Broadband price rises: what to do if your bill has gone up

A number of broadband providers increased their prices at the start of April - here's what it means for you

Woman using laptop and wearing headphones
Amid soaring living costs, it's advisable to trim your outgoings as and when you can - including your broadband bill if possible
(Image credit: Getty images)

If you haven't changed broadband providers for a while, now could be the time to bag a better broadband deal as all the big-name firms have increased their prices. 

Amid soaring living costs, rising tax and inflation, it's also advisable to trim your outgoings as and when you can. Hannah Isitt, broadband expert at GoCompare, says "Broadband is one of the least switched services, with a third (37%) of us admitting to having never switched providers. Yet there are savings to be made."

We look at what the broadband price increases are and what you can do. Generally speaking, if you are in a contract, then you will have to accept the increase. But, if you’re coming to the end of your deal or are out of contract, then take this opportunity to shop around for a better one by switching providers.

If you are a BT customer, which includes EE and Plusnet, we explain everything you need to know in a separate article - BT price increases

If you're with Virgin Media, Sky, Three, Talk Talk, or Vodafone - then read on to see how much more you can expect to pay and what your options are. 

Broadband price rises: what is Virgin Media doing?

Virgin Media customers have been hit by an average price rise of £4.70 a month or £56.40 a year, as its price rise came into effect on 1 March. 

Those customers who are on a fixed-price special deal and still within the minimum term of their deal will see the price rise after the contract ends.

If you are in contract

Virgin Media said any customers impacted by its price increase could leave without paying a termination charge, so long as they contacted the provider within 30 days of receiving confirmation of the price rises. This deadline passed in the middle of February.

If you're currently still in contract, you're going to have to pay the additional costs each month. If you believe you have found a better deal elsewhere you can cancel your contract before the minimum period has finished but may have to pay an early disconnection fee.

The early disconnection fees will depend on how much you pay and how much of your minimum period remains.

If you are out of contract

If you’re outside of your initial contract with Virgin, then you can leave without paying a fee. As a result, you may be able to switch to a cheaper package, though it’s important that you check that any new deal delivers what you actually need. For example, if you do a lot of streaming then you may need faster speeds.

Remember that most providers have hiked their prices, which may limit the savings you can make.

Industry rules state that most broadband providers must now offer new and current customers the same tariffs. Yet telecom firms don’t always advertise good deal incentives aimed at new customers on their own websites. 

Instead, you can find them on a comparison site like our sister site GoCompare - or any others like Uswitch, Broadbandchoices and ComparetheMarket. You can also use our broadband comparison table at the bottom of this article to see the best broadband deals available right now. 

If you are on a special offer

The price rises are only for standard contracts. If you’re on a special offer, then you won’t have been impacted.

Broadband price rises: what is Sky doing?

Sky customers will now pay up to an extra £3.60 a month, or £43.20 a year, for their TV and broadband.

Price rises vary across individual plans. Sky Broadband Essential and Sky Broadband Superfast customers will see the biggest rises at £2.50 a month extra for their broadband service. Sky Broadband Essential is currently £25 a month but will go up to £27.50, while Sky Broadband Superfast will move from £28 to £30.50 a month.

Other increases include Sky HD rising from £7 to £8, Sky Cinema rising from £11 to £12, and BT Sports rising £27 to £28.

Sky Signature will increase from £26 to £27 while the Sky Talk package will start charging 22p a minute rather than 20p a minute.

If you are in contract

Sky is one of the few broadband providers that doesn’t include annual inflation-based price increases in its terms and conditions. 

So, if your payment has gone up, you may be entitled to get out of the contract and switch to a cheaper deal without having to pay any additional exit fees. 

If you are out of contract

If you’re outside of contract you can leave without paying a fee, meaning you can switch and maybe pay less - but only if you can find a deal that’s worth it and delivers what you need. Bear in mind that almost all telecom providers have increased their prices.

Take a look at comparison sites like our sister site GoCompare - or any others like Uswitch, Broadbandchoices and ComparetheMarket to compare deals.

You can also use our broadband comparison table at the bottom of this article to see the best broadband deals available right now. 

If you are on a special offer

Price rises are only for standard contracts, so you won’t be affected if you are on a special offer.

Broadband price rises: what is Three doing?

Three customers who joined before 29 October 2020 have seen their bills go up 7.8%. So if you paid £35 per month, then your yearly bill will increase by £33 from April.

Three customers who joined after this date have seen their bills go up by 4.5%. This means an additional £20 a year if you paid £35 a month.

If you are in contract

If you are in the middle of a contract and want to leave, there will be an exit fee to pay. Be sure to check whether any savings you could make through leaving are greater than this fee.

Industry rules state that most broadband providers must now offer new and current customers the same tariffs. Yet telecom firms don’t always advertise good deal incentives aimed at new customers on their own websites. Instead, you can find them on a comparison site like our sister site GoCompare - or any others like Uswitch, Broadbandchoices and ComparetheMarket.

You can also use our broadband comparison table at the botom of this article to see the best broadband deals available right now. 

If you are out of contract

You can leave without paying a fee if you’re outside your initial contract. As a result, you can switch to a potentially cheaper deal.

If you are on a special offer

If you are on a special offer, you will be unaffected, as the price rises only apply to standard contracts.

Broadband price rises: what is TalkTalk doing?

TalkTalk has hiked its prices for broadband by 9.1%, which equates to an additional £2 a month on average.

For example, if you have a TalkTalk Fibre 150 Ultrafast package that costs £29.95, you’ll have see your bill grow by £2.72 per month since April.

Fixed Price Plus customers outside of the minimum contract period have seen their bill rise by 5.4%.

If you are in contract

If you are in the middle of a contract and want to leave, you will have to pay a fee. It’s important to check that any savings you could make from leaving aren’t wiped out by the exit fee.

Industry rules state that most broadband providers must now offer new and current customers the same tariffs. Yet telecom firms don’t always advertise good deal incentives aimed at new customers on their own websites. Instead, you can find them on a comparison site like our sister site GoCompare - or any others like Uswitch, Broadbandchoices and ComparetheMarket.

You can also use our broadband comparison table at the bottom of this article to see the best broadband deals available right now. 

 If you are out of contract

If you’re outside your initial contract you can leave without paying a fee, meaning you can switch and possibly pay less. 

 If you are on a special offer

The price rises are only for standard contracts, meaning you won’t be affected if you are on a special offer.

Broadband price rises: what is Vodafone doing?

Vodafone home broadband users who joined after 1 February 2021 have seen their bill go up by 9.3% since the start of April.

It means if you have a £25 Superfast broadband package, you’ll now pay £2.32 extra a month, or £27.90 extra a year.

If you joined Vodafone before this date, then your bill has increased by 6.2%, the Retail Price Index (RPI) measurement of inflation. It means if you have a £25 Superfast broadband package, you’ll now pay £1.55 extra a month, or £18.60 extra a year.

If you are in contract

If you are in the middle of a contract and want to leave, you will have to pay a fee.

It’s important to check that this early exit fee won’t be bigger than any potential savings you could make by switching to a new provider.

Though broadband providers must offer new and current customers the same tariffs, but telecom firms don’t always advertise these incentives on their own websites. Instead, you can find them on a comparison site like our sister site GoCompare - or any others like Uswitch, Broadbandchoices and ComparetheMarket.

 If you are out of contract

If you’re outside your initial contract you can leave without paying a fee, meaning you can switch and hopefully pay less. Bear in mind though that all telecom providers are currently hiking their prices.

 If you are on a special offer

The price rises are only for standard contracts, so you won’t be affected if you are on a special offer.

How can I save money on my broadband bill?

The first step is to look for a new deal. Use our broadband comparison table below to search the best broadband deals available right now. 

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Once equipped with information on better deals, the second step will be to call your provider and say that you’re thinking about leaving. They could offer you a better deal, whether by cutting your monthly bill or throwing in something extra, like additional channels if you have a TV package as well. Your chances are greatly improved if you’ve done some research on what other providers are charging, and you can emphasise how much you could potentially save by switching.

Research by the consumer group Which? found that half of people who negotiated with their provider ended up saving £85 a year on their broadband. 

Hannah Isitt, broadband expert at GoCompare, says there are factors to consider alongside the price: “if you are free to move to another provider without any additional charges, some things to think about when comparing broadband deals are speed, the monthly cost and any additional equipment charges, whether the deal is fixed for a certain amount of time, as well as how good the providers customer service is.”

If you experience a change in circumstances and find yourself on a low income or start claiming certain state benefits (such as Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance) then you could look into moving to a social tariff. These are offered by six providers ‒ BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, KCOM, Hyperoptic and GNetwork ‒ and according to Ofcom they could save eligible households £144 a year. TalkTalk, for example, offers free broadband, but only for job seekers for six months

You have to apply directly to the provider, which will assess your eligibility.

SEE MORE: How to cut your mobile phone bill in seven easy steps

Katie is staff writer at The Money Edit. She was the former staff writer at The Times and The Sunday Times. Her experience includes writing about personal finance, culture, travel and interviews celebrities.  Her investigative work on financial abuse resulted in a number of mortgage prisoners being set free - and a nomination for the Best Personal Finance Story of the Year in the Headlinemoney awards 2021.