The best broadband freebies and incentives
BT is offering BT Sport to its broadband customers for free. We look at what other extras broadband companies are giving away.
Around five million BT Broadband customers will get three channels – BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN – included in their deal at no extra charge.
BT Sport has the rights to show 38 Premier League football matches as well as other sports including women’s tennis and rugby's Aviva Premiership.
Under BT’s plans, a customer paying £10 a month for its cheapest internet – plus £15.45 for line rental – will be able to watch these sports for free.
However, they will have to do so through the internet or pay an additional £49 upfront plus £5 a month for BT Vision, to enable them to watch the channels on their TV set.
Is it really free?
Some critics have attacked BT’s use of the word “free” when the price is simply included in the price of an existing service.
Sky says BT customers will inadvertently pay for BT Sport through more expensive broadband and phone services.
Existing BT Broadband customers won’t get BT Sport automatically either; they have to commit to a 12-month broadband contract to get it. So if you’ve less than 12 months to run on your contract you’ll need to commit to a new year-long deal.
New customers, meanwhile, are commonly lured in with free set-top boxes and shopping vouchers.
So what are the main players offering?
Talk Talk’s Plus TV, broadband and phone package costs £10 a month then £15.50 thereafter. Line rental at £14.95 a month is on top. Customers get a YouView TV box (“worth £299”) included as well as “HomeSafe”.
Homesafe gives you control over the type of websites your household can access, across every single device that connects to the internet in your home. It enables customers to block websites they deem unsuitable for their home such as pornography and gambling.
Sky’s unlimited broadband and calls package costs £5 a month for 12 months then £10 a month. Line rental at £14.50 is on top.
The deal includes unlimited Sky Wi-Fi at thousands of hotspots around the country as well as a 12-month trial of McAfee Internet Security Suite.
New customers signing up online also get a £25 M&S voucher.
Customers signing up to Sky’s TV and unlimited broadband package at £21.50 a month for six months then £29 a month (plus £14.50 line rental on top) get a free Sky+ box as well as a £100 M&S voucher.
Virgin Media has been rolling out Wi-Fi across London Underground stations, and offers the service for free to customers with its home broadband and mobile services.
However, if you have an EE or Vodafone mobile contact you can also get underground Wi-Fi for free – and O2 customers will be able to do so from June – so this freebie is not exclusive to Virgin Media.
Virgin Media also offers its best Virgin Mobile deals to existing customers including its new VIP package.
Don’t be swayed by freebies
It’s important not to be too influenced by freebies when choosing a new broadband deal or bundle.
A better plan is to work out the total cost over a year, taking into account:
- Initial discounts
- Set-up costs
- Line rental
- The value of any freebies or incentives.
It’s also a good idea to sit down and work out which TV channels you watch, how fast your broadband needs to be, if you need phone calls included, and how big a download limit is necessary. If you simply go for an all-singing, all-dancing package you might end up paying for things you never use.
Compare broadband deals in your region with broadbandchoices.co.uk.