Broadband users can save a bundle - more than £200 a year

Broadband internet access has become almost a necessity in many British homes.

But a third of those households with broadband connections are missing out on savings of up to £210 a year by failing to take advantage of so-called bundled packages that include digital television and home phone services.

New research from comparison website Broadbandchoices shows that 33% of broadband users do not take advantage of bundled packages, even though those customers on plans of this kind are generally happier that they are getting value for money than those with separate deals.

The broadband bundle market has become extremely competitive over the last year, as major providers have increased connection speeds, cut costs and improved their service levels in a bid to win customers.

Consequently, consumers who opt for a package that includes their broadband service as well as digital TV and home phone now stand to save themselves up to £210 a year.

Unsurprisingly, the research also shows that 57% of the bill payers with broadband 'bundles' are satisfied with the value for money they receive from their package, compared with less than half of those with not on a plan of this kind.

Michael Phillips of Broadbandchoices said: "Household bills are high on the agenda - politically and socially - so it is surprising to see so many people continuing to pay separate suppliers for these services when there are considerable savings to be made.

"Consumers can save over £200 a year by bundling their broadband package with digital TV and home phone services. There's also the added convenience of having only one bill to pay.

"I would encourage anyone currently paying separate suppliers to get online and use an Ofcom-accredited comparison calculator to see what cost saving bundled offers are available in their area. They will almost certainly save money on what they are currently paying by taking out a bundle."

One thing to look out for when choosing a bundled package is whether you can benefit from a special offer, such as the first three months free, or free installation.

This is far from the only factor to consider, though.

Before signing up to a deal, you need to first decide what type of broadband user you are, and what level of service you require as a result.

To do this, think carefully about how you use the internet at home.

If, for example, you, or someone in your family, spend two hours or more a day using iPlayer or downloading music and film, you will need a package that offers more than 20GB of downloads or an 'unlimited' usage allowance.

But if all you do is email and surf the net, you'll probably only need a basic package.

Other things to think about include what sort of television you watch, and whether it is worth paying extra for a sports pack or movie channels, how much you use your home phone, the cost of international calls and calls to mobiles and whether you want your television in high definition.
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