Pay as you go broadband for the home sounds like a useful, flexible broadband option. Most of the best and cheapest broadband deals seem to require signing up to a provider for 12, 18 or 24 months. But if you cancel before the end of your contract you could face a large fee, so these deals aren’t always the right option.
If you aren’t sure about where you’ll be living in a year, or just don’t like agreeing to long contracts you can’t break, then you might be looking for another option – like a package that lets you pay as you go. But is there such a thing as pay as you go (PAYG) home broadband?
Back in the days of dial-up modems it wasn’t uncommon to have pay as you go internet. Rather than a monthly fee you would just pay for the time spent online. When broadband came along, some providers switched to charging for the amount of data you used. This meant that light users could access the internet cheaply.
Today, home broadband packages will charge a set monthly fee for either unlimited usage or a specific amount of data which could mean paying an extra charge if you go over to get back online. But broadband that operates like a pay as you go mobile service isn’t available, so what can you do if you want PAYG home broadband?
While PAYG broadband may not be available it doesn’t mean you can’t get a deal that will work for you. Some internet service providers offer rolling monthly contracts and other short-term packages.
A rolling monthly deal or no contract broadband is a package with a 30-day term. This means that while you are technically signing a contract, you’re not committing to more than 30 days. This way you can still cancel the contract without large termination fees, unlike with a long-term contract.
Not every provider offers these, but there are still quite a few choices of pay monthly internet service providers who have these types of deals available, including options for high speed internet access and TV bundles.
There are few other options for those who prefer short term broadband. There are a few providers who offer three- or six-month contracts, though these are far from the norm and you’d probably be wiser to look for rolling monthly contracts.
Often university students are the one’s looking for shorter contracts, and many providers offer student broadband deals which are designed to fit around term time. These are not always available all year round but tend to be advertised around August and September. Sky, Virgin and BT media have all offered student deals previously.
Mobile broadband is another option worth considering if you want a broadband service with no lengthy commitments. Mobile broadband is available on both monthly and a pay as you go basis, making it an extremely flexible option. It’s worth noting that mobile broadband is activated very quickly, unlike home broadband which can take a few weeks to install. It is probably the best choice if you need broadband for less than a month.
There are no options for unlimited mobile broadband, so if you’re using it for video streaming this is not a wise choice as it could get very expensive very quickly. It is not recommended to use mobile broadband as an alternative to home broadband in the long term unless you barely use your current broadband anyway.