TalkTalk is reducing the price of its broadband and fibre packages for those who sign up for two years and is promising not to raise prices for the duration of the contract. Existing customers are also eligible, if they commit to a new contract – but most can save more by switching to cheaper deals elsewhere.
A spate of price hikes in recent months have affected millions of Sky, BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and Plusnet broadband customers. And although this isn't the first time TalkTalk has offered 'fixed' price tariffs, having first done so last October, it is cutting the price at which you can 'fix' – if you go for a 24-month contract.
Existing customers can move to the new plans – without penalty if still in their minimum term – if they agree to a new contract. But unless you're currently paying TalkTalk's standard pricing and locked in to a contract they won't be saving – and if you're out of contract there are cheaper deals elsewhere.
For a full round-up of the top-pick deals see our Cheap Broadband guide.
What are TalkTalk's new prices?
You can now choose between a 12-, 18- or 24-month contract for broadband and line rental, with the monthly 'all-in' price dependent on which one you go for – the new, cheaper tariff only applies to the longest contract. There are no set-up fees.
TalkTalk fixed price broadband plans (incl line rental)
|'Fast Broadband' (up to 17Mb)
– was £22.95/mth
|'Faster Fibre Broadband' (up to 38Mb)
– was £28.50/mth
|'Faster Fibre Large Broadband' (up to 76Mb)
– was £37/mth
TalkTalk "guarantees" the price will stay the same for the contract's duration. After its end, prices will be £25.50/month for Fast Broadband, £32/month for Faster Fibre and £37/month for Faster Fibre Large, and may be subject to change – though you'll be free to leave then.
Fixed pricing applies to the broadband and line rental – which now show as a single fee – though call charges and call packages are not covered by the 'guarantee'.
Watch out – most can save more elsewhere
While TalkTalk's bucking the trend by announcing price cuts for broadband rather than the increases recently announced by BT and Sky – and it's always good to see discounts offered to existing as well as new customers – in practice most will be able to save more by looking for cheaper deals elsewhere.
And while fixed-price promises are a welcome policy, the regulator Ofcom's rules mean if a provider increases prices mid-contract you can leave penalty-free anyway (though it can be a faff switching or calling up and haggling down your monthly bill off the back of this).
Based on price alone, for most, these new tariffs aren't the best option as there are better deals elsewhere. For example, you can currently get:
Standard (up to 17Mb) broadband: £330 over 18 months plus £50 cashback with Plusnet (equiv £15.55/mth vs £20/mth with TalkTalk).
Fibre (up to 38Mb) broadband: £465 over 18 months plus £50 cashback with Plusnet (equiv £23.06/mth vs £27/mth with TalkTalk).
For existing customers though – who are mid-contract and therefore not free to switch to another provider – it's slightly more complicated, and in some cases you may be able to save.
Existing TalkTalk customers in contract: If you're still in contract and are paying standard pricing, you may be able to save by switching to one of the new tariffs on a 24-month contract.
However, you'd be preventing yourself from switching to a cheaper deal until that new 24-month contract expires, so you'd need to weigh up the saving now versus what you could save switching to the market's cheapest deal when your current contract expires.
Existing TalkTalk customers out of contract: Unless you really don't want to worry about haggling or switching for the next two years – and are willing to pay more for the peace of mind – you're better off going for a cheaper deal: one of those above, or another in our Cheap Broadband guide.