If you currently have broadband supplied to your home and your contract is up for renewal, you might want to start looking around for the best broadband deals. This is because the majority of the country's internet service providers (ISPs) have announced they'll be increasing their prices from spring 2024.
Much like March and April time last year, many ISPs will be putting up the cost of their respective broadband tariffs in line with the rates of inflation from the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Retail Prices Index (RPI). However, some providers will also add more percentage points to these rates to cover their own increased operational costs. ISPs are able to do this even if you're on a contracted fixed monthly cost; you may have heard this being referred to as 'mid-contract price rises'.
That said, not all providers are doing this and so far some have announced increases that don't include anything above the CPI rates. What's more, some customers will be able to shop around and avoid these hikes - below we've explained what you need to know...
Broadband price rises for 2024 at a glance
According to the latest reports from MSE, most of the UK's most popular broadband providers have said their prices will be going up, with the cost of some plans rising by as much as 7.9%.
For clarity here, the December CPI rate was 4%, so this will be the standard change providers can implement.
The latest breakdown of selected ISP price increases is as follows:
- BT - a rise of 7.9% (CPI + 3.9%) starting March 31
- EE - a rise of 7.9% (CPI + 3.9%) starting March 31
- Plusnet - a rise of 7.9% (CPI + 3.9%) starting March 31
- Shell Energy - a rise of 6% (CPI + 2%) starting April 1
- TalkTalk - a rise of 7.7% (CPI + 3.7%) starting April 1
- Three - a rise of 7.9% (CPI + 3.9%) starting April 1
- Vodafone - a rise of 7.9% (CPI + 3.9%) starting April 1
To give some cost examples in real terms, if you pay £20 a month, a rise of 7.9% will see this increase to £21.58. This of course gets more noticeable the more expensive your package is - for instance if you pay £75 a month, possibly for a broadband and TV bundle, you'll see a 7.9% increase to £80.93.
Providers who won't be increasing their costs
More ISPs - including the likes of Sky and Virgin Media - are expected to follow suit and soon announce their respective price rises, so be sure to keep on eye on the latest broadband news for that. However, it's fair to point out that there are a selection of providers who won't have any mid-contract price rises.
- Zen Internet
- Utility Warehouse
What if I've just started a new broadband contract?
Even if you've just started a broadband contract with a new provider, you may still face a price hike. Although, depending on your contract terms, if you're in an initial trial phase or a 'cooling off' period with your new deal, you might be entitled to leave or cancel it without having to pay an exit penalty.
If in any doubt, review your contract or simply check directly with your ISP.
Can't I just switch to a cheaper deal?
Like we've mentioned above, this really depends on the terms of your contract. However, if you're mid-contract, then in order to switch you'll likely have to pay an exit fee.
If this is the case, then it's the trade-off of whether paying this penalty will work out better for you in the long run with the money you'll save on your cheaper deal.
Interestingly, something the UK broadband regulator, Ofcom, is currently in consultation about is a ban on price increases linked to uncertain future inflation and more clarity for consumers on the rising costs, stating that 'companies must set this out up-front in pounds and pence'. If the latter does happen, it will make it easier to work out how much you could theoretically save when switching.
Equally, if you do have an initial cooling off period, or you're in fact out of contract - and in some cases nearing your contract's end - you should be able to shop and switch to a new broadband deal without incurring any fees.
How to find the best broadband deals
Whatever your circumstances might be, if you do want to switch, there are a few approaches you can take to get a top new tariff.
Firstly, you should head over to our best broadband deals guide, as we'll be able to show you all the latest offers on the market right now. Equally, you may wish to use this research to then go back to your existing provider and haggle for a more affordable price.
Another option is to enter your postcode into our widget below. This will then show you all the broadband deals that can be found in your specific location.
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Rich is a freelance copywriter and content strategist with over 10 years' experience. His career has seen him work in-house and in various agencies, producing online and offline content marketing campaigns and copywriting for clients in the energy industry.