Can I Get Broadband Without a Landline?
Find out if it's possible to get connected without the need for a home phone
Amelia Crew

Many people wonder why they need to pay for a landline in order to have broadband in their homes. Younger generations may never have used a landline and can't help but query why they have to pay for one costing up to £200 annually. Fortunately, there are now alternatives for people who no longer want or need to pay for line rental.

Are you getting the most from your broadband package?
Over 4 million homes are outside their broadband minimum contract term, and could significantly save by switching. How much will you save?

Why Do We Have a Landline?

It is estimated that more that 90% of the over-60's still use a landline to make and receive phone calls. Many people couldn't imaging not having a landline in their home. In contrast, this figure falls drastically for the under-30's, some of whom have never been used to making phone calls this way.

However, the good old landline is not just for phone calls! The majority of broadband packages available in the UK use the landline to connect homes to the network. Landlines can also be used to connect home security systems to their emergency call centres.

Why Do Broadband Providers Use Landlines?

First of all, there are four different ways to connect to the internet:

  • ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
  • Fibre
  • Cable
  • 4G Mobile Broadband

The most common of these methods of connection in the UK at the moment are ADSL and Fibre Broadband. Both use the copper wires in your telephone line to send and receive internet data at high speeds.

ADSL is also known as Standard Broadband and was the first technology that allowed us to surf the web and talk on the phone at the same time. This is possible because the internet data travels along the copper wires at a different frequency to your voice signals.  Standard Broadband uses the copper wires of the telephone system from your home to the exchange.
Fibre Broadband still needs to use the copper telephone wires, but only to connect your home to the nearest on-street cabinet. Fibre Broadband then uses high-speed fibre optic cables to connect the cabinet to the exchange.

Broadband That Doesn't Need a Landline

Cable Broadband, as the name suggests, uses the cable television infrastructure rather than the telephone system to connect to the internet. If you choose this type of broadband, you will not need a telephone landline - but you will need to live in an area which has a cable network available.

4G Mobile Broadband doesn't need any cables or telephone lines, it works on the 4G (4th generation communications system) network just like your mobile phone. It is a great choice for people who live in rural areas which may not have good fibre or cable options for them. 4G broadband does rely on a good strong mobile signal. In areas where the network signal is weak, your connection will be slower and more unstable.

So Do I Need a Landline?

The answer to this question depends on the type of broadband connection you want to use. It also depends on what is available to you in your area.

ADSL & Fibre broadband are by far the most readily available. Consequently, you are more likely to find a cost-effective & competitive deal with this type of connection. If you decide on either of this type of broadband, you will need a landline and will therefore need to pay rental for this. Line rental charges vary from around £13 per month up to £22 per month depending on the deal so always compare all of the costs and benefits.

If you decide to go for Cable Broadband, you will not need a landline. Cable Broadband availability is not as widespread as ADSL or Fibre. Virgin Media is the main provider of cable broadband and is currently only available to 44% of UK homes. They are hoping that this figure will rise to 53% in 2020 and they are continually extending their network.

Likewise, if you choose 4G Mobile Broadband, you will not need to have a landline. Mobile broadband is a great choice for people who need to access the internet while they are on the move. It is also an ideal choice for students or for people who are in short-term lets. If you are planning to move house soon, or move on a regular basis, mobile broadband will mean you won't need to migrate your contract from one property to another. This will save money and time - one less hassle for you to worry about.

In Summary

You can have broadband without a landline. Whether connecting to the internet this way is right for you depends on many factors. Cable or mobile broadband may not be available in your area. If it is available, it may prove to be more expensive than  package which includes line rental. The bottom line is that a few minutes or hours spent comparing your options and deciding what your priorities are will save you money and time further down the line.

When the time comes to renew your current broadband contract, or if you are considering taking out your first contract, comparing your options with BillBuddy will help you to decide which type of connection is the right one for you.

Related Guides
Image for Broadband & TV Packages Explained

Broadband & TV Packages Explained

Could you get a cheaper deal by combining your TV and internet bills?

Image for 8 Essential Facts About Fibre Broadband

8 Essential Facts About Fibre Broadband

All you need to know about the new standard in broadband connectivity