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Last updated: 21 May 2021
Most broadband contracts last on average 12 months, which can be a significant investment to make. It’s best, therefore, to make sure you compare as many prices as possible to get the deal that works for you.
To get an overview of the available 12-month broadband packages, you can compare broadband deals
here at usave. We’ve also taken the time to answer a few frequently asked questions below, to help you choose.
What is a 12 month broadband contract?
You must sign a contract with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) in order to get broadband into your house. Sometimes these are long term (generally 12-18 months) or on a rolling monthly basis.
A 12 month contract will keep you locked in with a specific provider for the duration of the contract; being a long-term deal, companies are more likely to offer discounts and extras to sweeten the deal a little. When the contract is finished, your ISP will continue to provide you with internet and bill you each month, but they may revert to a higher standard rate. At this stage, you’re free to switch providers if you wish.
Not all broadband providers offer 12 month contracts, but you can find one with any of the following:
Who are 12 month broadband contracts for?
Short-Term Renters (ie. Students, Young Professionals)
Our research has shown that this type of deal is really useful for those with short term tenancies. If you’re only planning on renting for one year, it makes good sense to have a fixed internet deal for the duration of your tenancy. A one-month rolling contract might also seem like an attractive option because it gives you a bit more flexibility, but will likely end up being more expensive. Some providers actually offer specific student broadband packages, so keep your eyes peeled for those.
The benefit of having a 12 month deal as opposed to an 18 month deal, is that you’re able to switch more regularly and take advantage of the dynamic broadband market. Each year at the end of your contract, you can cancel at no extra cost and switch to a cheaper, more attractive deal.
How do I find the best 12 month broadband package?
To help clarify and narrow the search, we’ve made a list of things to look out for.
- Download speed: Often at the centre of their advertising, broadband providers want you to know how smoothly and efficiently you can stream things and easily you can browse the web.
- Upload speed: This can be a bit more tricky to find, but it’s important to take note of it especially if you’re in the business of sending large files or if you do a lot of gaming.
- Monthly download limit: Most broadband packages include unlimited downloads, but some place a cap on your usage.
- Special offers: Given the highly competitive market, broadband providers often entice new customers with special offers like cash back, free gifts or discounts.
- Inclusive calls: Line rental is included as standard in the price of most broadband packages, thanks to intervention from the Advertising Standards Authority after several complains of false advertising from ISPs. Call packages aren’t, however, but some companies will throw in free anytime calls or evening and weekend calls along with their broadband packages.
- Reputation: It sounds basic, but sometimes the cheapest deals come from small, relatively unknown companies. Make sure you do your research on a provider before signing a contract, especially if it’s one you’ve not heard of before.
If I’m unhappy with my 12 month broadband contract, can I leave early?
Of course, if you’re unhappy with your broadband connection you can leave whenever you want. However, most companies will impose a fee on customers who cancel contracts early, so make sure you check the fine print before signing the contract.