UK-based customer services - get support from a guaranteed UK call centre using a freephone telephone number
Same price everywhere - regardless of where you live, you'll get John Lewis' lowest prices
Fibre package available - Fibre Extra package averages 66Mb in enabled areas
Phone service included - evening and weekend landline calling included as standard or choose between a range of inclusive call packages including an international calling option
Shorter fibre contracts - John Lewis offer fibre on 12 month contracts rather than the 18 month fibre contracts standard from some other providers
Not the cheapest option - John Lewis have prioritised quality UK-based customer service and fairness of pricing over offering the cheapest price in any area
No standalone broadband - line rental has to be taken from John Lewis and you have to take at least an evening and weekend call plan
No short contracts - the only contract option is 12 months
Telepone support not 24 hour - the freephone support number is only open for calls between 7:30am and 10pm
Calls to mobiles not included - inclusive calls don't include UK mobile phones unless an additional £5/month is paid, which is only available when already paying £5/month extra for Anytime landline calling
Annual CPI plus 3.9% price rises - prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will increase with the Consumer Price Index plus 3.9% in June 2021, March 2022 and then annually each March onwards
Features at a glance
10Mb average ADSL speed, 36Mb average Fibre download speed and 66Mb average Fibre Extra download speed
12 month contracts
Unlimited usage allowances on all packages
Free connection on existing phonelines
Free UK-based support line open 8am to 10pm all week
Comprehensive PC security package from BullGuard included
All deals come with AC-rated wireless routers
Range of inclusive landline minutes available with every deal, evening and weekend calling as standard
Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for John Lewis Broadband.
Changed over to JL broadband yesterday and unable to get connected, customer service told me an engineer would ring in 72 hours! I need to work from home and obviously I can’t use a cafe. 25 minute wait to get through to an advisor. Massively regret making the switch
Horrid customer service. You are on hold for so long waiting for them to answer. Message says they are experiencing high call volumes. Well employ more call handlers.
My advice? Just switch and bugger them
Please do not bother
This is the worse broadband I have ever used. It does not work in the morning or evening drop during the day and the Customer service advice is to disconnect and connect again ( which if you wish to use it need to happen 20 times a day) Please AVOID!I wouldn't pay £1.00 for this service
This broadband is rubbish, slow, and pathetic. My mother spent £40.00 for it.
The internet speed is terrible. I keep cutting out from it, it goes off for no reason then 3 seconds later, comes on again. My mother is considering to switch to a better one. Avoid this broadband. You got my advice.
Since receiving my awful John Lewis wifi I have had the worst signal, the worst connection and overall the absolute worst time. I would rather not own a phone than deal with the stress this WiFi gives me. I would never wish this on my worst enemy, that’s how bad it is. Me and my three kids have not been able to watch the new croods movie which is devastating to the family. I hope whoever created this wifi is having a great time lavishing in our wasted money, period
i would not advise to get this wifi brand, the signal strength doesn’t go far and barely connects to any devices. I have a breakdown at least a million times a day because of the WiFi. My 4g works better and if I could I would rate this wifi 0 stars because it is very tragic and i really do not advise you to get it.
Please avoid John Lewis broadband I switched from Plusnet not realising John Lewis is Plusnet. Should have switched providers within 24 hours but ended up having no internet for 13 days John Lewis did not contact me to update me. They came up with different reasons why the account did not go ahead so I decided to cancel and go with a more professional provider AVOID!!!!
Within a week of being connected with John Lewis Broadband, the connection started dropping out randomly. This is a particular problem as we are a household of NHS workers and rely on home broadband when working from home to try and reduce the risks of catching Covid from hospital workplaces. The intermittent internet dropout is interfering with our patient care.
I rang John Lewis technical support the first day of the problem. I waited 25 minutes to get through and after a few minutes on the phone they cut me off. No attempt to call me back so I had to call again waiting 25 minutes again. The second call operative sounded disinterested and said their systems were down so he couldn't test my broadband connection so he would have to get someone to call me back. That was 8 days ago and I've had no contact from any John Lewis worker since. On a couple of occasions I've waited half an hour to get through but was still on hold so had to put down the phone as I couldn't wait any longer. When I first rang them they sent me emails saying I can respond through their website by leaving query messages. I've left a query message every day since, and they've not responded to any of them. Their website says they respond to messages within 24 hours. This is a lie.
Their website says that you can get through to them on 08000223300 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is also a lie. I've tried to get through this evening and tried all 5 options on their automated menu system and they all say they're closed. You cannot get to speak to anyone.
On their website it says you can use their online 'contact us' to submit a complaint. This is also a lie. Trying to log in on that website comes up with an error message saying "This page isn't working because portal.johnlewisbroadband.com redirected you too many times". I've tried on two tablets, my wife's phone and my phone, all of which come up with the same error message. Now the online query system has also stopped working so I can't send them any more messages.
So after two weeks of being treated like dirt by this company, who are making themselves as hard as possible to contact, I would say avoid John Lewis Broadband like the plague. I wish I had never switched to them.
I would suggest avoiding. I had issues from Oct when the ADSL disconnected. 2 engineers from BT and did some work. Eventually found that the UPTO 1MS upload speed had been configured BY JL to 440K. Wonder if this is supporting their move to Fibre? I had spotted the IP Profile in BTwholesale was set to 440 and told them about 2 months ago. They altered me to 850K. So they still are throttling me at 850K - wont ever get UPTO 1MB updoad.
www.broadbandchecker.btwholesale.com is very useful do the advanced check tells you your IP Profile. I wonder how many people told they will get UPTO 1MB actually are being throttled to very much less than that.
Make sure you read the terms carefully when you take out a new broadband deal: there's a growing trend for some providers to sneak in new clauses promising significant mid-contract price rises.
The four BT Group brands - BT, EE, Plusnet and John Lewis - have now all announced new policies to allow bigger price hikes on their deals. They will see annual increases equal to the consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate - plus an extra 3.9% on top.
Previously, ISPs would typically peg their rises to the CPI, or in some cases promise none at all.
Plusnet, for example, have effectively replaced their heralded fixed price guarantee with the guarantee of at least one - and potentially two - price rises over the course of a broadband deal.
BT, meanwhile, no longer offer contracts shorter than the two-year maximum that Ofcom allows. That means you'll be paying at least 7.95% more at the end of your deal than you were at the start.
Here's what they've announced:
BT and EE are using the CPI published every January. The price rises go into effect from 31st March each year, and apply to customers who signed up after 1st September 2020.
For the 2021 increase, Plusnet and John Lewis are using the CPI published in April and applying the increase from 1st June. After that, they're using the CPI published every January, and adding the increase to bills from 1st March. It affects customers who signed up from 7th October.
If you're on an older deal and still within your initial contract period you won't be affected by these changes until the time comes for you to renew. If you're out of contract you will be affected, although you should never stay on an out-of-contract deal for long.
So how much more will you be paying? For reference, the CPI rate for December 2019 was 1.3%, so that's the rate by which your price would have gone up on most deals. Under the new policy, that increase would have been a hefty 5.2%.
The Bank of England's target for the CPI is even higher at 2%. Of course, with the uncertainty that comes from the UK being in the middle of the biggest economic slump in 300 years, it's hard to predict what that rate will be in future. Needless to say, negative inflation won't result in a discount as that 3.9% will stay in place regardless.
What can you do?
Ofcom rules state that you can quit your contract without penalty if your broadband provider introduces "unexpected" mid-contract increases. But by announcing these plans, and writing them into your contract, they won't be classed as unexpected, so there's no escape.
What you can do instead is ensure you factor in the changes in your monthly charges when you're comparing broadband deals. And also keep in mind the date you sign up. If you take out one of these deals in February or March you'll be hit by an immediate price hike.
This move makes genuine fixed price guarantees more valuable than ever, especially if you're signing up for longer than 12 months. TalkTalk, italk and SSE are among the suppliers still offering them, so if you want clarity over what your bills will look like over the next couple of years they're worth checking out.
Fast, reliable broadband is a must-have for any student house. And given that it can take a couple of weeks to set up, it's one of the first things you'll want to get sorted when you move in for the new term.
If you haven't signed up for your own broadband package before, we'll tackle some of the questions you might have here.
It's all pretty straightforward, but as a student you won't have quite as many options as everyone else. Contract length is absolutely vital - you don't want to be saddled with a long term deal that you have to keep paying for during the summer holidays or beyond.
And with all the corona-driven uncertainty this year, flexibility is more important than ever. Let's take a look at some of the things you need to know.
What speed do you need?
Your usage is probably going to be pretty high, so the fibre deals in the 60-67Mb average speed range should be your starting point.
You might get away with one of the slower fibre packages if there's only two people in your house, but in most cases the extra speed will be worth more than the fiver or so difference in price.
Faster is always better, of course, and you might be lucky enough to be living in an area where you can get speeds over 100Mb - and sometimes quite a lot more. These might come from the normal fibre providers like BT or Sky, from Virgin Media, or in 5G areas through the likes of EE and Three. Just make sure you keep an eye on the contract length and any setup fees for these faster deals.
What length contract should you get?
Short contracts are key for student broadband, so don't even consider those that need an 18 or 24 month commitment.
12 months is the longest you should go for, but even then you'll end up with quite an overlap with the summer break where you're still paying for your internet while you're hitting the beaches in Spain. Don't rule these out entirely, though, as they might still work out cheaper than a shorter option.
BT offer a few nine month deals that align much better with your term time. Some broadband suppliers, including NOW Broadband and Virgin Media, also offer 30-day rolling contracts that you can cancel at any time. These are best for zero-commitment broadband, but they do often come with significant setup fees. Be sure to factor that in when you're comparing prices.
Do you need any extras?
If Netflix isn't enough and you want a bit of sports action or some more of the latest US shows, you can save some money by adding a pay TV plan to you broadband deal. You won't be able to do this through Sky, as they only offer TV on an 18 month contract, but you can get 30-day deals on NOW TV streaming with NOW Broadband.
For any overseas students in your house, consider adding a call plan with support for cheap international calls.
Who pays the bill?
Even though you'll be splitting the bill with all your housemates, one of you is going to have put their name on the contract. It will be their responsibility. This is one of the reasons why you don't want to sign up to anything longer than 12 months, tops. You don't want to be stuck paying your broadband bill long after your housemates have moved on.
It's a good idea to assign each one of your utilities to a different person in your household so you share the risk. To help manage bills you can also look into setting up a shared bank account across the household, or take a look at apps like Splitwise that make it easier to see who owes what.
Best broadband deals for students
So, what student broadband deal should you choose?
BT offer three plans specifically for students. They're nine month deals, with speeds ranging from 36Mb to 67Mb. You can add a Sports or Entertainment TV package, as well as call plans including cheap international calls to 236 countries.
For one month contracts, you've got two main choices:
NOW Broadband - speeds range from a sedate 11Mb (don't bother!) to a much more suitable 63Mb, with the option to add streaming TV plans as well. All of them come with a £65 upfront fee.
Virgin Media - speeds on the 30-day plans range from around 54Mb all the way up to over 500Mb. Many setup fees have been waived on the 1 month rolling contracts that are specifically for students, but bear in mind that installation takes longer if your house hasn't had Virgin before.
Your other options are for 12 month contracts. When you add in the setup fees and slightly higher prices for short deals, these year-long plans may still end up being competitive, even though you'll still be paying in July and August when you don't need it. Among your best options here are:
John Lewis Broadband - speeds go up to an average 66Mb, with no activation fee, and usually include an e-gift card as a bonus.
Plusnet - speeds up to 66Mb, with just a £10 activation fee. You also get the option to add BT Sport - with Premier League and Champions League football - after you've signed up.
And there's one last thing to consider - broadband over 4G or 5G. This won't be right for everyone: 4G speeds are better for one or two users rather than a large, heavy-use household, and though 5G is blazing fast it still has very patchy coverage. If you're in the right part of London, Three's 5G Home Unlimited plans look good, and include a 12 month option. Find more great mobile broadband deals here.
Ready to start shopping for student broadband? Use our postcode checker to compare the best broadband deals available in your area today.
John Lewis Broadband Buyers Guide - Is John Lewis right for you?
Can I get John Lewis Broadband?
John Lewis Broadband is supplied by Plusnet, which is in turn owned by BT. So, they have the full BT network coverage, which extends to more than 95% of UK households. You should be able to get it, unless you're in a very rural area.
But if John Lewis Broadband is simpy a re-badged version of Plusnet, why would you choose it over the more established tech brand? There's one main reason. Plusnet charge different prices for the same service depending on whether you're situated in a low cost or non-low cost area. John Lewis don't. If you live in the countryside you'll pay the same as you would in the middle of the city.
In addition to that, there's brand recognition to consider. John Lewis stores have a strong reputation for providing outstanding customer service, and they aim to provide a similar level for their broadband products.
Use our postcode checker to see if John Lewis Broadband is available where you live.
There's one standard deal and two fibre offers. All three come on 12 month contracts:
Unlimited - standard ADSL broadband at speeds averaging 10Mb with truly unlimited usage
Fibre - entry-level fibre broadband offering speeds averaging 36Mb for downloads and 9Mb for uploads with truly unlimited usage
Fibre Extra - the faster fibre-optic broadband plan at speeds averaging 66Mb download and 18Mb upload with truly unlimited usage
These packages all come with a home phone service and line rental - there are no standalone broadband options. The phone service comes with inclusive weekend and evening landline calls as standard, allowing you to call most UK landlines for free between 7pm and 7am during the week and anytime at the weekend without charge as long as your call doesn't exceed one hour. You can upgrade this to a full Anytime calls plan for an extra £5/month. For an extra £7/month, an Anytime and International call package is available, offering inclusive calls to most UK landlines all week as well as 300 call minutes to top 20 international destinations, including US cellphones. If you're on one of the Anytime packages, you can add inclusive UK mobile calls for an additional £5/month, otherwise these cost 12.5p/minute at peak times and 10p/minute evenings and weekends.
As with all providers, the speeds are advertised with 'averages' because a variety of factors can affect your download speed, as John Lewis Broadband openly acknowledge. These can include the wiring in your home, time of day (for example, the extra volume of users at peak times means a slower service than late at night) and the length of your copper telephone cabling to either the telephone exchange, in the case of ADSL, or the street cabinet, in the case of fibre. The further away you are in terms of line length, the slower your potential speed is likely to be. You can find out how far you are from your nearest telephone exchange with our postcode checker.
Which package should I choose?
There are a few things you'll want to consider before signing up to John Lewis Broadband, not least what speed you need and whether you need a call plan.
First, the speed. The Unlimited deal, with an average download speed of 10Mb is fine for a small household with only basic demands. It'll be enough for browsing, shopping and social media on multiple devices, and should be okay for streaming Netflix on one device. Any more than that, you need to look at one of the fibe deals. The basic fibre option should be good enough for all but the busiest households, able to handle more than one person watching Netflix or playing online games at the same time. For larger or more demanding homes, go for the fastest deal.
As for whether to choose John Lewis over other providers, consider whether you need the built-in call plan. It's great if you make a lot of landline calls, but if you don't you might be able to shave a few pounds a month off your bill somewhere else. Also, consider where in the country you are. If you're in a more rural area you might find the non-geographic pricing of John Lewis works out cheaper than it would on, say, Plusnet.
Points to consider before you choose
How much do you value freephone UK-based customer support?
Do you regularly use the Internet for bandwidth-heavy activities like gaming or downloading large files?
Do you regularly send files to the cloud or upload a lot of photos or videos?
How many people will be using your broadband connection?
Is speed or capacity a greater priority for you?
Do you use your landline to make a lot of calls?
Would the expense of the faster speed be worth it for you?
It's always good to know upfront what you'll get when signing up with an ISP so you know what you can enjoy for free, or to budget for any extras you may want.
Free wireless router - New customers with John Lewis Broadband get a free inclusive wireless router to help them manage their connections. Standard broadband customers get a Netgear N150 WNR1000 router with wireless ‘N’ technology, a double firewall, wireless security, optional parental controls, and 5 ethernet ports. Fibre users get the more high-end ZyXEL VMG8924 router. This is AC-rated and has dual-band support, meaning faster speeds and stronger connections over distance. There's also the firewall, security and other features. If you prefer, you can use your own router instead.
Online security package - John Lewis Broadband offer a variety of online security options depending on your computer. PC users can download BullGuard, a PC security package with online backup protection, antivirus and antispyware tools, a firewall and a spam filter. Mac users can instead get Intengo software security products with 32% off their retail cost as a John Lewis Broadband customer.
Free evening and weekend calls - Although this is technically built into the price you pay, you do get a non-optional call plan with all broadband packages. It gives you free evening and weekend calls of under 1 hour duration to most UK landlines.
UK-based customer service - Calls to customer service for John Lewis Broadband are free, and they're available into the late evening every night of the week.
What are the benefits of John Lewis Broadband?
The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.
Free UK-based customer service - Unlike some other ISPs, John Lewis Broadband’s UK-based customer service is freephone, and open 7:30am - 10pm, 7 days a week. There is also an online portal for those who would prefer to have their queries and issues answered in that format.
Equal pricing - For John Lewis Broadband offers customers the same prices no matter where in the UK they live. This stands in stark contrast to most low cost ISPs who offer different prices at different telephone exchanges, usually favouring urban and central exchanges at the expense of many rural customers.
No hidden costs - The John Lewis brand prides itself on being matter-of-fact and straightforward with its deals, and so what you see is what you pay - there are no hidden costs unlike with some other ISPs. This includes having no activation fees, giving you a free connection on existing phone lines.
What are the drawbacks of John Lewis Broadband?
Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.
No standalone broadband - All John Lewis Broadband packages include a home phone service and line rental. This is only really an issue for those who do not plan to use a landline or do not wish to change their existing phone provider, but they might reconsider given that John Lewis Broadband offer a variety of phone offers with their broadband, including free inclusive evening & weekend calls as standard.
No short contract broadband - Customers hoping for shorter contracts may find themselves disappointed by the 12 month minimum contract length.
Telephone support not 24 hour - The freephone support number is closed between 10pm and 7:30am.
Calls to mobiles not included - The inclusive phone plans don't include calls to UK mobile phones, which are charged 10p/minute evenings and weekends, and 12.5p/minute daytime. A £5/month Mobile Bolt-on can be purchased to add anytime calls to UK mobiles, but only if you're already paying at least £5/month for one of the Anytime landline call plans.
Annual CPI increases apply - Prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will all increase in June 2021 by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation published by the Office for National Statistics in April of that year plus 3.9%, and then will raise again on the same CPI plus 3.9% basis each March from 2022 onwards. Other prices, content and terms may also change during your contract.