Cut Your Broadband & Phone Bill

Posted on: 16 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Switching broadband supplier and bundling the service with your phone bill could save you over £100.

With purses a little emptier thanks to the credit crunch, it's time to be looking at ways to save money. Switching broadband provider could leave you many pounds better off.

A user could potentially save up to £141.60 a year by changing their broadband supplier, Broadband Choices has calculated.


The Migration Authorisation Code (MAC) was introduced by Ofcom to allow consumers to seamlessly switch broadband providers.

Technically, a MAC code is like a serial number, used to identify your broadband connection within the local exchange. If a switching provider has this code, they can simply move your connection over to their service. Contact your existing supplier to obtain your MAC code.

However, if you have an LLU or cable connection you won't be able to use the MAC migration service to switch provider, although some ISPs are trialling LLU MACs. Instead you may have to wait without broadband until your new connection is up and running. You could be forced to foot the 'cease and re-provide' cost of moving to a new provider, which currently stands at £58.75.

Switching broadband provider can potentially get you a faster internet connection and better service as well as saving you money. Moreover, if you shop around, it needn't mean entering into a punitive long-term contract.

If you are only checking emails and surfing the web for example, then it is best to switch to a 'light user' package, since you will only be using a couple of gigabytes of data in a month. A lower cost package like PlusNet Option 1 would be perfectly adequate.

"PlusNet is an excellent example of an ISP that has award winning customer service and does not have a contractual tie in," says Michael Phillips, product development director at Broadband Choices. "Alternatively, customer service levels are also improving at TalkTalk where they offer the most competitive phone and broadband bundle in the UK. Sky broadband and digital TV bundle also offers excellent value and has won customer service awards despite being relatively new to the broadband market."

Britons are also wasting millions of pounds by buying separate broadband, digital TV and home telephony services, instead of opting for a 'bundle' of two or more services from the same supplier. According to research from Simplifydigital, you can save on average £160 per year by taking the bundling route.

Comparison websites will help you choose the right bundle to match your needs. They include package and contract details as well as speed and download limit, in addition to costs.

Many people still have dial up connections, who will be able to upgrade to broadband and save money at the same time.

If you telephone family or friends overseas, remember that you can do so very cheaply by signing up with a specialist company. You will get a code to dial before calling. You can also use the internet to make phone calls at no additional cost, with software such as Skype.

Web Links

Broadband & telephone comparison websites:

Are you or your family being hit by the credit crunch and having to cut back? Do you have any tips on reducing your bills? You can share your experiences or advice in the comment box or 50connect forum.

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