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Frequently asked questions
- Why should you use broadbandchoices.co.uk?
If you've had the same broadband package for a few years there's a good chance you're paying over the odds. And, if you're doing more and more online, it may no longer be able to keep up with you. Or perhaps you want to upgrade a package that includes phone calls, TV or something else.
This is where we come in. Put your postcode into our comparison calculator - approved by UK communications regulator Ofcom, so you can trust it's impartial - and we'll show you what deals are available where you live clearly and simply. You can then tailor the results and find exclusive deals.
Place your order online and that's it - the provider will take care of the switch from there. We've also got loads of guides and videos put together by our experts to help you choose the right package and get the most out of it, as well as a speed tester so you can work out if you need to switch broadband.
- Can I save money switching provider?
We make it our business to find a great choice of deals for consumers - switching may, and often does, mean you can get a cheaper deal on your broadband, phone or TV service. However, for some customers, cost isn't the biggest issue. It is a matter of getting more for their money - a faster connection, free calls, higher usage allowance, more digital TV channels for example. It all depends on your needs, and the best thing about our switching service is that you can set your preferences so the packages offered will be tailored to suit your particular needs be that price, or speed, or additional features. Hey presto - happy customers with the right packages for them.
- Can I keep my old email address?
We all get attached to our email address (even the borderline risquÃ© one that seemed funny at the time but didn't work too well on your CV), and providers are wise to this and offer free email addresses when you sign up with the aim of keeping you emotionally tied to the company forever more.
Some providers will let you keep access to your emails for free indefinitely, or for a set period while you transfer to a new service, or just for as long as the account remains active. Others will allow you to keep your email address for a monthly fee. However, with some, you'll lose your email address the minute you switch.
Make sure you double check what your provider's policy is before your switch date, but as a back-up you could forward your important emails and address lists to an alternative address before your service is due to switch.
- Will bundling save me money?
The great thing about bundling your services i.e. getting two or more of your home communications services from the same provider, is that it can potentially make your life both easier AND cheaper. Certain bundles can mean savings of more than Â£400 when compared with certain separate deals. Plus, you will only have to deal with one supplier rather than getting two or three separate bills each month, and even worse, having to contact several different call centres if you have problems with your services.
However, think carefully before you bundle. If you don't plan on using one of the services then unless having it is cheaper than not, it's not worth getting.
- Can I get broadband without a phone line?
The rise of the mobile has for many of us brought the demise of the home telephone. So it irks a little to have to pay the monthly line rental charge for a service that we don't feel like we use simply to get a broadband connection. But is there an alternative?
Cable giant Virgin Media is the only top UK provider to offer broadband without a telephone line. Its fibre optic network is completely separate from the copper phone wire network that ordinarily connects you to the web.
Aside from this, the only alternative is to use mobile broadband instead - then you have no requirement for a landline BUT if your internet use is anything other than particularly light, this might just prove to be too slow or too restrictive to need your needs.
If these aren't an option, then finding a provider with a low line rental charge might be your best bet.
- Do you list every broadband provider on your site?
As an Ofcom-accredited site, we make sure we offer a wide range of providers and packages to give our customers a great choice of local deals. We don't list all providers but the providers we do list account for over 95% of all consumer broadband connections in the UK and include all of the major players as well as a number of the smaller ones too. We don't list every single broadband package from each of the providers listed on our site, but you can be assured that the ones we do list are the amongst the most competitive deals on offer and we regularly have exclusive deals to offer broadbandchoices customers even better value. The broadband market is constantly shifting so we update the provider and package details on a regular basis to ensure the results you see are up to date and accurate. However, if you spot an error anywhere, please do let us know so we can correct it ( Customer.Services@broadbandchoices.co.uk )
- How do we rank your results?
By total first year cost, including everything from installation fees to postage and packing. We were one of the first comparison sites to do this as we think it provides the clearest picture of how much you'll pay and it's easy to be enticed by introductory offers that can look better value than they are.
However, you can rank the results to suit yourself using the drop-down 'sort' menu at the top right corner of our results page, which lets you rank them by contract length, monthly cost, provider, speed, upfront cost and usage through ticking the relevant box.
We don't manipulate the results in any way whatsoever, which is why we're approved by Ofcom, the UK communications custodians. We do have some sponsored listings, such as the featured providers on our homepage, but these don't influence the results our comparison calculator shows you.
- What is traffic management?
Traffic management - also known as traffic shaping - is a technique used by broadband providers to prioritise, ration and even restrict how networks and connections are used by customers like you. This is done to ensure a smooth-running service, even when a lot of are people using the internet at the same time.
It might sound about as easy to get your head around as the Large Hadron Collider, but it's actually a pretty simple concept.
Think of broadband as a motorway. When the 'motorway' gets congested, traffic management is like a priority lane that keeps certain types of traffic moving. The kind of traffic that's prioritised differs from provider to provider, but in general things like streaming video content - watching EastEnders on BBC iPlayer, for example - are given right of way to keep it from buffering or cutting out.
Traffic that doesn't necessarily need to get anywhere quickly, like downloading movies and music, is usually kept to the regular lanes during peak times - rush hour if you will - as is light traffic like emails, which can get to its destination without needing a lot of space on the road, kind of like a motorbike.
However, remember that every broadband provider's traffic management policy is different. Some providers traffic manage their entire network, meaning if you are constantly downloading really big files, say high-definition (HD) films, you may see the speed of your connection restricted during peak times to keep things moving for other people with the same provider.
Others only prioritise traffic on individual connections, so if you're downloading a Blu-ray-quality film on your laptop and then start playing GTA 5 - Grand Theft Auto V to you non-gamers - online on your Xbox, the former may be slowed down so you can do the latter without it pausing or cutting out. However, what others do online won't affect you.
Traffic management policies apply to most broadband packages. If you want to see your broadband provider's traffic management policy, you can find links to those of the major providers in the UK below.
Confused by broadband blurb in general? Then have a butcher's at our super-easy to understand broadband jargon buster.
- How does broadbandchoices make money?
broadbandchoices receives commissions and advertising fees from the companies that appear on our site. This does not push up the cost of any service that you might subscribe to through our site and we do not charge you for any of the services we offer on the website. Our listings include the providers that comply with our strict listing criteria - relating to the quality and comprehensiveness of each provider's service. In addition to this, our commercial arrangements do not impact on the way we list the providers or packages that appear in your results list.
Our comparison calculator also has the much sought-after Ofcom seal of approval so you can be extra confident of our impartiality.
Our calculator lets you compare costs against other providers, check for hidden costs and fair usage policies so you can make sure you are choosing the right deal for you. We rank broadband packages on our site by total first year cost and you can also select other ways to rank the results including monthly cost, download limits or speed.
Our 'Featured deals' table contains sponsored listings chosen by broadbandchoices. For the wider list of packages, sorted according to your chosen criteria, you can enter your postcode in the postcode box.
We are dedicated to providing informative, impartial content that offers true value to our customers.
- Why do we need your postcode?
This means you can put your postcode into our comparison calculator and look for a package that's both better and cheaper than the one you've got safe in their knowledge that you won't be bombarded with junk mail in the near future.
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