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Internet for student house -2nd years please help

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    Hey guys,

    A group of 7 of us have got a student house and we're now coming to a point where we need to discuss water/gas/electric/inernet etc..

    We have decided to have a common bank account and deal with the bills but interms of finding the cheapest gas/water/electric can anyone offer any advice?

    My main question is based towards internet. All of us have agreed that there is no point having a landline so we just want a standard internet connection. Is that even possible to get, if so from where?
    What sorts of speed should we be looking at? none of us are gonna watch live tv or play games therefore speed is not an issue.

    Any help will be appreciated.
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    As far as I'm aware you would need a landline if you want a decent internet connection, otherwise it might just be mobile internet.
    Gas/water/electric would be cheaper with direct debit, not sure on the cheapest suppliers.
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    I can't really answer much about water/gas/electric, but with regards to internet:

    First check if Virgin Media have a cable running to your house or not. If so, go with them as they tend to be pretty good value and they don't require you to have a separate phone line.

    If not, then you would need to get a separate phone line and your choices are BT infinity (if they have a cable connected), regular BT or another provider. Have a look at http://www.broadbandspeedchecker.co....n_my_area.aspx to see typical speeds in your area to see if it's worth getting BT infinity (as that can be quite expensive) and also there will be a feature on their website to test your line to see what speeds you can get.

    Although you say speed wouldn't be an issue, there are seven of you there and you would probably end up using iPlayer etc anyway so it is worth looking at what sort of speed you would get.

    Also, make sure your broadband has unlimited data since if there's a cap on it then you would most likely end up going over.
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    Are you getting a bank account jointly with everyone, or will only one person be named on the account? Be careful if you are getting a joint account, as you will be financially linked to your housemates for a certain time period (6 years comes to mind, but I could be completely wrong).

    If you will be living in a cabled area, you can get an isolated internet connection (without the need for a landline) from Virgin Media/Sky/BT. These will probably have the fastest speeds but there will probably be a set-up fee. If you don't live in a cabled area, I think you do need a landline to connect unfortunately (through an ADSL line). Mobile broadband is always an option, but you would need a dongle for each housemate and pay for your individual usage which can be more expensive than ADSL (and this isn't really for constant use, usually just when you are out and about).
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    Hey guys, I'm also in this position but I've noticed that the deals advertised for Virgin Media and BT currently only cater for 18 month contracts. Does anybody know if this length is negotiable? Cheers.
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    (Original post by AfterDeath)
    Hey guys, I'm also in this position but I've noticed that the deals advertised for Virgin Media and BT currently only cater for 18 month contracts. Does anybody know if this length is negotiable? Cheers.
    BT really is 18 months, and I've asked and they said they don't have any shorter contracts available.

    With Virgin, looking online at the moment they only seem to be doing 18 month contracts although in the past they have done 9 month student contracts. Looking through Google those offers have been advertised in August-September in previous years so (hopefully!) if you wait a bit then they'll come up again.
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    Following Toby, Virgin posted a leaflet to us in Sept advertising student contracts for this past academic year (unfortunately we'd already bought a year's O2 in July), so that offer is probably still ongoing.
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    I think the house I was in has just finished a 9 month Virgin fibre optic broadband contract, £28 a month I think it was for up to 30meg!
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    You'll need to get line rental in order to have internet. So contact BT about that, or go for somewhere cheaper like the Post Office. If you can afford to pay in advance, then you can get 12 months line rental for £130 - so that's only £18 to pay each now and you don't have to worry about that bill for the rest of the year.

    In terms of broadband connection, check first to see if any of you are on a mobile contract that also offers broadband (O2 or Orange generally) as it's much cheaper to get broadband as another service with your mobile contract. I'm on £13.50 a month for unlimited highspeed internet with Orange. The same deal is around £18-£25 elsewhere.

    As for the bank account: DO NOT get a join bank account with housemates. SERIOUSLY. DO NOT DO IT. When you start a joint bank account, your financial lives will be linked to your housemates for many years (I think it may be 15?) If any of your housemates are in a bad financial situation any time within that time, YOU are linked to them and could suffer the effects. Please don't do it. It can affect loads of things in your financial future like getting loans, credit cards, mortgages .. everything. You never know how much you will need these services in the future and you may not be able to. It's really stupid.

    A good way of working out bills would be either: each person takes care of a bill themselves. One person on internet, one person on gas etc. This means that everyone will open the letter for each company and then be in charge of hounding the other housemates for the money. It works out quite well because everyone knows what it's like to be hounded so they are usually quick to pay. Another way of doing it is to have a whiteboard up somewhere communcal, write everyones names on it and when the bill comes in someone can write it on the whiteboard, write how much each person owes. It can then be given to that person who can pay the bill with all the collected money. The whiteboard works quite well as it acts as a name and shame board too, people like having their name ticked off!
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    I recommend you the Sky Broadband,as it is faster and much cheaper as compared to BT Broadband.I am using fast broadband,I live right nesxt to the phone exchange and uses a VPN.
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    Unless you have Virgin Media in your area you will need to get a phone line.

    All the other mainstream providers are piggy backing on BT from the house to the exchange. So that is the typical speed limiting factor.

    I would suggest you look at www.plus.net. Go through a cashback site (topcashback.co.uk). If there is no active BT phone line, they can sort out the install. They have a choice of monthly or annual contracts. Good customer service. Whilst downloads are limited to 60GB on ADSL, you get unlimited downloads between midnight and 8am which don't count towards the cap. You can use your own ADSL router. They have option of fibre, if it is available in your area.

    It can be useful to have a landline to call utility companies using 0845 numbers.
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    If any of you have a phone contract with O2 it might be worth seeing if they can get it cheaper, we did this and it worked out at about £12 a month.
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    (Original post by New Username)
    We have decided to have a common bank account
    Big mistake. If you set up a joint bank account you'll end up being associated with each other's credit records. Therefore if one of you has or gets a bad credit rating now or in the future it will bring down all the other account holder's credit ratings. There are ways to fix this by contacting each credit agency but its a hassle and its not worth it.
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    (Original post by tsnake23)
    Big mistake. If you set up a joint bank account you'll end up being associated with each other's credit records. Therefore if one of you has or gets a bad credit rating now or in the future it will bring down all the other account holder's credit ratings. There are ways to fix this by contacting each credit agency but its a hassle and its not worth it.
    You can set it up as an association account, that will not affect your individual credit rating. It means drawing up an association agreement, but then it is clear what each others responsibilities are in terms of funding the account. It may mean that you have nominate signatories and at least two will be required to make paper based transactions. It can operate as a basic bank account, so no overdraft facility.
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    I actually write the bills and utilities reviews for the Save the Student site every single year.

    It all depends on your situation as to which contract is best to go for (Virgin will most likely be offering a 9 month contract in Aug-Sep). Cancelling some of the others will cost you £4/month for the rest of your contract but Plusnet allow you to have a rolling month by month contract as long as you pay an increased set up fee.

    My major beef is with BT. They have been CLEARLY advertising to students with their corny adverts and yet they only offer 18 month contracts (the 12 month one has too little download limit). How does that make any sense? It's rediculous and they know that many students will be forced to cancel and pay for a service that they aren't using.

    O2 is best if you are a customer with them, SKY is good and so are Virgin.

    You do need a phone line first and it's obviously best to do it as an internet/phone line bundle to make the largest savings.

    I hope this helps.

    I have been doing a huge amount of research on all the options this month so if you have any more questions just let me know .
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    Hi ,

    there are many student broadband deals on the market. Many providers will have plans that cater to students and the best idea is to search around for these. There are providers that can offer 12 month contracts rather than 18 or 24. If you are in the house for a shorter period of time than that it may be a good idea to all add a few pounds on to what you are paying each month, so by the end of your tenancy there will be enough in the account to pay the rest of the contract off outright.

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Updated: July 20, 2012
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