Cut broadband costs

It’s especially important to check whether you might be paying over the odds for broadband

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Rising living costs mean that many of us are looking at ways we can tighten our belts and reviewing your broadband deal can be a good place to start.

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There’s not much anyone can do about soaring energy costs right now, as currently the cheapest option is usually to stay or roll onto your provider’s default standard variable tariff. However, it’s a different story with broadband bills, with millions of people paying much more than they need to because they stick with the same provider year after year.

It’s especially important to check whether you might be paying over the odds for broadband if you signed up to an 18-month deal during the first lockdown last year and it’s now coming to an end. Comparison site Uswitch.com claims that consumers coming off an 18-month deal they bought in the first week of lockdown could save £159 a year on average by signing up to a new tariff, with some Virgin Media customers able to reduce their bills by as much as £354 a year.

A spokesman for Uswitch.com said: “Customers who were on Virgin Media M100 Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & Phone deal pay £26 a month in contract, but this almost doubles to £51 a month when the deal expires. By switching to Vodafone Superfast 2 Broadband, they could be paying only £21.50 a month.”

Many broadband providers launch new deals in the run up to an on Black Friday on November 26, so if your contract has recently finished or is due to end soon, keep an eye out for competitive offers over the next few weeks.

Barriers to switching

Many people are reluctant to change broadband suppliers because they are worried that they’ll lose their connection, or that they won’t be able to keep their email address if they move to a different provider.

Most providers will allow you to keep your email address if you switch away from them. For example, if you have a BT email address but want to move to a new provider, you can keep your email with the same features, by linking it to a friend or family member’s BT Broadband, which is free. Alternatively, you can keep your email but with more basic features by getting Basic email, which is free, or you can keep your email with the same features by getting Premium email, which costs £7.50 a month. Similarly, if you want to move away from Sky, it will also allow you to keep your Sky email address.

If you’re worried about being offline while your switch takes place, usually any interruption will be short, and your provider will let you know when the switch is happening, so you’re prepared.

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Before about changing your broadband package, it’s a good idea to use an online speed checker first to see what speeds you’re currently getting. You can then use broadband comparison sites to see which deals are available to you. When choosing a deal, think carefully about how long you want your next deal to last, along with how much data you’re likely to use, so you can be certain you choose the right package to suit your needs.