Tesco broadband review

tesco broadband

Broadband from supermarket giant Tesco is cheap and cheering for Clubcard holders.

Their internet and phone deals, provided on the Cable and Wireless network, are basic but fairly easy to understand.

Tesco addicts can collect Clubcard points, too.

Basic broadband and calls

Tesco broadband is a up to 14Mb service, which will mean about 7Mb speeds for the average household, with unlimited downloads.

Like almost all budget broadband providers, they require all broadband customers to also take their line rental.

Package Price Line rental Total cost/month
tesco Broadband + Evening & Weekend calls £2
for 12 mths,
then £6
£15.40 £17.40
for 12 mths,
then £21.40
Visit Tesco

Inclusive Anytime calls are an extra £5 a month. We told you Tesco keep things simple.

UK's cheapest?

These prices are among the UK's lowest.

Tesco are almost always in the top five cheapest broadband deals, the current top five are shown below, because they generally have a long special offer reducing the price of broadband.

Package Broadband Price Line Rental Total Price Setup Cost
tesco Broadband + Evening & Weekend calls Up to 16Mb
Unlimited
£2
for 12 mths,
then £6
£15.40 £17.40
for 12 mths,
then £21.40
Free Visit Tesco
plusnet Unlimited + Talk Weekends (18 mths term) Up to 17Mb
Unlimited
£1.50
for 12 mths,
then £9.99
£15.95 £17.95
for 12 mths,
then £25.94
Free Visit Plusnet
fuel broadband Unlimited Broadband Up to 16Mb
Unlimited
£2
for 6 mths,
then £4
£15 £17
for 6 mths,
then £19
Free Visit Fuel Broadband
ee Broadband + Weekend calls Up to 17Mb
Unlimited
£2.50
for 12 mths,
then £9.95
£15.75 £17.75
for 12 mths,
then £25.70
Free Visit EE
plusnet Unlimited + Talk Weekends Up to 17Mb
Unlimited
£2.50
for 12 mths,
then £9.99
£15.95 £17.95
for 12 mths,
then £25.94
Free Visit Plusnet

A wireless router is included free with Tesco packages and there's no charge for set up.

On the other hand, Tesco's line rental is actually fairly expensive.

It's about the same price as most other providers at this point but, unlike some of the bigger budget providers, there's no way to reduce the price by paying upfront for a year.

However, call costs outside of allowance are fairly priced. As with other phone providers, inclusive calls last for 60 minutes after which calls are charged at normal rates.

Paid call costs vary and incur a call set up charge while 147 (last number called), 141 (withhold number) and 1571 (voicemail) are all free services.

The catch: how is Tesco so cheap?

So Tesco broadband is pretty cheap and, as with all budget providers, that means we need to look at why that is.

Limited availability

Since November 2009, Tesco Broadband have run their home broadband service through Cable and Wireless on the Bulldog network.

Bulldog supply LLU ADSL2+ to around 900 UK exchanges which means that availability, while fairly extensive, falls short of some of the larger suppliers (TalkTalk, in contrast, supply about 2,000).

You can check availability through our Tesco package search here.

Phone number:
Postcode:
Enter your phone number and / or postcode above to check availability in your area.

Those that can't receive Tesco broadband through the Bulldog network might be able to opt for an 'out of area' Tesco Broadband deal: Tesco's site search can determine that and then, much higher, prices for that are here.

In addition, Bulldog's network isn't one of the UK's fastest: based on independent results from similar providers, 6Mb to 8Mb speeds seem likely to be the average.

Tesco broadband provide an estimated line speed through a postcode and phone number search on their site.

That'll be based on the property's distance from the local exchange and the technology available in the local area.

Unlimited small print

The promise of unlimited downloads should also be taken with a pinch of salt.

Like budget buddies Primus (reviewed here) Tesco broadband have a fair use policy which notionally limits the amount customers can download.

However, we haven't heard of any customers actually falling foul of this policy - if you have, let us know in the comments - and, in any case, it should only affect very heavy downloaders.

It's worth knowing about, then, and read about it in full here if you're concerned, but not necessarily something to worry about unless you're a Skype addict or P2P fiend.

More on Tesco
Clubcard credit cards
Clubcard for flights
Clubcard for petrol

Customer service

Finally, it's worth bearing in mind that this is a basic broadband service and it could be prudent to expect customer service to be similarly basic.

Having said that, Tesco aren't particularly well known for poor service and the company's mobile phone customer service department gets more or less consistently positive reviews which, we think, bodes well.

Clubcard points

Finally, there's one more reason why Tesco do anything cheaply which is to make you shop more in their supermarkets.

In this case, they're doing that by making the deals attractive to their Clubcard customers.

Entering a Clubcard or e-Clubcard number on sign up or through the 'your profile' portal once you're signed up will net those that like to pick up points 1 Clubcard points for every £1 of broadband and calls spend.

Tesco also sometimes offer bonus Clubcard points to new customers so keep an eye out for the latest deals.

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