How does Plusnet's unlimited broadband deal compare?

Anthony Hill
by Lovemoney Staff Anthony Hill on 22 December 2012  |  Comments 2 comments

Unlimited broadband is nothing new, although the choice of providers is still growing. We take a look at what new entrant Plusnet is offering.

How does Plusnet's unlimited broadband deal compare?

Since appearing on TV screens back in 2010 – with amusing adverts touting 'good honest service from down t'road' – Yorkshire-based provider Plusnet has become a household name in broadband throughout Britain.

Our only real gripe was Plusnet's restrictive monthly usage limits, imposed on all of its broadband customers. But that's all about to change with the arrival – finally! – of Plusnet's first unlimited broadband packages.

Let's see what's on offer and how it stacks up against the competition.

Plusnet Unlimited

Sign up for Plusnet's new Unlimited broadband service and for £9.99 a month you'll get download speeds of up to 16Mb with no monthly limits on your usage. For even better value, at the moment you can get 12 months half price – just £4.99 a month.

However, you'll need to be paying Plusnet line rental, which currently costs £13.99 a month. This includes free phone calls on weekday evenings and at the weekend (for calls of up to an hour – you can redial to avoid charges). Plusnet's Unlimited broadband service is also available as a standalone package.

Plusnet Unlimited customers are not subject to a 'fair usage' clause – where you could be charged extra or even disconnected for downloading too heavily – traffic prioritisation is used to help ensure the traffic that is time sensitive such as gaming is protected.

The only other major UK provider offering 'truly unlimited' broadband is Sky, as it uses neither traffic management nor a fair usage policy to restrict its customers' downloads.

Plusnet Fibre Unlimited

If you live in a superfast area – one upgraded with fibre optic technology – you have the option of taking Plusnet Fibre Unlimited broadband. For £19.99 a month you'll get unlimited downloads and much quicker speeds (up to 76Mb) and at the moment it's half price for the first six months (£9.99 a month).

As with Plusnet's standard package, you also need to pay line rental at £13.99 a month. Again, the home phone package includes free calls to other UK landlines on evenings and at weekends (for calls of up to an hour – you can redial to avoid charges). Plusnet's Fibre Unlimited broadband service is also available as a standalone package.

The only unlimited fibre service that's faster – and as widely available – is the Virgin Media 100Mb package, priced from £27 a month, or £34.50 with a TiVo box for TV as well. As with Plusnet, you'd also need to pay line rental, priced at £14.99 a month.

Comparison

Plusnet is one of several providers offering similar unlimited broadband packages. The tables below should help you weigh up the options. Use an Ofcom-accredited price comparison service like broadbandchoices.co.uk to find the best deal available in your area.

Unlimited broadband packages

 

 Plusnet

 TalkTalk

 Sky

 EE

 Virgin Media

Package

Unlimited

Plus TV

Unlimited

Broadband

30Mb

Speed

Up to 16Mb

Up to 14Mb

Up to 14Mb

Up to 14Mb

Up to 30Mb

Usage

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Inclusive Calls

(up to one hr, redial to avoid charges)

Evenings & Weekends

Anytime

Weekends

Evenings & Weekends

Evenings & Weekends

Package Cost

£4.99 a month for 12 months, £9.99 thereafter

£15.50

£10.00

£10.00

Free for 6 months, then £14.50 a month

Line rental

£13.99

£14.95

£14.50

£14.00

£14.99

Contract Length

12 Months

18 Months

12 Months

12 Months

18 Months

Monthly Total

£18.98

£30.45

£24.50

£24.00

£14.99 a month for 6 months, then £29.49 a month

Unlimited fibre optic packages

 

Plusnet

TalkTalk

Sky

EE

 Virgin Media

Package

Unlimited Fibre

Fibre Large with Essentials

Fibre Pro

Fibre

60Mb

Speed

Up to 76Mb

Up to 76Mb

Up to 76Mb

Up to 76Mb

Up to 60Mb

Usage

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Inclusive Calls

(up to one hr, redial to avoid charges)

Evenings & Weekends

Evenings & Weekends

Weekends

Evenings & Weekends

Evenings & Weekends

Package Cost

£9.99 for 6 months, then £19.99 a month

£21.50

£30.00

£30.00

£9.60 for 6 months, then £24.10 a month

Line rental

£13.99

£14.95

£14.50

£14.00

£14.99

Contract Length

18 Months

18 Months

12 Months

18 months

18 Months

Monthly Total

£23.98 for 6 months, then £33.98 a month

£36.45

£44.50

£44.00

£24.59 for 6 months, then £39.09 a month

Anthony Hill is broadband expert at comparison website BroadbandChoices.

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Comments (2)

  • Megatyte
    Love rating 23
    Megatyte said

    There's no need for Sky to use traffic management (throttling). Their download speeds are already appalling.

    A H

    Report on 22 December 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Plusnet
    Love rating 1
    Plusnet said

    Hi all,

    We'd just like to clarify a couple of points raised in the article.

    Regarding line rental, while you do need a BT line in order to be able to order our services that can be from any provider who resells BT phone lines - you don't need to be paying us your line rental (though we hope the offer of 6 months half price service will tempt some to move their phone service to us of course).

    Also, like Sky, we do regard our Unlimited service as 'truly' unlimited - in contradiction of what's posted above there are no rate limits imposed on the Unlimited service at any time. We do use prioritisation on certain types of traffic (VoIP, Gaming, streaming video and other time sensitive types) but we do this to ensure that those services still work as designed if the line is being used to download at the same time. For a more detailed explanation of how and why we do our traffic shaping please take a look at Dave's blog here: http://community.plus.net/blog/2012/12/21/its-unlimited-why-is-it-still-traffic-managed/

    Hope that clears up a couple of things, cheers.

    Regards,

    Matt Taylor

    Plusnet Customer Support

    Report on 24 December 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love

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