In the UK, these services are often connected together – sometimes, people will get all three from the same supplier.
Broadband internet is usually supplied either through a telephone line, or a cable connection. (You need to check to see what is available in your area – there is usually a choice of telephone line, Fibre or Cable). Cable is a “monopoly” and is only supplied by Virgin Media.
There are many providers of broadband services, but in general customer service is poor. We recommend you use this website to choose a good broadband provider: ISP Review There are other sites, but it is hard to get an unbiased view. If your understanding of English is not good, be very careful, as most providers will send emails in English, which are often hard to understand. We can help with this if you ask us, at the Resource Centre.
Television in the UK is changing all the time.
The traditional form of Broadcast TV is normally part of FreeView, which is available through a Digital TV aerial, and includes the main “terrestrial” channels like the BBC.
In recent years, many “Streaming” services have been added, and are delivered via an Internet connection. These include BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney. You need to have a broadband connection to get these.
Satellite services such Sky TV are also popular, and bundled offerings such as NOW TV are also available.
If you have a TV you must, by law get a TV license. This is used to pay for the British Broadcasting Service – the future of this fee is frequently being debated by the government, as the BBC now only forms part of the TV programs you can get through a TV.
All these TV services can quickly add up, so make sure you can afford what you are ordering. Luckily, many services, such as Netflix, are charged monthly and can be easily cancelled.
Nowadays, everyone seems to be using Mobile Phones, but there is still a UK landline service, and frequently, your broadband service will be delivered via a Telephone line. Many people just use their broadband router via a telephone line, but you can plug in a telephone handset, and use this service. We joke in the UK that if someone calls on the landline, it will probably be our elderly parents, or a “Scam” call.
What is already in your House (or flat)
If you are living in rented accomodation, your landlord should be able to tell you what services have already been provided. Most houses and flats in the UK should already have a digital TV aerial – you should see a socket in the living room like this one.
If you don’t have one of these, you would need to get a digital TV aerial if you want to watch Freeview television.
If your house has had a cable service in the past, you may see a socket, or wires like these:
If your house or flat has had a telephone service, you should see a socket like this or the other one.
This does not mean that you have a working phone service, but it does usually make it easier for a service provider to “turn it back on”.
Do ask us for help, as it can get very confusing, and we can explain what is the best value for money.