Plusnet is offering its cheapest unlimited broadband package at £2.50 a month from this Thursday as providers battle to offer low-cost deals.
This price for "unlimited" broadband runs for 12 months for customers signing up to Plusnet line rental, after which the cost will be £9.99 for the remainder of the 18-month contract.
Line rental can be paid upfront at £131.88 a year, equivalent to £10.99 a month. However, you will lose the inclusive unlimited evening and weekend calls if you pay this way. Alternatively, you can pay £14.50 by monthly direct debit. The deal runs until 25 February. The service will appeal to users of data-heavy services such as BBC iPlayer and other on-demand media applications.
According to comparison site broadbandchoices.co.uk, recent months have seen a range of low-cost offerings.
Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at the website, says: "Plusnet's £2.50 unlimited data deal is great value and is the latest in a string of offers from providers as they battle for market share. Customers thinking of switching need to be sure they are happy to stay on this deal for the duration of an 18-month contract – Plusnet is not unique in this as a lot of providers have been introducing 18-month contracts in the last year or so. However, this provider has won multiple awards for customer service, so if you are going to stick with one supplier for the long term this provider may be attractive."
The deal is also likely to be welcomed by those in rural areas, who are likely to only have only two reasonably priced options – BT and Plusnet.
Meanwhile, Tesco is offering free broadband for a year to households that sign up to its home phone line rental, costing £14.90 a month – but you will save £72 on a 12-month bill because the broadband package usually costs an extra £6 a month. The offer ends on 31 January, and comes with a free wireless router – although you will have to pay the £5 delivery charge, 14mbps speeds and unlimited downloads.
■ The Guardian offers a comparison service: guardiandigitalcomparison.co.uk