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The Best Student Broadband Deals 2020

A person wearing a university cap floating over piles of paper with broadband wifi signals.

One of the many perks of being a student is having access to great student broadband deals! Internet service providers have made the burden of student life easier with a selection of no-contract and reduced-term broadband contracts.


We understand that every penny counts when studying! That’s why we created this guide to help you sort through the top student-friendly deals and make an informed decision.

Now TV student discounts and deals

You can occasionally find Now TV student discounts online. However, even if there are no offers available when you’re looking, its plans are still some of the cheapest on the market. Plus, all of the Now TV Broadband bundles are available on an annual or no-contract basis.

The no-contract plan is a monthly rolling service that’s compatible with the school year. It doesn’t tie you down to a fixed term and lets you cancel whenever you want.

There are three bundles to choose from: Brilliant Broadband, Fab Fibre and Super Fibre. Now TV is one of the few providers that offer rolling contracts with fibre-optic packages.

All no-contract customers have to pay a £60 activation fee for set up and delivery. You need to decide how long you will need broadband for. If it’s only a few months then this will save you money in the long run. On the flip side, If you end up needing it for 11 months the fixed annual contract would make sense.

New customers receive discounted prices on all three bundles along with a three month Now TV Entertainment Pass. After this period, the pass will auto-renew unless cancelled and the cost to keep it is £8.99 a month.

Now TV No Contract Broadband
Brilliant Broadband Fab Fibre Super Fibre Perks
11 Mbps 36 Mbps 63 Mbps 3 month Now TV entertainment pass
£18/month £25/month £30/month
£60 activation £60 activation £60 activation

Now TV broadband review

Is Now TV broadband any good? On Trustpilot, Now TV has more than 8,000 customer reviews and receives an average rating of 2.5/5 stars. Some of the positive feedback was around the internet connection, which customers say is fast and reliable. They also liked the great value tv package which is cheaper than many other providers’ packages.

The biggest problem customers seem to have is regarding cancelling. There are reports that money was taken out of accounts even after customers had cancelled. Another issue centred on being charged incorrectly and customers have also faced difficulty getting a refund.

BT student broadband

BT student broadband deals seem to come around just before the beginning of every school year. Traditionally, BT has offered reduced-term contracts to coincide with the duration of the academic year, which is ideal for students that don’t spend the uni break in their university town or accommodation.

BT offers two student broadband deals on a 9-month contract. These both come with the BT Smart Hub router, which BT claims has the UK’s most powerful wi-fi signal. With seven antennas, you’re less likely to have black spots in your apartment so you and your mates can all studiously work away at once.

BT 9 Month Student Contract
Superfast Fibre 1 Unlimited Superfast Fibre 2 Unlimited Extra Info
50 Mbps 67 Mbps After 9 months the price increases
£31.99/month £36.99/month Student email required
Line rental included Line rental included BT Smarthub included
£9.99 delivery £9.99 delivery

BT broadband review

BT broadband reviews are a mixed bag. On Trustpilot, there are more than 6,000 customer reviews and the average rating is less than impressive at 1.5/5 stars. There are a couple of common themes which let the company down: a long wait time to get through to customer services and broadband connection being mysteriously cut for some customers who hadn’t requested this.

On broadband.co.uk, BT has more than 200,000 customer reviews and receives an average of 3/5 stars. Customers like that the delivery was quick and easy to set up. Depending on the location, many customers rave about the connection speed too.

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Virgin Media student-friendly contracts

Whilst there are no targeted Virgin Media student deals, their range of 30-day rolling contracts are perfect for students. These flexible contracts are available on all of their flagship fibre broadband deals: M50, M100, M200 and M350. The activation fee for the 30-day rolling contract on any package is one of the highest in the market at £80.

Virgin Media’s high speeds really make it stand out from the crowd. Most people don’t need such high speed internet for day-to-day usage. However, it could come in handy in shared student accommodation, especially around assignment time!

Virgin Media 30 Day Rolling Contracts
M50 Broadband + Phone M100 Broadband + Phone M200 Broadband + Phone M350 Broadband + Phone
54 Mbps £44/month £80 upfront fee 108 Mbps £49/month £80 upfront fee 213 Mbps £54/month £80 upfront fee 362 Mbps £59/month £80 upfront fee
M50 Broadband Only M100 Broadband Only M200 Broadband Only M350 Broadband Only
54 Mbps £37/month £80 upfront fee 108 Mbps £42/month £80 upfront fee 213 Mbps £47/month £80 upfront fee 362 Mbps £52/month £80 upfront fee

Virgin Media broadband reviews

On Trustpilot, Virgin Media has more than 11,000 customer reviews. The average rating is 1/5 stars, which is very low. Common complaints focus on internet speed being slow and paying too much for a supposedly high speed service. Positive reviews left on the site regularly commended the support team on being very helpful.

On broadband.co.uk, Virgin Media has more than 170,000 customer reviews. The average rating on this site is much more positive with 3/5 stars. Customer feedback was vastly different from those reviews on Trustpilot with many customers impressed with the fast connection. Less positive, were the reviews regarding pricing, especially those concerning renewals and cancellations.

Zen Broadband: free activation

Only one of Zen’s broadband deals is currently available on a student-friendly flexible contract. Zen offers its Fast Unlimited Broadband service on a rolling monthly contract basis. The download speed is low at 10Mbps so may not be fit for student accommodation with lots of gadgets and users.

The greatest benefit of this contract is that there is no activation fee, as long as you have an ADSL broadband connection already. This means, if you are switching from another provider, the activation charge won’t apply. This may appeal to final year students who don’t want to renew an existing annual contract. If you don’t have an ADSL connection, Zen charges a £48 activation fee, which is fairly average.

Zen’s one month Unlimited Broadband contract comes with the option to choose broadband-only or broadband and phone line rental. The broadband-only deal reduces the price of the monthly service by £10.

Zen One Month Contract (Fast ADSL Broadband)
Broadband Only Unlimited Broadband 10Mbps £22.99/month
Broadband & Landline Unlimited Broadband 10Mbps £32.99/month

Zen broadband reviews

We must say that reviews for Zen are refreshingly positive. On Trustpilot, Zen has over 4,000 reviews and receives an average of 4/5 stars. Customers praise all aspects of the service, ranging from the setup process being super fast to queries being handled in a professional and friendly manner. Only 5% of customers gave a ‘bad’ rating and some of these were due to issues with their internet cutting out.

On broadband.co.uk, the average rating of 3,000+ respondents is just over 4/5 stars. There are four main categories which are rated as below:

  • Satisfaction - 4.1 stars
  • Customer service - 4.3 stars
  • Speed - 3.6 stars
  • Reliability - 4.1 stars

Direct Save Telecom: rolling contracts

Direct Save Telecom offers a rolling contract with its fibre-optic packages and unlimited broadband. Fibre-optic packages can be ideal for shared student accommodation where multiple users can pose a burden on the connection.

In total, there are three deals available on a no-contract basis: unlimited broadband and two fibre plans. The former averages download speeds of 11Mbps, whilst the latter fibre deals average speeds of 35Mbps and 63Mbps, respectively.

The activation fee for these Direct Save Telecom broadband packages is markedly lower than the fees charged by other providers. It currently stands at £24.95.

Direct Save Rolling Contract
Unlimited Broadband Fibre Broadband 38Mb Fibre Broadband 76Mb
11 Mbps 35 Mbps 63 Mbps
£27.95/month £34.95/month £39.95/month
No line rental fee No line rental fee No line rental fee
£24.95 activation £24.95 activation £24.95 activation
£9.95 delivery £9.95 delivery

Direct Save Telecom reviews

With over 800 customer reviews on Trustpilot, Direct Save Telecom gets an average rating of 4/5 stars. Customers really like how quick and easy the sign-up process is. However, some customers experienced issues when trying to cancel their contracts. Generally, reviews about connectivity are positive and it is reported as solid.

Selectra’s verdict

As you can see, there are many options to consider before choosing your student broadband deal.

Here’s a quick summary of which provider to go for, depending on your situation and priorities:

  • Now TV - Excellent value, plus you get a three month Now TV entertainment pass.
  • BT - Offers nine-month contracts and you will receive a BT Smart Hub router, which should boost your wi-fi signal.
  • Virgin Media - Provides the fastest download speed and is great for shared student accommodation.
  • Zen - You could qualify for free activation, even on a monthly contract.

Call us now to save yourself precious study time and money! If you’re not sure which provider to go with, the best thing to do is give us a call. We’d love to chat you through the process, plus we have lots of other great providers that may be just perfect for you. 01704 468005

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