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Broadband & line rental explained

Broadband & line rental explained

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Last updated: 21 April 2022

Although using landline phones isn't as common as it used to be, but most broadband packages come with line rental as standard. But what is it? Why does it come with most packages?

What is broadband line rental?

Even though you don’t use your landline, or maybe don’t have one at all, you will probably find line rental is part of your broadband deal. 

Line rental is a fee you pay to uphold the maintenance of the copper lines that run between the streetside cabinets and your home. These old copper wires are what provide your home with a phone connection, and now broadband. 

Even if you have never used a landline you will still probably have to pay line rental to be connected to the internet. This is because that old copper wire still provides your connection to the internet. 

Why am I paying broadband line rental?

Almost all broadband connections need your phone line to connect you to the internet.

BT owns the UK’s telephone network infrastructure, so your provider will be paying BT Openreach to get your home connected. Your provider then passes this cost on to you in the form of line rental. 

Whether or not you use your landline for the phone, your supplier will still charge you for its maintenance. This means that network faults will usually be repaired without you having to pay a one-off fee, but it does mean your broadband cost will have additional line rental fees attached. These days, however, line rental fees are included in the overall cost of your broadband and phone deal, so don't worry about any hidden charges! 

How much does line rental cost?

The price of line rental will vary depending on your broadband provider. You will usually find it costs you somewhere between £12 and £20. 

Be aware though, the cost of line rental will be included in any advertised deal price, so it should be easy to get a clear idea of what you’ll be paying. 

Do I need a landline for broadband?

It is possible to get a broadband connection without paying line rental, but you might have to hunt for these deals. Plus, they won’t necessarily be cheaper!

More and more people are opting for broadband deals without a landline or line rental for various reasons; it is a surefire way to stop nuisance calls! But some often don't have a choice.

If you live in a rural area or your home is far from the nearest connection point, you might find broadband with line rental is too slow for your needs. 

Both mobile and satellite broadband come without a line rental fee. However, both can be expensive and tend to come with data limits. 

Opting for a Virgin Media package is another way to avoid paying for line rental. This is because it uses its own cable network, separate from Openreach. 

How do I pay for broadband line rental?

Line rental will usually be included in the cost of your bill. Most providers will charge you a set amount each month. 

Some broadband providers offer a “line rental saver”. This lets you pay a larger sum initially but with smaller monthly repayments. Some providers will even let you pay for an entire year up front. You might want to look out for these options if you are on a tight monthly budget. 

If you are looking to save money on your broadband bills then you probably will pay for line rental, but you can still compare broadband to find the best package for your needs. 


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Fergus Cole

Author: Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.