If you’re buying all three services together, think about what your household needs out of each one. So, for example, when it comes to broadband, think about how much data will be used and how speedy it needs to be. To make things easier, here’s a look at things to consider when bundling broadband, phone and TV:
• Broadband – one of the key points to think about, is how much you use the internet. Internet usage is measured in ‘data’ so the more time you spend online, the greater the amount of data you’ll use. So, if your home is a gadget haven where everyone has their own laptop or tablet, and downloads lots of movies, TV, and music; then look for packages that give you unlimited data. Of course, unlimited data comes at a cost, but getting limited data packages and then going over that limit, could cost you even more.
Speed, is the other broadband element you’ll need to look at. But depending on where you live, you might not have a huge amount of choice as speed is limited to what’s available in your area. There are three main ways that broadband can be delivered into your home – ADSL, cable and fibre optic.
ADSL is the most common but it’s the slowest; the fastest is fibre optic broadband and sitting somewhere in-between is cable. Around 89% of homes have access to superfast broadband but if you live in the countryside, that drops to just over half (59%).
• Phone – using your landline might seem so last century, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for a great deal on your home phone. It sounds basic but look at how much a provider charges for local, national and international calls, or calls to a mobile. Some packages also offer free calls during certain times, to certain numbers, or to those on the same network as you. Things to watch out for with your landline, include line rental and connection charges, so make sure you factor these in when you’re doing your sums. Most packages require a landline but it’s probably more important to think about what you really need. If you already get a lot of minutes with your mobile deal you might just need the most basic line option. But if you have family abroad and think you need the international discounts, you might want to consider using Skype/Facetime instead to save money and get unlimited broadband instead.
• TV – when it comes to TV, there are more channels than you can shake a stick at. Making your channel choices is a bit like deciding on breakfast options on a menu and you’ll usually be able to tailor the mix to how you like – whether it’s sport, US drama, kids’ channels or films.
Some bundles also offer access to TV on demand (such as BBC iPlayer) through digital TV apps as well as to other subscription services like Netflix. If, on the other hand you’re not too fussed about particular channels, then Freeview bundles (which offer free digital TV) might be the best (and most inexpensive) bet.