TV, phone and internet
If you are planning on having a television in your accommodation you will have to get a licence. You can find out more information on this on our Council tax and television licence page.
There are two ways of accessing mobile phone networks:
- Pre-paid (also known as Pay As You Go or PAYG)
A pre-paid mobile phone is one for which credit is purchased in advance of using the service. You are able to top up your credit at any time in a variety of ways, including at newsagents, supermarkets and bank cash machines. The main advantage of this type of phone is that you can use it without signing a contract, and this is ideal if you are only staying in the UK for a short period, or if you want time when you first arrive to consider which long-term provider to take a contract with.
If you are staying in the UK for a longer period of time and want to use a mobile phone without having to buy top-up credits then a contract mobile phone would be better for you. A contract will also work out cheaper if you plan to use your mobile phone a lot.
The main mobile phone providers in the UK are:
Home phone (landline) and internet providers
If you want to have internet in your accommodation you will have to get an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a modem to connect to the ISP. You could either get a mobile broadband or a home broadband.
The mobile broadband is basically a USB Modem that you pop to your computer and that gives you access to the internet wherever you are. Most of the mobile broadband packages offer limited services (i.e. restricted number of hours online per month and limited download capacity).
Home broadband packages often include home phone calls. It could be useful to have a landline if you plan to call your family and friends regularly as it can be much cheaper to call abroad from a house phone than from a mobile.
The main broadband and landline providers in the UK are:
In the UK, the independent regulator for communications services is called Ofcom. More information about Ofcom is available here.
You can use comparison websites to help you find the best broadband only contract or broadband package. Cable.co.uk (accredited by Ofcom) offers a comparison service and has information specifically designed for students. Before choosing any supplier, please make sure the company is Ofcom registered. Please note that we cannot be held responsible for the contents of any the above websites.