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Could someone explain broadband and phone lines please?

(14 Posts)
Pleasebeafleabite Sun 25-Feb-18 11:52:27

Currently I get both my broadband and phone line from BT but will be coming to the end of the v expensive contract soon

My STBXH says I need to keep a phone line with BT and then could have a different broadband provider

But I see posts on here where people have a phone line with sky or someone else and not BT.

Do I need the phone line at all? I make all my calls from my mobile as the calls are free unlimited and go over the wi-fi so the signal is OK. And I don't need to keep a home phone number for incoming calls as everyone knows to call me on the mobile.

Also for a few weeks last year the home phone line went down (I had to pay £133 to BT to repair it) but the broadband still worked during that period so I don't understand why I have to have a phone line at all.

Anyway I'm confusing myself now so if anyone can explain what the interaction is between phone line/broadband and who can supply either I would be very grateful !!

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Sun 25-Feb-18 11:57:49

Your phone requires two lines whilst your broadband only requires one so it could be that only one wire was broken enabling you to still use broadband.

totallyliterally Sun 25-Feb-18 11:57:50

It depends where you live.

If you can get virgin you don't need a phone line for their broadband. Although they like you to have one (I don't )

But for other broadband you need a phone line connected for it to go through. But you do t have to stay with bt.

Use an online compare broadband / phones and you can put in your postcode and see what's available in your area

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Sun 25-Feb-18 12:05:09

Regarding broadband without phone line I think (not sure) most providers require you to rent the phone line / have a basic call package with them.

Virgin are the only ones who don’t.

But if you want a cheaper option ( I know this because I have it) and you don’t use too much data you could try a Home Fi router from 3.

It is a plug data mobile which then transmits a wireless signal. So no set up and no need for phone which is great.

The only problem of course is that the data amount is finite. Having said that 100GB for £28 is cheaper than most packages and more than adequate. Netflix is also unlimited (#gobinge service) so it might be fine.

Pleasebeafleabite Sun 25-Feb-18 12:12:52

Thanks for the above. We do use quite a bit of data as my DS is constantly downloading and gaming. I think one of the reasons the BT package is so much is that it's unlimited.

The bit about having two lines makes sense but apparently the problem was that two lines were touching each other in the box

We have sky but when I signed on for this the sky man said I still needed a bt phoneline. I think this is where I've got confused.

Pleasebeafleabite Sun 25-Feb-18 12:17:40

I've just gone on uswitch and there are loads of cheap deals but it's not clear whether it includes the phone line or not

hiddenmnetter Sun 25-Feb-18 12:28:01

There are two kinds of broadband- broadband that uses your phone line and broadband that uses its own independent cable.

The type that uses the phone line means you need a phone line to have it (fairly obviously). This is generically called "broadband" but is more accurately called ADSL2.

BT, sky, talk talk etc. All use this kind of internet.

These same providers also provide "super fast" broadband ALSO over the phone line. There is a difference in the equipment at the exchange but it makes little odds to you- it all uses the copper wires that go from the exchange to your house via the phone line. Your internet speed on this kind of connection is principally determined by your distance from the exchange.

The other kind that uses an independent cable is basically Virgin Media. They run their own cable into your house that does not require a phone line. In certain areas hyperoptic also offer the same service but it's rare. There are a number of local providers of the same kind, but once again they're rare. Virgin Media is pretty much the only widely available one, and then mostly only in cities.

If you aren't using virgin media, you need a phone line for the other major providers. You can also get (as a PP mentioned) wireless broadband but it's very expensive and unreliable. Wires > wireless, unless you don't use the internet all that much.


BishopBrennansArse Sun 25-Feb-18 12:31:33

I've got sky. As I have quite a big tv package with them and threatened to leave they've given me unlimited fibre broadband with unlimited free calls to landline and mobile for £26 on top of my tv package.

DeathMetalMum Sun 25-Feb-18 12:32:03

The way the network works is 'bt wholesale' own and maintain all the lines, excluding virgin fibre, talk talk and possibly a couple of others. Hence the guy from sky saying you needed a BT line. It confuses a lot of people as it's different from the bt that provide broadband, tv etc as thats BT retail. Other companies then almost 'rent the lines' and provide the services on them. This could be Sky, BT retail, Plusnet ect. The BT people who come out and fit the connections in the house are BT wholesale, different from the company who is providing the broadband.

So you could have your line rental and broadband from sky but your still using a BT line as they are the company that maintains the majority of the phone line infrastructure.

TalkinPeace Sun 25-Feb-18 12:32:36

Your router is plugged into your phone line.
If you do not have a phone line you do not have a router.

You may choose a broadband package that does not include any calls but you will still have a phone line.

My broadband is sky fibre but the router is still plugged into the phone socket.

Pleasebeafleabite Sun 25-Feb-18 12:41:33

Ok - thanks very much for the replies. I think perhaps my BT package, whilst expensive, is probably not as bad as it appears as it includes the phone line. I would still have to move to an unlimited type deal on the broadband to get the speed and capacity I want so could probably save a bit but not as much as what I was thinking.

Thanks again

DeathMetalMum Sun 25-Feb-18 12:46:18

Most providers will do an unlimited broadband and home phone package (probably without any call package) for about 20-25 a month.

specialsubject Sun 25-Feb-18 12:58:40

Ex talking out of arse. You don't buy phone line from one provider and broadband from another any more.

Going rate about £20 a month for line ( no calls) and unlimited broadband. You are paying bt loyalty tax.

DGRossetti Sun 25-Feb-18 13:31:22

If you are in a true fibre area, you don't need a phone line (although VMs pricing structure makes it cheaper to have one than go for plain broadband).

But then if you live in a true fibre area, you can get a Virgin business broadband for £30/month with no phone line or TV "bundle" malarkey. Which is what we switched to, after running one when I used to work from home. The only downside being no nuisance calls.

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