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How to set up broadband for an Airbnb or holiday let in the UK

Whether you already own an established holiday let or are lucky enough to own property in the top trending destinations in the UK that you’re thinking of converting into one, broadband should be high on your priorities list. 

So, what do you need to know before setting up broadband for an Airbnb or holiday let in the UK?

Check What Broadband Is Available at the Property’s Address

Your first task is to identify your broadband options. Use a broadband postcode checker to see what’s available at the relevant property’s address and how much the service might cost.

Broadband coverage is wildly variable across the UK. In some places, you’ll be able to choose from many providers offering a vast array of broadband speeds to suit all requirements. But in other areas, the options can be far more limited.

Rural locations can have much slower broadband speeds, a fact which will impact many holiday lets. Government reports show that rural locations have an average download speed of 54Mbps, compared to 81Mbps in urban areas. And as of 2020, around 0.9% of rural properties could not get broadband with speeds of at least 10Mbps (only 0.3% of urban locations have similarly poor coverage). 

Choose Broadband Based on Occupancy and Likely Use

How large is your property? How many guests will you be accommodating at one time? What is their traveler persona? Will they be working from the property? Streaming Netflix or just browsing the internet to see what’s in the area?

The answers to these questions will reveal what broadband is ideal for your property.

Guests likely to work while at the property may run into problems if the broadband cannot reasonably accommodate typical work activities. 

Another potentially demanding activity is video streaming services like Netflix. As a starting point, a download speed of around 5Mb is enough to accommodate most streaming TV platforms, but this does not take into account any other internet activity that may be co-occurring.

Selecting the Broadband Contract

Standard Broadband Contracts

The majority of broadband contracts in the UK will lock you in for a fixed term of 12, 18, or 24 months. This option is ideal for a holiday let receiving guests all year round. 

These long-term deals are usually cheaper than rolling monthly contracts. Many packages have free or very low setup costs, and almost all will include a free Wi-Fi router.

The only major downside for a holiday let owner is that you are committing to pay for the service for the entire contract length, regardless of how often the broadband is being used.

These types of broadband deals start from less than £20 per month. Faster speeds will mean higher prices, but numerous fast fibre optic packages are available for under £30.

Rolling Monthly Contracts

Rolling monthly contracts don’t lock you in for the long term: the contract rolls from month to month until you cancel, with no risk of being hit with an early termination fee.

The advantage of this type of deal is that you can stop the contract when the property is unoccupied and start it again when you have a booking. This can be useful for seasonal Airbnb or holiday lets. 

However, running costs can be higher than equivalent long-term deals, and setup fees can be steep. It might not be worth the hassle of resetting it up each year compared to just accepting that the broadband might go unused for some months when the property is unoccupied.

Mobile Broadband

In rural areas where broadband options are limited or slow, mobile broadband may be a viable alternative.

Mobile broadband services can be more expensive than fixed-line broadband but offer more flexibility, with the option for everything from pay-as-you-go (PAYG) to rolling monthly to long-term contracts.

This flexibility can make mobile broadband an alternative even where fixed-line services are available. But to make mobile broadband work for your holiday home, you must make sure the signal is strong enough to deliver decent speeds, and the contract should include unlimited data.

Good Luck Shopping!

We know reviewing the broadband bill can seem daunting, but it shouldn’t be. Do your research, and find out precisely what broadband contract suits your specific requirements. Remember, if you’re not 100% satisfied with your choice, you can cancel any broadband contract within 14 days of purchase without any penalties. Happy surfing!

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