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Cheap broadband deals

Find the right cheap broadband deal for you

Learn why low-cost broadband doesn't mean slow broadband, and find out if a cheap broadband deal is right for you.

Key things to know about cheap broadband:

  • Cheap broadband isn't slow broadband - prices often differ by provider too

  • It's very likely you can get cheap broadband - some low cost providers are available to 97% of the UK

  • If you're on Universal Credit, you could qualify for a discounted broadband social tariff

We're working in partnership with Uswitch to bring you the best broadband experience. This means if you click or tap a link in this guide we might take you to a Uswitch page.

With bills staying high and broadband prices increasing every year, it can certainly feel like broadband is more expensive nowadays.

But while mid-contract price hikes have emerged again in 2024, it's still possible to find cheap broadband. If your broadband contract is ending soon, you could almost certainly get a cheaper broadband plan than your current one. This is because most internet providers hike their prices when your initial agreement term ends.

Here are our tips on how to get a cheap broadband deal.

How to get cheap broadband

To find the cheapest broadband deal, you have 3 main options: 

1. Switch to a new provider. Find out what internet deals are available in your area, as some providers only cover specific areas of the UK. Also, find out when you can switch and if there’s an exit fee. Then calculate if it’s still worth switching, even with the exit fee.

2. Downgrade your broadband package to reduce your broadband speed, cut some of the elements in your package, or both. For example, if your children have moved out, you might not need faster broadband to accommodate gaming or streaming.

3. Negotiate with your existing provider to reduce your monthly cost. Haggling is very common between broadband customers and providers, and you might find you get a better value deal. 

Many providers give their best deals to new customers, which is why so many people switch broadband at the end of their contract [link to switching article]. If you haven’t compared what you’re paying with what’s available for a while, you might be surprised at how much you could save. 

Our tips for finding a good cheap broadband deal

Shop around before you renew your contract. Companies are legally required to contact customers 10-40 days before their contract ends. But the new deals they offer might not be the right option for you. So it always pays to compare other offers before deciding on your next plan.

Avoid agreeing to extras you don’t need. Some companies throw in extras such as bundled TV services or parental controls for the same monthly payment. If you don’t need this, don’t take it and ask about their cheap broadband deals.

Make sure introductory offers and incentives are worth it. If you’re selecting a deal with a gift voucher or bill credit, work out the ‘effective’ cost per month for the length of the contract. Be realistic about whether you would definitely find perks like vouchers useful.

Look out for mid-contract price hikes. Providers often increase prices during the contract in line with inflation. Many providers add their own 3-4% increase on top of the inflation rate. This means that some customers’ bills increased by over 8% in early 2024.

Be aware of adverts promising cheap broadband deals. From December 2023, the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) banned broadband adverts that don’t make potential mid-contract price rises clear. It also warned that any information about inflation must be clear and simple to understand.

Think about the importance of good customer service. Consider how important customer service is to you and what that’s worth. Having support when you need it might be important if you’re looking for a business broadband deal.

How can I get cheap broadband on Universal Credit?

If you receive universal credit, you may be entitled to cheaper broadband by moving to a social tariff. These cheap broadband tariffs start from just £10 a month.

At least 10 of the main UK providers offer social tariffs, including

  • BT
  • EE
  • Community Fibre
  • NOW
  • Sky
  • Virgin Media
  • KCOM
  • Hyperoptic

Social tariffs from these providers are available to over 4 million households in the UK. However, in 2023 Ofcom reported that only 5% of eligible customers have signed up for social tariffs. That’s around 220,000 people. This means millions of people are missing out on cheaper broadband and average annual savings of up to £200.

If you can’t find any details about social tariffs on your provider’s website, it’s worth giving them a call or searching their name online. Use the phrase 'social tariff' when you search online.

What if I need cheaper broadband because of financial hardship?

Over a quarter (28%) of people are struggling to afford communication services, according to the Ofcom Communications Affordability Tracker, September 2023.

This percentage is higher for people who:

  • Are financially vulnerable
  • Have a limiting condition
  • Are on means-tested benefits

If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, your broadband provider must work with you to keep you connected where possible.

Contact your current broadband provider as soon as possible if you can’t afford your bills. There’s a code of conduct for supporting people who are struggling financially and being cut off should be a last resort.

How to negotiate for cheaper broadband

Plan ahead before you call to haggle for cheaper broadband. Start by doing a comparison of other providers offering the same broadband speeds and packages. Some providers might price-match any deals you’ve found.

More tips for negotiating cheap broadband deals:

  • Write out a script before you ring if that helps you stay focused
  • Be calm and polite, but firm
  • Make sure you’re comfortable and not feeling rushed, as negotiating may take time and patience
  • Call your broadband provider at the right time – approximately a month before your contract ends
  • Haggle over the phone if you can, although some providers offer a live chat option
  • Make sure you’re talking to the right team, usually called the retention or broadband cancellations team.
  • Tell them what other providers offer in the way of extras and incentives. It helps to have already calculated the financial value of any vouchers, etc.
  • Ask about other freebies or discounts
  • If you’re unsuccessful, wait a few days and try again with another advisor