New phone line installation: get it for free

get a phone line

Getting a new phone line installed can cost £130... or nothing at all.

In this guide we look at how to get the 'nothing at all' option.

There are two ways: taking broadband and home phone from a provider with a free line installation special offer or circumventing getting a new line installed, by using the existing equipment.

Let's start with the first option, or skip ahead to find more on whether you'll actually need a new line.

Get a new phone line

Most providers offer a free or much cheaper connection to those willing to sign up for 12 or 18 months.

Since so many providers can now offer phone line installation, there's no need to compromise on the broadband package, either.

Getting a new line for free

Here are the details, from the cheapest installation to the most expensive.

Price The deal
BT Free Free with any broadband or TV deal, otherwise £50 to £130.
Get the offer here.
Fuel Broadband
(Previously Primus)
Free Free when you take broadband, otherwise £59.
Get the offer here.
TalkTalk £20 - £50 £20 with Essentials or Plus TV & broadband. £50 with Simply broadband. Be aware that new line orders may not be eligible for some of TalkTalk's other special offers. Get the offer here.
Tesco £35 £35 with all broadband deals, see the deal here.
Sky £39 From £39. Get the offer here.
Virgin Media £49.95 £49.95 for everyone, find out more about the offer here.
Plusnet £49.99 Plusnet phone is only available with broadband. Get this here.
EE £60 Applies to all new line installations, find out more here (pdf).
Post Office £60* *Currently running a free line installation promotion, however we don't yet know the end date of this offer - so approach with caution as it may expire. Get this here.
BT Basic
(cheap phone line)
£130 Those on BT's social tariff who need a new line must pay the full amount although, unlike everyone else, they can split it into five monthly payments. More info here.

These prices were correct at the byline date of this article.

We always keep an eye on them and update as soon as we see any changes but it's always worth clicking through and double checking with the provider before committing to a contract.

Do you need a new line?

As you can see above, new phone lines can be an expensive hassle.

But, as we noted in the introduction, they're also often a needless expensive hassle, because most people don't actually need a new phone line installed.

Follow the white socket

Most homes will have a BT socket somewhere: look for a small white socket, which may have a BT logo, either on a wall or by the front door.

Don't need a new line?
You can still cut call costs
Compare phone here
Cost cutting tips here

In general, those that can plug a home phone into the wall and hear a dial tone shouldn't need to pay a fee.

Instead, any new phone and broadband provider will be able to transfer the line to their service free of charge.

If you can't see a socket but are aware that the previous residents did have a BT line, a new phone provider may be able to help you to find it.

Note also that phone sockets similar to BT's are installed in some instances so, depending on the supplier, BT may charge a reconnection fee even when the house does have a white socket.

That's only the case in a small minority of households but it's just worth being aware of.

New line checklist

Homes that are very new - for example, in a building newly converted into flats - where a line has never been installed may need a new phone line.

More commonly, engineers will need to reconnect an existing line because it has been seriously damaged at some point.

Damage can occur during renovations and is most likely to affect the socket.

Finally, households that have been disconnected for non payment in the past will be liable to pay a reconnection fee to get their phone line back.

For more technical information on moving back to BT see our article here.

Comments

1
3 December 2014
Cath

Our tel box says GPO on it - we do have more modern tel connectors coming off this but the whole system is probably at least 30-40 years old maybe more! Will we need a new line to connect to a broadband package from Plusnet?

2
11 November 2014
Vicky Richardson Was Collings

I have holiday cottages and am trying to find the best deal to have landlines installed and a broadband service for guests. I only need an actual working phoneline in one of the properties - the others just need sockets for broadband connection.
None of the properties have had a phone line before.

3
5 November 2014
Thomas Paul Ferry

I have a BT socket that I was using for my EE broadband. The white BT box has since been danged. If I needed to replace it, who do I contact and how much would the repair cost? Any help would be extremely helpful.

4
14 October 2014
Carol

I have existing phone and broadband with BT but need an additional line for home business. What is my best option?

5
23 September 2014
Chris Wilson

I just signed up for a Post Office phone line and the connection was FREE. Saved not just £50, but £110. I think it's a mistake in their system, the price was listed as "£?0" which makes me think that someone entered it wrongly.

6
14 September 2014
Debra Barnard

Sky cancelled my phone line and broadband in error, they have quoted a two week wait to activate why is this? All other providers are saying that an engineer has to visit to re-activate the phone line. Plusnet said 2-3 weeks installation time.

7
31 August 2014
jaggu

I have recently renovated a house. I have now moved in. There is no telephone line installed. Will I be able to get it free from BT if I just get them to install the line?

8
23 August 2014
jc

I can't see any telephone poles on my street, will I still be able to have a BT landline?

26 August 2014
Choose team

Hi jc,
It's highly likely that you will, even if you can't see any poles. It's not a very accurate way of knowing whether a BT landline will be available. A better way is to follow the steps above, or to get in touch with BT and have them run a check based on your address. Hope this helps.

9
3 August 2014
Julia

We have bought an apartment in a victorian building. There is a phone line to the building which comes across to a black box just below the 2nd floor window of the apartment above us. They have had this drilled through and the line connected. The BT engineer suggested that there was another couple of wires in the black box from the one line that could be used to make a connection through to our apartment. Do you think this would be the case and who could do this?

10
2 June 2014
Maria

I have got a BT socket, but never had a landline! Can you tell me what I should do please?

23 September 2014
Chris Wilson

Get a landline installed free from the Post Office while the offer lasts.

11
28 May 2014
chan

Thank you so much, I've been looking for a comparison of phone line connections for a while!

12
22 May 2014
Kev

I'm looking to have a phone line fitted to a static caravan. There is no line to the caravan at present, and the mobile signal is poor, so that's not an option.

The site is a bit off the beaten track, but a few other caravans on the site have phone lines fitted.
No matter who I contact, it comes down to Openreach installing the line, and they are quoting over £1,700 to install, as it requires digging a trench to lay new cable etc.

There has to be a cheaper way to get a line installed from the exchange, 30 metres away, to the caravan.
Please help.

2 December 2014
Keith

Hi Kev,

I am in the same boat as you, Sky have told me it will cost around £800 and BT now say it will be 4 figures. There must be a way of getting a phone line into a static caravan. Does anyone now know please?

23 November 2014
Stephen Slater

What would you use the line for?
If it's calls you can get one of your neighbours to put in a Vodafone signal booster called sure signal. You pay for it which turns the broadband into 3G so you can get mobile calls. There are other alternatives.

23 September 2014
Chris Wilson

Ask them to install the socket on the side of their cabinet, and get a really long extension cable?

13
12 November 2013
Claire

Same question as sara. I am currently with Virgin Media and moving on to Talktalk and still they are asking me to pay a £30 connection fee. What is that all about?

20 December 2013
KB

That's because Virgin Media provide their phone service over their cable network and TalkTalk provide their service over a BT phone line.

14
31 October 2013
sara

What if I have a phone line (currently with TalkTalk) and want to switch provider but EE are telling me I don't have one and I need to pay them £60 for the installation of the new one?! I should add that I called EE from my landline number!

15
3 August 2013
M Mouse

Might also be worth mentioning Plusnet offers line installation for £49.00 with their broadband service (either ADSL or fibre).

11 August 2013
Choose team

Thanks for the tip! We've now added Plusnet's new line prices to the table above.

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