Michael Phillips, product director at Broadbandchoices.co.uk commented:
"Broadband is not a luxury but an essential utility for students - going without is not an option. However, the pressures on student finances are greater than ever before, as tuition fees and living expense inflation bite into already limited budgets. Fortunately, broadband providers are aware of this and there are some great deals available."
A number of providers offer short term broadband deals giving flexibility to students who expect to live in a particular place for less than a year. Virgin Media has re-launched its 9 month contract deal, offering students the choice of unlimited broadband and calls with or without TV. Also, Plusnet and O2 broadband both offer 'no contract' options, allowing students to cancel as and when they need to, meaning you can benefit from student offers even if you are not in a cable area.
The long haul
Anyone who is signing a 12 month lease with friends should seriously consider a fixed line yearly contract. Large student houses with multiple users would benefit from a high speed broadband package with a generous download allowance / fair usage policy, allowing everyone to download large files simultaneously without causing arguments about who is clogging up the house internet connection. Virgin Media's cable packages all come with unlimited downloads as well offering speeds of up to 50Mb, perfect for watching iPlayer, gaming online and downloading journal articles at the same time.”
"Mobile broadband is ideal for those who want the freedom to connect wherever they want - whether that's in the library, at home or on the move. It also removes the thorny issue of splitting yet another utility bill with your house mates. Going mobile also means you can ditch the line rental, potentially saving over £160 per year.
"Students who are unsure of what to look out for when choosing a broadband package can follow our hints and tips below to ensure they are not caught out with an unsuitable deal:"
1. Timescale – Students can move around over the course of a year so this will affect your choice of either mobile or fixed line broadband. If you think you may move from place to place, opt for a mobile or short term contract.
2. Go Monthly – If you are budgeting for the first time and unsure how your finances will be over the course of a year, consider a monthly contract. This will allow you the flexibility you need to stop paying for the service if you find your budget is overstretched and you need to cut back for a while.
3. Download with caution – Some broadband deals, especially mobile ones, do not always have the most generous download allowances. You need to be careful and not go over your usage cap with too many episodes of Glee! Excess usage costs can mount up to a lot of money, so keep an eye on the limits set on your contract.
4. Beware of so called 'freebies' – A free laptop / tablet deal may look pretty enticing but you should always compare the cost of an equivalent broadband package and laptop purchased separately before signing up. These offers frequently turn out to be poor value for money and you could find yourself paying for your 'freebie' after all through an extortionate monthly tariff.
5. It's not all about the contract – Whilst shorter term contracts provide the ultimate in flexibility, they often don't come with the best deals. If you know you and your mates will be sharing the house for 12-18 months then compare all the options available on an Ofcom accredited site in order to find the best deal.
6. Check your coverage – If you opt for mobile broadband, it won't be much use if your chosen provider doesn't have coverage in your area – rural areas are particularly unreliable. It is essential to do a postcode search with your chosen provider before signing up as patchy coverage could mean you are left without a connection when you need it most. Most mobile broadband providers offer a money back satisfaction guarantee in the first few days, so you can test the connection in your home. But if the signal is poor, don't delay in taking it back.
For a comprehensive guide to student finance, click here
For further information please contact:
Michael Phillips/Jon Ingram
020 7400 6234
Karen Wagg/Emily Church
020 3178 5013
Broadbandchoices.co.uk was launched in 2005 and is the UK's leading Ofcom accredited broadband comparison calculator.
We offer comprehensive and impartial advice on broadband, mobile broadband and bundled packages (broadband with home phone and digital TV) saving our users over £200 when they switch.
The Broadbandchoices.co.uk calculator compares thousands of different combinations of packages and provides results in a clear, intuitive table where users can rank and compare services according to their individual needs.
Broadbandchoices.co.uk powers over 20 leading comparison services including Confused.com, Comparethemarket.com and GoCompare.com.
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