Getting Connected in the UK

Find out how to get your new home connected to the landline telephone service in the United Kingdom...

Below is information on landline telephones and getting connected in the UK.

Useful Numbers

To call internationally from the UK:
Dial exit code followed by country code and number
Exit code:
00 + country code + Tel. no.
To call internationally to the UK:
Dial entry code then UK number
Entry code:
44 + Tel. no. (remove the first 0)
Emergencies (fire/police/ambulance) Tel: 999
Directory Enquiries Tel: 118 500 / 118 118

Telephone Providers

There are more than 170 licensed telephone providers in the UK, with the industry growing and changing all the time. Great deals can be found and the best thing to do when moving into a new or rented home in the UK is to look at all the different options available. Many packages include broadband Internet, as well as home landlines and television. These are called bundle packages. Bundle package prices vary, and often include a discount on the first months of a contract or vouchers.

There are many sites available to compare deals. For example:

Some of the main telecom providers in the UK are:

In the UK, an extra fixed charge known as "line rental" is added to the basic monthly cost to cover the maintenance of the telephone line itself. It is possible either to rent a line from BT, or select a new provider who can buy line rental from BT and charge their customers for it.

Getting Connected

If the telephone line is not connected, the line will need to be installed or re-activated. There may be a charge for this, and the cost varies from one company to another. Before signing up to any package, compare the deals on offer, as the contract term is usually at least one year. Connection of the line usually takes between five and ten days, but may take up to a month.

Moving House

It is usually possible to transfer an existing landline service to a new home if moving within the UK, depending on where the person is moving to. Some suppliers do not operate all over the UK, and it is possible that a new line will have to be installed. For more details, customers should call their telephone provider's support number.

Switching Providers

Before switching from one telephone provider to another, check the contract details with the current provider. If still under contract, there may be an exit penalty charge.

Most home phone providers have two types of calling plans on offer:

  1. Unlimited evening and weekend calls to local and national landlines for a fixed fee
  2. Unlimited calls to local and national landlines at any time for a fixed fee

Many suppliers also offer packages that include calls to certain overseas countries. For information on making international calls and the various options available see the Broadband Choices website.