Only the other day, O2 announced its delightfully affordablebroadband and landline bundles. Now TalkTalk is looking to purloin O2's thunder and insert a sizeable greenbottle into its ointment, by offering free broadband for a year when you sign up to its own bundle.
As part of the 24-month package, you pay TalkTalk £11.49 a month for landline rental, and not a jot for the up-to-8Mbps broadband, with a 40GB monthly download limit. After the Earth has made a full lap of its celestial circuit, you then have to pay £6.99 a month to continue feeding your voracious online habit.
You can make unlimited evening and weekend calls to UK landlines for free for the entirety of the contract, and TalkTalk will throw in a free wireless router to boot. Alas, there's also a one-off connection charge of £29.99.
Given that we're tighter than a spandex catsuit, we blew the dust off our calculator and worked out that, with all the payments spread equally across the term of the contract, this bundle will set you back £16.23 a month. Over two years, you'll pay £389.63, which works out at £194.82 a year.
From March, if you're an O2 mobile customer, you'll be able to sign up to its 12-month 'Evening & Weekend' landline package and get 8Mbps broadband, with no download limit, for £17 pounds a month, or £204 for the year.
Virgin Media is also offering free 10Mbps broadband, with no download limit, for three months as part of a 12-month Web and landline bundle. After three months, the broadband will cost you £12.50 monthly. A one-off connection fee of £35 applies and line rental is £11 a month. Spread out over the length of the contract, that all equates to £23.29 per month. In total, you'll be stuffing £279.50 a year into Richard Branson's silk-lined pockets.
From a purely financial perspective, we'd take O2 up on its offer in March. In our opinion, the extra 77p per month over TalkTalk's offering is worth it purely because, if your broadband service sucks the fat one, you won't be tied into two years of intolerable, keyboard-mashing frustration. If you want to take advantage of TalkTalk's offer, you've got until 1 February to do so. You can find out more details and how to sign up on a dedicated page on its Web site.
Do you know of any better deals? Post your thoughts and criticisms of our maths skills in the comments section below.