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Do you Still Need a Phone Line for your Broadband?

Fibre cable technology

Since people started browsing the internet, a love / hate relationship has grown between the user and their modem / router. Whilst the bleeping sound of your modem dialling AOL has long since been forgotten, we still need a router and a phone line to access the web, but do you really still need a phone line?

Speeds have greatly increased since the days of “56K dial up” and depending on your location in the UK, you could now be experiencing speeds up to 80 MBPS on ADSL (through your phone line) or 400MBPS if you have a cable connection.

The speeds you get on your home ADSL connection vary tremendously, and it’s all dependent upon your location from the BT Openreach exchange. The further you are, the slower your internet speed. This decrease in speed is due to the copper wire connection from the server. In places around the country where fibre optic cable has replaced the copper cable, speeds will greatly increase.

However, due to a variety of factors, from location or type of cable used at your local exchange, many homes still cannot get fast ADSL speeds. A few years ago, alternative connection methods were limited and expensive. These included microwave and satellite but both options have drawbacks.

The newest option available is 4G / 5G. This option provides a solution that may even supersede the standard ADSL connection.

As mobile phone use continues to grow with over 94% of adults now owning a mobile (See https://www.tigermobiles.com/blog/mobile-phone-usage-statistics/ Mobile phone networks are rapidly expanding their number of masts to cope with the increased usage. As technology improves, so does cost efficiency, allowing consumers to have more data on their phones for a lower cost.

As the capacity of 4G networks (and shortly to follow 5G) is far greater than the traditional 3G networks, and as users demand more data usage, service providers started offering standalone 4G sim solutions. A few years ago, such 4G solutions were expensive with limited amount of data included. But as the technology has improved, it is now possible to get an unlimited data package from as little as £25.00 per month.

Consumers who have limited ADSL connectivity can now look at 4G as a viable and cost-effective solution. With all of the major UK mobile networks now offering home 4G connections, ADSL is no longer the first choice.

There are many benefits to 4G, namely:

* Faster than ADSL
* Portable – take it with you in the caravan, car or your next home
* Variable contracts to suit you
* No phone line needed

There are a couple of downsides:

• Needs a good signal
• Signal speeds may vary dependent upon factors such as weather

Whilst we wouldn’t say ditch your ADSL in favour of a new 4G connection, 4G definitely can provide new solutions depending on your circumstances. Many homes that have slow ADSL can now get broadband many times faster.

As a final thought, if you need broadband connectivity, and use the internet daily, price is fairly irrelevant. Find the best type of connection and the company with the best customer service. Changing your broadband supplier will not improve you ADSL internet speed. Before considering 4G, try running speed tests on your mobile phones and get your friends to the same when visiting you home. This way, you can confirm which provider has the best signal in your area.

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