Can I have broadband without a landline?

September 27th, 2022
Can I have broadband without a landline?

Internet usage has soared to record levels in recent years, with most of us getting online for work, leisure and for staying connected with friends and family. In fact, recent figures show that the average adult now spends four hours a day- or more than a quarter of their waking hours- online [1]. This means many of us are seeking faster and cheaper ways to get connected and it is this quest that prompts the question – can I get broadband without a landline?

Broadband is a type of high-speed internet connection that has replaced dial-up as the main way to connect to the internet. A landline is usually included within a broadband package and allows your household to gain access to the internet. However, it is possible to get broadband without landline in UK homes and businesses.

There are several reasons why you may want to have a broadband connection without the use of a landline. One of the principal reasons is that more and more of us rely only on our mobile phones and do not want to pay for a landline that is never used to make calls. Figures show that in 2000, 95% of homes in the UK had landlines, but that figure has fallen to around 80% [2]. It is thought a fair proportion of these only have a landline as part of a broadband package.

The advantages of UK broadband without landline include:

  • Saving you money on bills or rental of a landline which is never used
  • Fewer cold calls
  • Potentially faster internet speeds and better connection, particularly if you live in a remote area with poor coverage
  • Avoidance of phone interference when using the internet

Can all broadband users go landline free?

Whether you can go landline free depends on what options you have available in your area. Any type of internet connection that relies on a copper phone line to get to your home will still demand a landline. This type of internet connection, known as ADSL copper broadband, is available to all in the UK as it runs through the country’s copper phone line network. A landline will still be required if this is the only type of connection available to your home. Some providers, including BT, are currently attempting to end the use of its copper-based services, switching instead to fibre optic networks.

Fibre broadband

Fibre broadband is an alternative to ADSL copper broadband and may be a way to ditch the landline. Fibre broadband is hailed as the latest and best type of high-speed broadband. Instead of relying on copper telephone cables, it uses new fibre optic cables to achieve greater speeds. However, if you opt for this kind of broadband connection, there are some instances in which you will still need to keep a landline. One type of fibre broadband is fibre-to-the-cabinet (FFTC). This is the most common type of broadband connection used in UK homes, covering around 96% of the country. It uses a mix of fibre and copper cables to provide broadband to homes. The broadband enters the home via existing copper telephone wires but is taken from the exchange to the cabinet through fibre cables. This means a landline will still be needed to get this kind of broadband connection in your home.

Full fibre broadband

In some areas, fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband may be available. This refers to broadband that is wired directly to the home through fibre cables instead of a cabinet that services the area. It is also known as full fibre broadband and does not require a landline. There are very few providers offering FTTP, with many of the best-known providers, including Sky and BT, offering FTTC instead. Virgin is the best-known FTTP provider in the country.

FTTP broadband connection is being heavily invested in for the future, both by the industry and the government. BT is among the companies working to offer a BT broadband without landline package by rolling out a £2.5 billion fibre broadband solution. Fibre broadband can reach speeds of up to 1000 Mbps (although no current UK provider currently offers such a high speed) but only covers around 30% of the country right now. The government has plans in place to increase this figure to 85% by 2025.

Virgin Media currently offers the widest full fibre broadband coverage in the country. The company has set 2028 as its target for upgrading its entire UK network to full fibre. But, while you may save on the cost of a landline, Virgin broadband without landline may not always be the cheapest option. Free Price Compare can help you compare prices for broadband deals by simply logging in and entering a few details so you can shop around to find the cheapest and most suitable option for you.

If you do decide and are able to switch to FTTP broadband connection, you will need a technician to come and sort it out for you. It is usually completed in a matter of hours and once connected to FTTP, you will not be able to go back to FTTC broadband without an engineer coming to change the connection again. Due to the high speeds it can reach, FTTP broadband is ideal for people who download or stream a lot of content, such as YouTube videos.

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband is another alternative to having broadband which requires a landline. To get mobile broadband, you need to have a dongle which connects into a USB port of your computer to get to the internet. While this is useful, especially if you are travelling, it can be less reliable than a wired connection and is dependent on the strength of your mobile signal. You may also experience problems if several members of the same household all try to get online at the same time. Mobile broadband usually runs on a 4G network and can reach speeds of up to 24 Mbps. This means it is usually enough for basic online activities. EE broadband without landline is another option, after being launched in 2020. Other providers including Three, O2, Vodafone and Virgin Media are also offering mobile connections.

5G mobile broadband

5G has the potential to have a massive impact on the UK broadband without landline landscape. It is currently being rolled out across the UK and offers extremely high download speeds, with the potential to reach 200Mbps.

One option to take advantage of 5G mobile broadband is to tether your mobile phone. This essentially means linking other devices to your phone to take advantage of 5G. Choosing 5G can often be the best way to get no contract broadband without landline.

Unfortunately, in many areas of the UK, the signal may be weak and people living in these ‘not spots’ will find their service slower and less reliable. Also, mobile data can often be more expensive than fixed line broadband, while exceeding download limits may mean you have to pay for extra 5G.

Some mobile network operators are also now providing home broadband, which utilises 4 or 5G data. A wireless router with a SIM card is needed to get you online. Vodafone is just one of the providers offering 5G Home Broadband, an option for anyone looking for Vodafone broadband without landline.

Satellite broadband

Satellite broadband is another landline free option but does involve the installation of a satellite dish and transmitter on the roof of your home. While this may be great for hard-to-reach areas where fibre optic and ADSL broadband are not readily available, satellite broadband tends to have download limits, some latency, is affected by severe weather and is often not the most cost-effective. Installation can often cost hundreds of pounds and monthly bills tend to be higher.

Things to consider before switching to a landline-free broadband option

While broadband without a landline can suit those who pay for a landline but do not use it, there are other factors to take into account before deciding to make the change.

You need to consider: –

  • The amount of data you will need. If you work from home and use the internet a lot, for example, you may wish to select a deal which offers unlimited broadband.
  • The speed of your current broadband and whether that is a factor for changing.
  • The length of the contract you have now and the length of contract you are looking for. If you plan to change before your current contract has expired, you may incur some charges. This may mean it is not cost-effective to change as the charges outweigh the cost of the landline.

How do you switch to broadband without landline in the UK?

The first step is to do your research and look at all the broadband options available in your area. You need to know whether you are seeking just internet connection or want to bundle this together with other services such as television packages.

Once you have made this decision, you need to contact your current provider and ask for your MAC code. MAC stands for Migration Authorisation Code and is a unique code which is necessary when changing broadband provider. The MAC is free to obtain and is valid for 30 days once issued.

Once you have decided on a broadband type that you want, you will need to shop around for the best deal possible. Free Price Compare can help you do this. Simply enter your postcode online and find the best deals in your area within seconds.

When you sign up with your new broadband provider, you will need to enter your MAC code.

Is home broadband without landline always cheaper?

It is extremely important to shop around and compare prices through Free Price Compare before switching broadband. If your main motivation for getting landline free broadband is saving money, you may find that is not the case. Broadband without landline deals may not always be the cheapest. However, if your main motivation to switch is speed or data allowance, you may find you have more success. As many of the landline-free broadband options involve full fibre networks, or cable networks, they often offer faster speeds.

What does the future of broadband look like?

Within just a few years, broadband without a landline is likely to be the norm in the UK, as more companies and the government invest in fibre broadband. For now, however, broadband with a landline is still very much the norm. Perhaps because it is in its relative infancy, broadband without landline is generally more expensive, although it does offer faster speeds and better download limits. There are still other options for broadband without landline, including mobile broadband, full fibre and satellite broadband, but these must be fully researched and compared before you commit to the change.

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