Student Broadband Guide
Broadband guide researched in partnership with Ofcom accredited broadband, TV and phone comparison site Cable.co.uk
Getting the right broadband deal is important. It’ll be invaluable for your studies, make it much easier to keep in touch with friends and family back home, and give you access to cheap entertainment too.
However, getting the perfect broadband package can be tricky - you should never just go with what the main providers are advertising without comparing what other broadband deals are available.
To help make the most informed choice and avoid some of the main pitfalls, we've put together this guide to make the whole process much easier.
Consider your download limit. The majority of broadband providers offer 'unlimited' broadband deals, or set a download allowance. A word of warning about the term 'unlimited', it's often used to describe broadband deals that aren't unlimited at all. In many instances, 'unlimited' packages have 'fair usage' limits, which cap the amount of data you can download each month. If you want broadband without any limits, look for the phrase 'truly unlimited'.
If you try a broadband, TV and phone comparison site, you’ll be able to check exactly what you can get for your budget. But be careful – it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of over-spending. Paying for digital TV, and particularly extra movie and sports channels, in the belief that you’ll have more cheap nights in can end up being a false economy. Be very wary of paying for services you won’t fully use!
Switch to e-billing
No one likes getting bills falling through their letterbox. Although you can’t avoid paying your bills, you can save money by switching your account to e-billing. This helps you check your account online and you could save an average of £35 per year by cancelling your paper bills.
Get all your names on the contract
You may not be able to do this – not all providers allow it – but if possible, try and get all of your housemates’ names on your broadband contract. This means that you’ll all share responsibility for the bills – and there won’t be one unfortunate soul who’s left with the bill at the end of the year.
Student Phone Guide
When you’re away from home, having the right mobile phone contract is really important. It helps you make plans, enables you to keep in touch with your friends and family back home and comes in handy when you’ve got some time to spare and need something to keep you entertained.
Unfortunately, there are so many different mobile plans out there and with different amounts of inclusive minutes, texts and data, it can be tricky to pick the one that’s right for you. So we’ve put together a useful guide to help you pick the perfect mobile phone plan to use while you’re studying at DMU.
If you’re looking at switching providers or are after a better contract, you’ve a couple of different payment options to decide on first.
Pay monthly – you commit to a fixed term with monthly payments and in return get your choice of handset. Depending on the deal you opt for, you’ll get a differing level of inclusive minutes, inclusive text messages and a pre-determined amount of data.
Contracts are typically 12, 18 or 24 months in length and can offer good value, but are also the least flexible option, tying you in for the duration of your contract.
Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) – A popular option amongst students is PAYG, which frees you up from a regular monthly contract. Instead of getting a new phone as you would with a pay monthly deal, you’ll most likely use an existing handset with a PAYG SIM card.
You top up your SIM and pay in advance for combination of minutes, texts and internet data.
Since you aren’t tied to a contract, PAYG means you’ve got the flexibility to switch to another provider with no termination fees or waiting for your contract to expire.
Although PAYG can seem like an attractive option, if you’re likely to use your phone a lot you could find yourself topping up a lot too, and quickly spending more than you would on a fixed pay monthly contract.
SIM-only – A SIM-only deal is exactly that - a SIM card that you use in an existing handset, often provided on a 30 day rolling contract. Although not quite as flexible as PAYG, the short contract length still allows you to switch tariffs or providers frequently – and you should find that you get a greater number of inclusive minutes, texts and data when compared to an average PAYG deal.
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