TenTel Buyers Guide
Can I get TenTel broadband?
TenTel's phoneline broadband services are available at all UK telephone exchanges (excluding those in Hull) and don't vary in price depending on where you live.
Instead of installing their own equipment in telephone exchanges, many smaller broadband providers resell the networks of a larger providers, this can mean that their products are only available where those providers have installed their equipment, or that they're more expensive outside of those areas. TenTel uses a combination of both of TalkTalk's low cost network and the larger BT network.
Savings of the cheaper network are spread out so that all customers enjoy the same low prices regardless of where they live. This gives the company wider coverage across the UK, and enables it to provide the same standard broadband features in rural and remote areas as it does in urban areas, at the same price.
TenTel's fibre-optic service, is less widespread, currently only available on streets where both the telephone exchange and the Openreach telecoms street cabinet have been activated to support fibre to the cabinet br. Urban and central areas tend to be activated first. You can check to see if BT Infinity is available in your area with our postcode checker.
What packages are available?
TenTel offer a range of packages across a range of speeds and prices:
- TenTel Broadband 5 - ultra low-cost standard broadband with speeds of up to 17Mb and a 5GB usage cap
- TenTel Broadband 40 - a mid-range offering with 40GB usage cap
- TenTel Broadband Unlimited - truly unlimited standard broadband up to 17Mb
- TenTel Fibre Unlimited - up to 38Mb speed fibre broadband with truly unlimited usage
- TenTel Fibre Ultimate - the premium offering, with speeds of up to 76Mb and truly unlimited usage
TenTel's three standard phoneline broadband offerings all provide speeds of up to 17Mb. Various factors affect the speed, including the time of day and your distance from the nearest telephone exchange.
The standard broadband packages are sold with short six month contracts as standard, or you can get them without a contract by paying a £35 connection fee, just give 30 days notice when you want to leave. Unlike some other providers' no contract options, this doesn't increase the monthly price.
The fibre optic broadband offerings are only available on 12 month contracts. The cheapest fibre option is half the speed but is still truly unlimited.
For all limited packages, excess data usage is charged at a rate of £1.50 per GB. TenTel line rental is required but included in the monthly cost. This pays for your phone line, with no inclusive calls. Low cost call bundles are available during the current half price call plan offer, starting from £2.50 per month. Unusually, these are based on the number of free minutes to UK landlines rather than a time of day such as evenings or weekends. £6 per month currently gets you 200 landline minutes while £7.50 gives you unlimited minutes.
Which package should I choose?
With low cost and short contract packages, TenTel is best seen as a no-frills provider of particular interest for light users and those who need a great deal of flexibility.
While most service providers compete on speed and extra features, which can often leave you with a more powerful service than you need, or tied in to a longer contract than you wanted, TenTel’s focus is on the absolute basics with minimum commitment.
If your internet use is limited to things like email, browsing, shopping and banking, then the entry level package with its ultra low usage allowance of just 5GB may be sufficient. If you use streaming services like YouTube, BBC iPlayer or Netflix then you will need the mid or top tier standard broadband offerings. The speeds of up to 17Mb is the same in each case.
If you need a short contract, perhaps due to only being in the country or in solo accommodation for part of the year, the option of cheap 6 month or 30 day broadband contracts can be very attractive, especially when other providers may charge considerably more for short contract broadband.
The fibre offerings from TenTel are not as aggressive in either contract length or price, but are comparable to the rest of the industry. If short contracts are important, you may be able to find shorter contract fibre broadband by shopping around elsewhere.
Points to consider before you choose
- Do you want to avoid being tied in to a long-term deal?
- Do you download a lot of music, use streaming services or backup files using cloud storage services?
- How many people will be using the internet connection? The more there are, the larger usage allowance you’ll likely need.
- Is low price your main priority?
What do I get when I sign-up?
It's important to know what you're getting when you sign up for broadband, as you may need to budget for extras.
- Free wireless router - TenTel provides all customers with a free wireless router. On standard broadband packages this is a Technicolor TG582n, and for fibre packages it is a Technicolor TG589vn v3. Both are N-rated routers, however they are limited to 2.4GHz networking. This has the speed benefits of N-rated networking but may have a shorter range be more susceptible to interference.
- Free connection (standard broadband only) - Connection is free on the standard broadband deals with six-month contract.
- Free UK-based tech support - TenTel offers free customer service between 9am and 8pm weekdays, and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.
What are the benefits of TenTel?
What are the main reasons why you should consider buying a package from TenTel?
- Unrivalled flexibility - With unusually short contracts on its standard broadband packages - or the ability to have no contract at all by paying a £35 connection fee - TenTel offers almost unrivalled levels of flexibility. It’s ideal if you’re wary of making a long-term commitment or know you'll only need broadband for a few months.
- Ultra low cost - The standard phoneline broadband packages offer fast speeds at very low prices. Do be sure to take note of the low usage allowances, though.
- Good speeds - TenTel offers standard broadband at up to 17Mb, and fibre at a maximum up to speed of 38Mb or 76Mb. All of these speeds are in line with the rest of the industry. The unlimited packages are truly unlimited, with no restrictions on use and no traffic management.
- Available in rural areas - Unlike many providers that charge more in rural and remote areas or have no service at all outside of low cost areas, broadband from TenTel is available in both rural and urban areas at the same price.
- Flexibile call plans - Unusually, TenTel's call plans are based on the number of inclusive UK landline minutes you buy, not calling at particular times of day. If you make calls at different times of day, but not in enough volume to justify an anytime calling package, TenTel could work out as good value.
- Static IP addresses available - if you need a static IP for working from home, then you can request one for £1.50 a month.
What are the drawbacks of TenTel?
Nothing’s perfect. What potential downsides to TenTel should you be aware before you sign up?
- An unknown quantity - We’d normally recommend checking reviews and customer feedback on a broadband provider. At the time of writing there's limited information available the company and too few ratings to draw any conclusions.
- Potential slowdowns - Some low cost providers don’t invest enough in network capacity, which can cause slowdowns during peak usage periods. We don’t yet know if TenTel will be affected in this way — leave us a review if you have already tried the service.
- Long fibre contracts - The fibre broadband offerings from TenTel are only available on 18 month contracts. Many competitors offer fibre on 12 month contracts.
- Expensive fibre activation charges - Fibre activation costs £49, compared to free connection on standard phoneline broadband.
- Few extras - The absence of any extras beyond a wireless router highlights TenTel’s position as a no-frills provider.