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Plusnet: the cheapest broadband in the UK

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Two new broadband packages from Plusnet will see you pay as little as £173 for a year's internet access - the cheapest broadband around!


Plusnet has launched two exclusive online deals with BroadbandChoices this week which the firm claims offer the best value broadband and calls on the market.

So let’s take a look at exactly how good these offers actually are and what makes them different to the others on the market.

The Plusnet deals

First up, the Plusnet Broadband + Evening and Weekend Calls package gives you £50 cashback with free off-peak calls to UK landlines and broadband at half price (£3.24) for five months. It will then cost you £6.49 a month for the rest of the 12-month contract.

But for those who love to talk the Plusnet Broadband + Anytime Calls package could be a better fit. This bundle offers you a reduced price for five months at £6.74 (£9.99 thereafter) and £50 cashback for unlimited calls to UK landlines so you can chat night or day.

Both deals have broadband speeds of up to 16MB with a limit of 10GB on usage. This is not too bad considering 60 hours of websurfing uses just 1.5GB, though it may not be appropriate if you are a regular downloader.

These two deals also come in an ‘Extra’ package option, which comes with a beefier 60GB limit.

The line rental on both packages is £12.99 a month, but you could make a saving here if you choose to pay an upfront sum of £113.88. That works out as £9.49 a month and a saving of £42 over the year. Installation is free and you get a modem at no extra charge but you will have to pay a cheeky £4.99 for the postage and packaging.

However, in order to get this great value deal your property must be in a Plusnet Low Cost Area. If you do not live in one of these areas, the price you pay will increase significantly. Check if your area qualifies for these great deals here.

Both packages are exclusives to BroadbandChoices and are only available online. You have until the 9th of July to sign up or switch.

But are these deals really the cheapest around? Let’s take a look at how they compare in each of their bundle categories.

Evening and weekend calls with broadband

If you don’t mind keeping your calls to the weekends or during the evening, these broadband bundles are a perfect fit. I've arranged them by first-year cost and included the Plusnet cashback in the calculations.

Package

The deal

Boradband Speed (up to)

Broadband usage limits

Monthly cost

Monthly line rental

Total first year cost

Plusnet Broadband + Evening & Weekend Calls

Five months half-price broadband and calls

16MB

10GB

£3.24 for first five months, £6.49 thereafter

£12.99

£172.50

Primus Phone and Boradband Saver

£2.99 for 12 months

14MB

40GB

£2.99

£12.79

£194.31

Tesco Broadband & Evening and Weekend Calls

£2.50 for 12 months

14MB

Unlimited

£2.50

£13.75

£195.00

Sky Unlimited + Talk Freetime

Free for first 6 months 

14MB

Unlimited

Free for first six months, £10.00 thereafter

£12.25

£209.18

Talk Talk Broadband + Phone Essentials

£3.25 or half-price for 12 months

14MB

Unlimited

£3.25

£14.50

£213.00

BT Broadband + Evening and Weekend Calls

Six months free broadband and calls

16MB

10GB

Free for first six months, £13.00 thereafter

£14.60

£260.15

Virgin Media Broadband: 30Mb + Phone M

Six months half-price with £30 credit

30MB

Unlimited

£7.25 for six months,£14.50 thereafter

£13.90

£267.30

Orange Broadband & off peak calls

£10.00 for 12 months

14MB

Unlimited

£10.00

£13.50

£282.00

Anytime calls with broadband

But if you are a notorious chatterbox, take a look at the packages offering unlimited calls (to UK landlines) with broadband, again arranged by lowest first-year cost and including the Plusnet cashback in the calculations.

Package

The deal

Boradband Speed (up to)

Broadband usage limits

Monthly cost

Monthly line rental

Total first year cost

Plusnet Broadband + Anytime calls

Five months reduced price

16MB

10GB

£6.74 for five months, £9.99 thereafter

£12.99

£214.50

Tesco Broadband & Anytime Calls

£7 for 12 months

14MB

Unlimited

£7.00

£13.75

£225.00

Sky Unlimited + Talk Unlimited

First six months free

14MB

Unlimited

First six months free, £15.00 thereafter

£12.25

£239.18

BT Broadband + Anytime Calls

Six months free broadband and calls

16MB

10GB

First six months free,  £13.00 thereafter

£14.60

£260.15

Talk Talk Boradband + Phone- Plus

Six months half price broadband and calls

14MB

Unlimited

£7.25 for six months, £14.50 thereafter

£14.50

£304.50

Orange Broadband & Anytime Calls

£15 for 12 months

14MB

Unlimited

£15.00

£13.50

£342.00

Market leading?

From the table I have put together it appears that Plusnet’s new deals are the market leaders in both categories.

However, it is important to point out that the total first-year cost on the Plusnet deals have been calculated by subtracting the £50 you receive as cashback.

When you sign up or switch onto any one of the Plusnet deals, you are given £50 cashback by cheque after 30 days. No other provider gives you anywhere near this amount in cash, instead luring customers with gift cards of a much smaller value and limited to one particular store. BT for example offers a £25 Sainsbury’s gift card when you sign up, Orange offers a generous £45 (but only for use at Amazon) and Virgin offers a £30 credit to your bill.

None of the providers as far as I can tell want to give you money to spend elsewhere and make a real saving like Plusnet does.

If you don’t take the £50 cashback into account when working out the total first-year cost, the figures are very different: the off peak package becomes £222.50 and the unlimited calls deal works out as £264.50. This adjustment places the Plusnet’s deals lower down the tables and leaves Tesco and Primus as the market leaders.

Pay upfront and save

If you have the money right now you could save a whole lot more with the significant discounts available when you pay for line rental upfront.

The Plusnet deal for example can offer further savings when you pay line rental in advance on both of their deals. A saving of £42 can be had if you hand over £113.88 upfront which works out as £9.49 a month instead of £12.99. This brings the total first year cost down to £130.50 for the off peak and £172.50 for the anytime calls package.

Talk Talk as of last week now offer a similar up front deal on their line rental. Pay £114 for a year in advance, which is £9.50 a month and you could save £60 compared to if you paid £14.50 monthly. This brings the total first year costs for the Talk Talk deal down to £153 for the Essentials package and £244.50 for the Plus package.

Price is not everything

A cheap deal can look great but don’t forget, before signing up to a new package, always ensure you’ve done your research fully and shopped around using a comparison service such as BroadbandChoices to ensure you’re getting a good deal for your needs.

More phone and broadband stories:

Tesco launches unlimited broadband for £2.50 a month

Broadband speeds: broadband providers are lying to us

BT launches phone and broadband deal for £3.50 a month

Sky TalkTalk: the broadband providers that upgrade your account without asking

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