As well as BT, Sky and Virgin Media there are several other companies who offer digital TV and broadband services in the UK, particularly in the broadband sector.
All mobile phone networks also provide a home broadband service on top of their mobile broadband service, as well as Talk Talk (formally of Carphone Warehouse), Tesco, Plus Net, AOL and many others.
When deciding which broadband provider to go with, you need to assess your usage and where you live.
If you download hundreds of gigabytes of movies and data each month, you will want to go for an unlimited package which allows you to do so.
If you don’t download anything and simply browse the internet from time to time, one of the cheaper, limited packages will be more than enough for your usage.
Some broadband providers slow down the internet connection speed at peak times,which is usually at about 4pm when children get home from school, and right through the evening until around 11pm. If you are going to be using the internet predominantly during this time, look for a provider who will not slow down connection speeds at peak times.
Sometimes people who live in rural areas are on an exchange that hasn’t yet been opened up to all broadband providers, so check your postcode before signing up to a deal.
Changing broadband providers is possible, but is notoriously difficult with broadband providers dragging their heals in releasing your MAC code (similar to a PAC code with mobile phones), although a new OFCOM ruling has made this process easier.
Broadband deals, like all phone contracts, have minimum tie-in periods – so if you intend on moving house in 6 months don’t sign up to a 24-month deal, as you may not be able to take it to your new residence and will still be liable to pay the bills for the duration of the period.