Get a new phone line installed for free

julia kukiewicz
By Julia Kukiewicz

retro telephone

MOVED house and need a new phone installed? Or do you need a second line installed for a house share or home office?

If you want a new or second line put in, simply get in touch with your provider and they will be able to help. BT charge £130 for a new phone line, to give an example of the typical cost.

However, as this guide will reveal, it's possible to get that £130 reduced to zero, and we'll look at the offers for people who need a new line as well as how to check if you need one at all.

And for those who live in a larger house and need a second line, we'll cover how to get a second line installed too.

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How much does it cost to get a new phone line?

BT's £130 charge for a new line is a worse case scenario for most people, and there are ways to get it for much less and even for free.

Most providers will offer a cheap or free installation price to customers who are willing to sign a contract for 12 or 18 months. Customers can also get a new line for less when they sign up for broadband at the same time.

And since there are so many providers willing to install a new phone line for a reduced price, customers still have a very broad choice of who to take broadband with.

Here is how much each provider currently charges for a new phone line:

Provider Price for a new line New phone line installation details
BT From £0 to £130 Free installation with BT Infinity or £30 when taking basic broadband. Otherwise £50 to activate an existing line or £130 to install a new line.
BT Basic
(social tariff)
£0 Those on BT's social tariff who need a new line shouldn't have to pay anything unless there are "exceptional circumstances".
EE £0 or £30 Those with a working BT line inside EE's home network area should be connected free of charge; otherwise £30 for new line installations.
Plusnet £0 or £49.99 Transfers from BT, their resellers or LLUs are free, restarting a stopped BT line is also free.
Installing a new line or restarting an LLU line costs £49.99.
Post Office £0 or £60 Transfers from other BT resellers are free.
A new line, or moving from an LLU will cost £60 although promotional discounts are often available.
Sky £0 or £20 Free if there is already a compatible line, otherwise £20.
TalkTalk £50 - £60 The exact cost of installing a new line will depend on the package taken out.
Virgin Media £40 £40 to install a new line although this is sometimes offered for free.
There's also a £20 activation fee.

These prices were correct as of the date in the byline above.

We always keep an eye on them and update as soon as we see any changes, but it's always worth clicking through and double checking with the provider before committing to a contract.

Do I need a new phone line installed?

First things first, sometimes people think they need a new line installed, when in fact they don't.

What to check if you need a new phone line installed:

  1. Find your BT master socket
  2. Check if you have a dial tone
  3. The provider you are switching from
  4. Have you or a previous resident been disconnected for non-payment?

Most homes will have a BT master socket somewhere: look for a small white socket, which may have a BT logo, either on a wall or by the front door.

In general, those that can plug a home phone into the master socket and hear a dial tone won't need to pay an installation fee; what they may find they're charged for instead is a connection fee.

If you can't find a master socket but are aware that the previous residents did have a BT line, a new phone provider may be able to help locate it.

Note also that phone sockets similar to BT's are installed in some instances so, depending on the supplier, BT may charge a reconnection fee even when the house does have a white socket.

That's only the case in a small minority of households but it's worth being aware of.

Switching between providers

We've included the cost of transferring from one provider to another in the table above, as well as the cost of getting a whole new line installed.

Broadly, anyone moving between companies using BT lines - Plusnet, the Post Office, among others - should find being transferred is free of charge.

TalkTalk and Sky have their own equipment inside many exchanges, running what's known as "fully unbundled" services.

Anyone moving between them and BT or one of BT's resellers is liable for a connection fee to cover switching their phone line from one provider's equipment to the other's.

For example:

Old Provider New Provider Cost of switching phone line
BT The Post Office / Plusnet £0
BT Sky £20
Sky TalkTalk £50 - £60
TalkTalk Sky £20
TalkTalk BT £50

For more information on moving back to BT from another provider see this guide.

New build houses

Homes that are very new - for example, in a building newly converted into flats - where a line has never been installed may need a new phone line.

More commonly, engineers will need to reconnect an existing line because it has been seriously damaged at some point.

This is particularly the case during renovations, when it's the socket that's most likely to be damaged.


Finally, households that have been disconnected for non-payment in the past will be liable to pay a reconnection fee to get their phone line back.

Unfortunately, this can also be the case if you move into a house where the previous resident had the line disconnected.

How to get a second line installed

For anyone who already has a main telephone and wants a second line installed, most providers are likely going to be able to help.

In terms of cost customers should expect to pay the providers standard price for a new line, and if they're willing to take a second broadband connection too then they'll be eligible for the discounts listed above.

It's also worth noting that in the case of a second line customers don't need to stay with the same provider, and can choose to have another line installed through a different provider.

This may be of benefit to those living in house shares that want a separate contract and broadband connection too.


19 September 2017
Christina Holmes

I was on EE and they cut me off, even though it was their fault. now I've tried to find out my phone number but when I connect the phone to it there's no dial tone, what should I do? I need Wi-Fi.

24 May 2017
John Highnam

We need WiFi in our village hall and don't need any outgoing calls, so can the phone line be barred and just emergency numbers only? Is there any organisation that will assist us financially with a grant for this?

1 June 2017
Choose team

Hi John, we're not aware of a financial grant to help in your situation unfortunately, however we can confirm that some providers do offer broadband packages without a phone line. You can read more on this here: <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title=""></a>
Then check out our broadband comparison page here: <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title=""></a>
Hope this helps!

13 March 2017
Morgan Jones

I've got my new Sky broadband and phone up and running, but BT has not changed my phoneline to Sky. Who do I contact?

12 October 2016
Colin Forster

BT gave me 12 month contract from the 19th September with cost of installing phone for 37 pound.
BT now want to charge me 700 pound plus vat that was not in the contract, they say this is for extra work to install pole.

15 September 2016
Suzanne Stone

Can anyone help me?
When I moved into my current home there were two phone lines. I got broadband on both lines with bethere, which later was taken over by O2 then finally by Sky. So now I'm with sky. I used to download a lot using BitTorrent but whenever I was downloading at maximum speed the other line also slowed down to a crawl and I couldn't even browse the www or anything, so it seemed utterly pointless having two lines. I cancelled the broadband on the second line as it just seemed to share the bandwidth of the first line. When I asked BT why this was happening I just got fobbed off as my broadband wasn't with them, it has to be the fault of my ISP (be/O2).
Through utter laziness I never cancelled the second landline and it just sat there, useless.
When sky bought O2 my broadband was switched to them and I'm not happy with it.
In addition to all this, while I was experiencing poor speeds I was advised to plug my router into the master socket. Well I didn't have a master socket so openreach came out and fitted one. However, it's so far away from the nearest electrical socket that I have wires trailing dangerously across the stairs and floor.
When I finally decided to do something about this sorry mess I phoned BT and a very lovely, helpful young lady suggested that instead of paying openreach &pound;130 to move the master socket I could get a third line installed for free if I signed up for BT Infinity. I agreed. Problem solved, so I thought. On the day the engineer was due to install the new phone line I spent three hours moving furniture around so that the socket could go exactly where I asked without excuses. When the engineer arrived he promptly informed me that he couldn't install it because he couldn't find the grey square box thing that is supposed to be on the outside of the house. He guessed it was hidden behind a sleeping-beauty style wall of brambles. Then he left.
Now I've removed 98% of the brambles and I still can't find this grey box (I can see my neighbours both have one). It's either behind the remaining 2% of brambles or it's somewhere else or I don't have one.
Since I assumed I was getting a third line I asked the nice BT lady to go ahead and cancel my second line.
Now, when I talk to BT about this they tell me that if I decide to go for a new line then openreach will simply reactivate the second one!!!!! I'm tearing my hair out over this. How can I get a new line and be sure that it is a new line and not just my second line reactivated? Apparently sky just use openreach too. Or should I just give up and pay the &pound;130 for openreach to relocate my master socket and just have one line?

27 March 2016
K. D

If I have a BT phone line that was used by a previous tenant and not by myself, will the post office charge me to change it, and if so does anyone know what the cost will be?

31 January 2016

I live in a building in the country and its never had a phone line. BT and Post Office quote &pound;2700 for connection as they need to run a line from the road. Will any company do this free or at least subsidise the cost. Mobile signals not so good in my area so we cannot use 4g to access streaming etc

13 January 2016
Tony Dartford

My land line has been repaired or joined in more than one place so would like another line run to the house which should not have any joins which should make the internet faster and more reliable. I am still considering this if it is worth the effort and cost as it is not only the second line to pay for but a second internet cost.

2 October 2015
Dave Westby

As four students moving in to a house for our second year how do we avoid needlessly paying &pound;50 connection fee. There appears to be a line into the house so we are hoping it can be an easy process.

18 August 2015

I had EE broadband installed a few days ago was told there was a free line for me how do I get the line on as I need a landline phone on as soon as possible.

18 July 2015

I had a phone line with TalkTalk (BT engineers) we transferred our current phone line and Internet over to BT and have now been charged &pound;130 for the 'new' phone line that was already there and connected. Where do I stand with this please?

20 July 2015
Choose team

We've had that happen ourselves, and it's very frustrating.
TalkTalk are what's known as an LLU, or unbundled, provider - which means they have their own equipment at the exchange. Even though there's a working phone line coming into your house, it's plugged in to TalkTalk's equipment, not BT's - and to use BT's services again means being switched back to their equipment. It's this bit that, as you've found, can cost &pound;130.
We've a full explanation in this guide: <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title=""></a>

23 June 2015
Hannah Louise Dennis

I have a new build which I will be moving into in 6 weeks time. Obviously there is no broadband and no connections to landlines. Do I need to ask BT Openreach to come out and install a box to be able to install a landline? It's my first house.

13 April 2015

BT want to charge us &pound;800 for a pole, all the phone lines in this area are coming off electric poles, but for some reason they say we can't have that option and have to pay &pound;800 for a new pole. We can't afford this so are left with nothing, we can't even use a different company because BT say all companies use their engineers.

I would gladly pay &pound;130 but I think &pound;800 is just wrong.

12 February 2015

I need a phone line connected to a recently renovated home. I think the builders may have ripped out the old phone socket. Anybody know what I can do?

2 January 2015

My service provider is TalkTalk. I want my main phone socket moved from one side of the front window to the other side of the window, - distance. of approx 5 feet. I have read that TalkTalk will charge &pound;128. Is there a cheaper alternative?

3 December 2014

Our tel box says GPO on it - we do have more modern tel connectors coming off this but the whole system is probably at least 30-40 years old maybe more! Will we need a new line to connect to a broadband package from Plusnet?

11 November 2014
Vicky Richardson Was Collings

I have holiday cottages and am trying to find the best deal to have landlines installed and a broadband service for guests. I only need an actual working phoneline in one of the properties - the others just need sockets for broadband connection.
None of the properties have had a phone line before.

5 November 2014
Thomas Paul Ferry

I have a BT socket that I was using for my EE broadband. The white BT box has since been danged. If I needed to replace it, who do I contact and how much would the repair cost? Any help would be extremely helpful.

14 October 2014

I have existing phone and broadband with BT but need an additional line for home business. What is my best option?

23 September 2014
Chris Wilson

I just signed up for a Post Office phone line and the connection was FREE. Saved not just &pound;50, but &pound;110. I think it's a mistake in their system, the price was listed as "&pound;?0" which makes me think that someone entered it wrongly.

14 September 2014
Debra Barnard

Sky cancelled my phone line and broadband in error, they have quoted a two week wait to activate why is this? All other providers are saying that an engineer has to visit to re-activate the phone line. Plusnet said 2-3 weeks installation time.

31 August 2014

I have recently renovated a house. I have now moved in. There is no telephone line installed. Will I be able to get it free from BT if I just get them to install the line?

23 August 2014

I can't see any telephone poles on my street, will I still be able to have a BT landline?

24 March 2015
Carole Kinson

Hi, not all lines are overhead, some lines are underground. I live on a Cul de Sac of bungalows and we are all fed via an underground line.

26 August 2014
Choose team

Hi jc,
It's highly likely that you will, even if you can't see any poles. It's not a very accurate way of knowing whether a BT landline will be available. A better way is to follow the steps above, or to get in touch with BT and have them run a check based on your address. Hope this helps.

3 August 2014

We have bought an apartment in a victorian building. There is a phone line to the building which comes across to a black box just below the 2nd floor window of the apartment above us. They have had this drilled through and the line connected. The BT engineer suggested that there was another couple of wires in the black box from the one line that could be used to make a connection through to our apartment. Do you think this would be the case and who could do this?

2 June 2014

I have got a BT socket, but never had a landline! Can you tell me what I should do please?

23 September 2014
Chris Wilson

Get a landline installed free from the Post Office while the offer lasts.

28 May 2014

Thank you so much, I've been looking for a comparison of phone line connections for a while!

22 May 2014

I'm looking to have a phone line fitted to a static caravan. There is no line to the caravan at present, and the mobile signal is poor, so that's not an option.

The site is a bit off the beaten track, but a few other caravans on the site have phone lines fitted.
No matter who I contact, it comes down to Openreach installing the line, and they are quoting over &pound;1,700 to install, as it requires digging a trench to lay new cable etc.

There has to be a cheaper way to get a line installed from the exchange, 30 metres away, to the caravan.
Please help.

21 September 2016
Benjamin Howard

I have a static caravan and have just had a new phone line and telegraph pole installed by the post office free concection and free instalation, 18 month contract &pound;16.99 per month. bt wanted &pound;900 :)

2 December 2014

Hi Kev,

I am in the same boat as you, Sky have told me it will cost around &pound;800 and BT now say it will be 4 figures. There must be a way of getting a phone line into a static caravan. Does anyone now know please?

23 November 2014
Stephen Slater

What would you use the line for?
If it's calls you can get one of your neighbours to put in a Vodafone signal booster called sure signal. You pay for it which turns the broadband into 3G so you can get mobile calls. There are other alternatives.

23 September 2014
Chris Wilson

Ask them to install the socket on the side of their cabinet, and get a really long extension cable?

12 November 2013

Same question as sara. I am currently with Virgin Media and moving on to Talktalk and still they are asking me to pay a &pound;30 connection fee. What is that all about?

20 December 2013

That's because Virgin Media provide their phone service over their cable network and TalkTalk provide their service over a BT phone line.

18 February 2014

Might be worth going to UW, &pound;24 line install, cheaper broadband and phone.

31 October 2013

What if I have a phone line (currently with TalkTalk) and want to switch provider but EE are telling me I don't have one and I need to pay them &pound;60 for the installation of the new one?! I should add that I called EE from my landline number!

14 January 2015

When I switched from Tesco to TalkTalk (and deeply regretted it), the same happened to me. Also, I had many problems while on Orange (now part of EE). I think EE and TalkTalk are the worse providers. I have tried almost all of the major ones.
Shop around and you will find somebody who will connect you for free, even if there is actual work to be done.
They charge so much for such poor services that it is still a golden deal for them.
I've been working on the Internet for over 20 years and only in 2014 I have seen prices going up, allowances and speeds going down, with also worse reliability and services.
If you can cope without a line, that's your best bet.

3 August 2013
M Mouse

Might also be worth mentioning Plusnet offers line installation for &pound;49.00 with their broadband service (either ADSL or fibre).

11 August 2013
Choose team

Thanks for the tip! We've now added Plusnet's new line prices to the table above.

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