgement on what is the best broadband plan on this alone. 

Is no upfront cost broadband cheaper?

In some cases, setup fees being waived are usually compensated for elsewhere, like a higher overall cost or a longer contract. This is not always true, but it’s important you pay close attention to the details of your plan to see if your broadband, upfront fee or not, is the best value.

Fake ‘free’ broadband

Until several years ago, the term ‘free’ broadband was used by providers to disguise the fact that this cost was simply added onto line rental. Ofcom rules have since made it so that providers can no longer pull this trick, but it’s all the more reason to make sure you know precisely what part of your plan is costing you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does free installation on broadband cost me elsewhere?

No, it shouldn’t – your service will still be as normal, a router will still be provided, but you should check if you have to pay extra for postage and packaging, and you will have to pay for the installation of a new line if you don’t have one. 

Can you get broadband with no upfront payment with TV?

Depending on your provider, you can combine your broadband deal with a TV package and still enjoy paying no upfront fees. Virgin Media, Sky, BT and TalkTalk are just some providers who offer TV and broadband deals, with periodic offers that do away with set up costs.

Is installation the same as set-up?

Yes and no, providers use these terms interchangeably but technically set-up refers to the general admin of creating your account, sending out the router etc. while installation refers to having a phone line installed so you can access broadband. Set up costs are more commonly discounted, while installation is rarely offered free, unless part of a very specialised provider like Gigaclear.

Is postage and packaging considered part of set-up costs?

No, not usually. Not all providers will require postage and packaging, but those which do generally won’t consider this part of a set-up fee.

Are these no set-up fee deals always available?

No, these offers occur every few months, especially during peak sale times like January and July, so it’s important to stay on top of when your current broadband contract ends, as you may be just in time to take advantage of these seasonal offers. You should bear in mind that it can take several weeks to make a switch as well, so time everything accordingly.