I'm an international student and will be moving in to a private flat in June. Have been staying in halls before this so I'm not really sure about getting broadband for my new flat. Got a couple of quick questions and I hope you will be able to help me out. Also, will definitely be staying there for 6 months, but I have not confirm whether I will be there for any longer. Therefore I will not be able to sign any 12-month contracts.
The agency recommended Virgin because they have their cabling in my building, but I have seen that only O2, BE and Plusnet offer any type of service that doesn't come with a 12-month contract. However, doing a check on [Samknows BB Checker] , O2/BE doesn't service my area. This only leaves me with Plusnet? How good/reliable is their service since I don't really have the choice of providers? Also, how long will it take from the subscription date till actual service commences? Am asking because I want to know if I should subscribe even before I move in, so I can have internet access from day 1.
Also, is there a possibility that other providers who typically do 12-month minimum contract create a 'package' for me? Or does that just not happen in the UK? Because it looks like Virgin does a good deal as well.
Next, should I get the router provided by the ISP or will I be better off purchasing one on my own? (i.e. Plusnet is £40 + £5 p&p)
Last, had just played around with the subscription process for Plusnet and they say that I require a "Compatible Phone Service" and they want to charge me for line rental + phone installation. I know that my flat has a BT line because the agency said so, but how does this work in the UK? Do I have to have a home phone line that I pay for every month, i.e. a proper number 0161......, before I can access the internet? Or can I just go and get a broadband only package? Am asking because as a student, I have a mobile and I will have no need for a home phone line. No point incurring extra costs.
FYI, the postcode of the place that I will be moving in is M1 7AJ. (Manchester City Centre, near the main train station)
Sorry if I'm asking these questions, I'm not from the UK and don't really know how these things work. Thanks for reading this and I really appreciate if you could help me out!