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How to get cheapest student broadband

Read our tips on how to get the cheapest student broadband deals possible. Read more.

Broadband contract credit check for students

Information on credit checks for student broadband contracts. Read more.

Do university students need a TV licence?

You may need a TV licence if studying away from home.. but there is a loophole. Read more.

Student broadband

If you’re a student living away from home having broadband is just as important as having a mobile phone with the added bonus that you can share the cost of broadband among the rest of your housemates.

Until recently there was no such thing as a dedicated student broadband contract but in recent years the main broadband providers have started to introduce student broadband contracts at certain times of the year (around the start of term times).

The main distinguishing feature of a student broadband contract is that it will either be a 9 month contract term or a rolling 30 day contract. As a student looking after the pennies it isn’t ideal to be stuck in a 12 month contract out of term time when you aren’t even in student digs so term time 9 month broadband contracts were introduced. Although this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t consider a 12 month contract because if the deal is good enough over the course of the full 12 months you may end up paying less than over 9 months so do give it some consideration.

Choosing a student broadband contract

If you’re planning on sharing the cost of your broadband among the rest of your housemates you might want to discuss the priorities between yourselves before looking for deals. Have a think about the following:

Broadband speed

The speed of the broadband line will be an important fact based on what you will be using it for, how many people are in the house and what devices will be accessing the network.

If there are only a couple of people that will be using the Internet for typical study activities then a lower cost ADSL contract might suffice. This will be cheaper, but the download rate will be slower.

A step up in speed is fibre or cable broadband. If there are multiple people in the house (along with potential boyfriends and girlfriends that might hop on the broadband when they are around) then a student fibre broadband contract would be a good option. Consider that at any one time there could be several devices using the broadband connection at the same time ranging from phones, tablets, games consoles, PCs, laptops, TVs then a huge amount of bandwidth would be needed before there was any drop in service. Add in streaming services such as Spotify, Netflix or on-demand catch up TV and you will be thankful for an unlimited usage fibre broadband contract.

Contract length

A good student broadband deal will have a contract term of either 9 months or it will be a 30 day rolling contract. That way you aren’t paying for out of term time and you have the flexibility to cancel the contract with little notice if you have to move to different student accommodation part way through the year.

Broadband costs

Upon taking out a student broadband contract it is most likely that you will pay a monthly fee rather than an up-front lump sum.

Bear in mind not only the monthly subscription cost of the broadband but also any other fees that can potentially add up. For example, is the cost of the router included in the broadband package, and is the post and package included?

If you have chosen a capped usage student broadband package make sure you don’t go over the data caps because extra data outside of your plan will cost extra.

Mobile broadband?

Overall if there is a choice between permanently using a mobile broadband option or fixed home broadband the better option on virtually all fronts is the fixed line home broadband option.

Although the option to tether a device to a mobile broadband connection can be very convenient, the connection can also prove to be unreliable, mobile data charges are much higher and download speeds tend to be faster as a rule using fixed broadband.

So given the choice, if you have the option of getting a fixed line student broadband connection or mobile broadband, the fixed line would be the better option all round.

Student broadband and TV bundles

If you were planning to subscribe to a TV viewing package for your student house you would find the best savings in taking out a broadband and TV bundle package with the same provider.

Popular broadband and TV packages come from Virgin Media, Sky, BT, Now TV and TalkTalk.

Student broadband providers

Broadband providers that offer popular student broadband or short term broadband contracts include:

Buying student broadband

Before buying any broadband contract it is highly recommended to use our broadband availability postcode checker to see whether a company can provide service to that exact location.

If you’re moving into a student house it would be a good idea to speak to the previous occupants and ask which broadband provider they used and whether they were happy with the service, reliability and download speeds.

When it comes to signing up to the broadband contract you will be given different options to pay – you may want to split payments per month over the course of the contract or pay a lump sum up front (this will likely save money compared to monthly payments).

Also bear in mind that when signing up to the contract the broadband company will usually want a named account holder that will be responsible for the contract. Some providers allow housemates to be added as additional names on the contract.

Finally, be aware of the renewal date of the contract. You may not want to renew because you have finished your studies, moved to another area that doesn’t have strong broadband coverage or you simply want to try to get a better deal with another company so ensure that you let the current provider know of your intention to cancel.

No credit check student broadband

As a student it is unlikely that you will have built up a very large credit profile which is absolutely normal considering that most students are young people starting out in life.

However, the vast majority of broadband providers (as well as mobile phone network as you will no doubt have discovered) will perform a credit check prior to a broadband contract being accepted so if (through no fault of your own) you do not have a credit report filled with entries showing your financial responsibility in paying debts on time over many years you may struggle to pass the credit check.

Currently one broadband provider does no perform a credit check on their new customers – NOW TV.

To sign up for their services you would need to create a NOW TV account and as part of the process NOW TV will take a test 10p transaction from your account (later to be refunded) so they can check that you have some money in the account. Once this has been done you can then sign up to NOW TV services such as streaming TV or create a broadband subscription.

So if you do not have any credit history or have a bad credit file, the best option to get fixed broadband would be to sign up to NOW TV broadband.