Most people nowadays are joined at the hip to their mobile phones. Increasingly people are reaching for them first when they need to make calls, even from within their own home. If you are one of these people, you may be thinking that £14.50 per month (UK average) for a landline that you only use to access the internet is a bit steep. So, the big question is - Is it practical for you to ditch your landline?
Well, the good news is that there are 3 alternatives to using your landline to access the Internet. The bad news is they are unlikely to save you much money.
Option 1 would be to use a cable provider like Virgin Media who provide broadband via fibre-optic cables to your property (rather than the old copper phone lines). So far Virgin Media are the only major UK telephone provider to supply residential broadband only packages. Unfortunately, ordering a stand alone broadband package is only a few pounds a month cheaper than ordering one that's bundled with a landline.
Option 2 would be to use a mobile broadband dongle, which allows you to connect to a 3G network in the same way as you would with your mobile phone. With the aid of Mi-Fi you can even share your broadband with other users. Average UK speeds vary from 1Mb to 7Mb. You can expect to pay around £8 per month for 1Gb of usage.
Option 3 would be to use a satellite broadband provider, perhaps a little extreme for most of us and unlikely to save you any money. You can expect to pay about £25 per month for a 6Mb broadband speed.
In conclusion, ditching your landline can be practical but at the moment at least, it's not particularly economical if you are an average-heavy internet user. However, things are constantly evolving and with considerable investment in the 4G mobile broadband network , due to launch in 2013, mobile broadband is becoming faster and more affordable than ever before. If prices continue to drop, we may be writing an obituary to our old friend the landline before the decade is out!