In the digital age, a reliable and high-speed broadband connection is almost as essential as electricity and water. The cost of this, however, can sometimes leave you out of pocket. The good news is when it comes to broadband, it’s possible to get both high quality and speed without paying over the odds. Here are some practical ways to save money on your broadband while still enjoying all the benefits.
Regularly Review Your Plan
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As with any regular bill, it always pays to check what you’re actually getting. Providers frequently change their plans and promotions. So take the time to regularly review yours, and see what else is out there. Here’s four things you can do:
- Take Advantage of Promotions and Offers
Because the market is so competitive, providers regularly run broadband promotions or limited-time offers. This includes switching or upgrading your plan, or discounts for taking out extra services. Be careful though – there may be some nasty surprises, like a long-term contract, so be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions.
- Explore Discount Programs
Some broadband providers offer discounts for specific types of customers, like students, pensioners, or workers in specific sectors like education. Check with your provider to see if you qualify, as typically these offers won’t be easy to find – but could result in substantial savings.
- Negotiate for Discounts
Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a discount with your broadband provider, especially if you’ve been with them for some time. It’s almost always in their best interest to keep you, and they have teams dedicated to customers who threaten to take their business elsewhere.
- Opt for Off-Peak Plans
If your internet usage tends to be at more untypical hours (outside 7-11pm), or you can afford to be flexible, it’s worth asking about an off-peak plan. These often come with lower rates during specific times. Be mindful, though – if you have a phone line as part of your broadband package, the off-peak hours may not be the same.
Change Your Speed
While full fibre broadband generally offers the best speed, reliability and often the best value for money, it’s important to understand what’s possible in your home. Not all properties are capable of receiving the high speed cables necessary to deliver a full fibre service.
Depending on how you use your broadband, you may not even need the highest broadband speeds. If you have a large family that streams video games and movies at the same time, you’ll need more bandwidth. Otherwise, many non-Fibre plans will probably meet your needs.
Also bear in mind that some broadband plans have data caps. Going over them will result in additional charges. So check your data usage regularly, understand what is using up the most, and consider plans with higher caps if you’re consistently approaching the limit. Alternatively, to sleep easier at night, go for an unlimited data plan.
Bundle and Save
As other household bills continue to rise, it’s helpful to look at them as one expense. Saving a few pounds on your broadband is no use if you’re forking out hundreds unnecessarily on your energy. Instead, bundling your bills is one option to save on your overall cost, as you’ll often get a discount for combining services. One company that offers this is Utility Warehouse (UW), including a range of broadband deals.
In fact, UW is the UK’s only genuine multi service provider, which means you can get energy, broadband, mobile and insurance all in one bill. And the more services you switch, the more you save – in some cases, over £400. There’s also no sneaky mid-contract price hikes involved, which means peace of mind as well as pennies in your pocket.
Embracing Sustainable Broadband
Broadband usage may not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of climate change, but the carbon footprint of our gadgets, the internet and the infrastructure that supports them made up around 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions in 2020 – almost the same as the airline industry. By 2025, these emissions will have doubled.
As a result, it’s important to consider how to manage your broadband usage, including how it gets to you in the first place. Fiber represents a more eco-friendly solution, as its manufacture is less carbon intensive, and requires fewer materials than other options which typically involve copper. Fiber optic cables are made from silicon and oxygen, which do not require mining to extract. Producing Fiber, in terms of carbon footprint, is less than 10,000 times as harmful as producing copper wires. It will also last significantly longer, and is less likely to need repair. Fiber networks also consume less energy than copper ones, and produce less heat, which means less need for cooling.
Once you’re sourcing your broadband more sustainably, then consider your usage. For example, if every UK adult sent just one fewer ‘thank you’ email each year, over 16,000 tonnes of carbon would be saved. That’s the same as 3,334 diesel cars.
Watching online videos accounts for over 60% of the world’s internet traffic, enough to generate over 1% of total global emissions. As streaming on mobile has twice the carbon footprint than broadband – and if you’re not careful, may well end up being more expensive, too – try to limit your usage to the home.