Utilities & Services

all you need for relocation to scotland: edinburgh

Telephone services for home and compare broadband UK providers 

If you have just arrived in Scotland and are about to move into a new place in Edinburgh you will need to do the following to get home telephone services and broadband:

1. find out who provides both the phone line and the calls to the property.

• It may be the same company but not necessarily

• You need to do this to ensure that the previous tenant or owner did cancel their account with the phone companies, as you don’t want to pay their phone bills.

• The reason why people sometimes choose 2 companies, one to provide the line, one to provide the calls, is to try to get the best possible deal. 

2. Shop around to find a provider. The first thing to know is that British Telecoms (BT) is responsible for around 28 million telephone lines in the UK (BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York!). Put differently, no matter where you live in the UK and therefore Scotland, the chance is that your phone provider will be BT.

Here’s what to do to find out who provides the phone line and calls 

1. Using a mobile or a landline, phone BT on 0800 028 4474 (free number) and select option 1 (placing an order & finding out about offers). If you already have access to the internet, you can visit BT’s website to get a new landline.

2. Give them the address of the property you've moved into or about to move into

3. Ask who provides the line and the calls to your property. BT will tell you who the provider(s) is/are as well as whether your property has already an existing phone line. 

If your property does not have an existing phone line (unlikely but it could happen), BT will offer you to send an engineer to your property at the first available slot to install the line. All phone providers charge a fee to install a phone line (usually around £130). However, if you ask BT to install the line and you take one of their broadband packages they will install the new line free of charge.

If your property already has an existing line but is not active, BT will ask you whether you want them to reconnect the line. This is up to you and you can ask another provider to do this. 

• If you decide to go with BT and you only want the phone line to be connected (no TV, no broadband package) a £40 fee may apply unless the existing line/sockets/wiring are damaged and work needs to be done, in which case BT will advise you of the cost.

• If you want BT to connect the phone line and you take one of their broadband package then the reconnection is free.

practical-info.png Practical info

If you cannot see any phone socket in your property it may be because no phone line has been installed.

Examples of British phone sockets

British_phone_socket.jpg British_phone_socket2.jpg

Compare broadband UK providers

Now that you've found from BT who provides the line and the calls to your property you can compare broadband UK providers.

I would personally recommend BT, Virgin and Plusnet however, do not forget to visit price comparison websites such as the excellent uSwitch.com, comparethemarket.com and gocompare.com to compare different packages from different providers. You'll see within seconds who provides what and for how much and once you have decided which provider is right for you simply follow the instructions and sign up online.

gold-star.pnggold-star.png BT

• Excellent customer service (i.e. people are actually knowledgeable and helpful and, in our experience, do their best to help you)

• Tailored packages for TV and/or broadband and/or phone line

• Competitive packages

• Fast and reliable broadband

• Cheap line rental

• 24/7 freephone and online support

• Cheap international calls

• HD  & 3D TV

• Reliable and trusted brand

• check online the status of the internet and telephone network in your area

• very good value for money (in our opinion)


From a landline: 0800 800 150 (free)
From a mobile: 0330 1234 150
From abroad: (0044) 179 359 6931 

did-you-know.png Did you know?

Many phone and broadband providers claim to offer free unlimited international calls to a number of destinations. What it really means is that for a monthly charge your phone calls abroad will be free - usually for the first 60 minutes only. In other words, whether you phone abroad or not there is still a monthly fee to pay for this service. 

If you can, hang up after 59 minutes then call the person again! 

gold-star.png Virgin

• Great savings if you buy a bundle - the more products you take e.g. phone, TV, broadband, the better the deal

• Super-fast fibre optic broadband (you get the internet speed that you can get in your area rather than “up to”)

• Get broadband even without Virgin Media cable

• Between 65 to 160 TV channels depending on package

• Reliable

• Very good value for money (in my opinion)

• Low international call rates

gold-star.png Virgin's "Contact us" webpage is clear and you should find all the answers to your questions.


Plusnet has been on the market for 15 years but it only became more prominent recently through its adverts promoting a “good honest broadband from Yorkshire”. They have a down to earth approach which is frankly refreshing and I encourage everyone to visit their website. What they offer is clear, to the point and yes, it does appear to be “good honest broadband”.

Plusnet has received several awards for they impeccable customer service. 

Current Plusnet services include broadband only (even the “basic” Plusnet Value is already very good), broadband & phone - choice of 4 different packages - and fibre optic broadband. Simple and efficient.

gold-star.png DirectSave telecom

DirectSave telecom offers contracts renewable on a monthly basis. If you know you are only staying in Scotland for a few months then this might be one for you.

DirectSave telecom has produced a very helpful comparison table showing the savings you can make with their packages, compared to other leading providers. 

They offer broadband and phone packages, line installation, extremely competitive tariffs, free 0845 and 0870 numbers plus savings on international and mobile calls.  Do check their website regularly as they often do special offers.

 You can contact Direct Save Telecom on 0800 280 2021 (free call).

Other broadband providers


Talktalk’s strong selling point is to offer good value for money for its phone and broadband packages. Different options are available within each package to suit every budget and needs. 


The choice of bundles (packages) offered by Sky is virtually endless and covers TV (including 3D), phone and broadband; enough to satisfy the whole family. 

Primus Saver

A very innovative telecom company, Primus Saver (the clue is in the name) offers a choice of packages which are good value for money and certainly worth considering. Current services and packages include Home Phone Saver, Eco Saver, Saver Pre Pay, Phone + Broadband, and New Line Installations.

practical-info.png Practical info

The vast majority of providers will ask you to sign up to a 12 or 18-month contract. If you wish to switch to another provider before the end of the contract you are likely to be charged an exit penalty. 

Useful numbers

Dial 123 (on a BT phone line) to call the speaking clock. A charge applies and the number may vary on other networks.

Dial 141 (free) before dialing a number to withhold your own phone number - hidden from who you are calling.

Dial Freephone 150 (BT customers) to contact BT or phone 0800 800 150 from non BT lines or mobiles.

Dial 1470 (free or paying depending on line provider) to permanently withhold your number. Ask the customer service team of your line provider.

Dial 1471 (free) to know the last number that called you.

Freephone numbers begin with 0800, 0808 and 0500.  Free from landline phones (including payphone) and normally used to call companies’ customer services/helplines. A charge applies from mobile phones. 

Numbers beginning 0845 and 0870 are normally paying and used by businesses, public sector organisations and government departments. The call rate varies greatly from one provider to another as well as if you are calling from a mobile or a landline. Some providers include 0845 and 0870 numbers as part of their phone package so they might be free.

Area codes. 0131 is the area code for the City of Edinburgh and the surrounding area. Local numbers have 7 digits so an Edinburgh number is 0131 xxx xxxx. A Glasgow number is 0141 xxx xxxx. Aberdeen and surroundings have a 5 digits area code (01224) and a 6 digits local number e.g. 01224 xxx xxx. 

practical-info.png Practical info

If you are in Edinburgh and are calling an Edinburgh number from a landline you do not have to dial 0131, only the 7 digit local number e.g. 123 4567.

What are you looking for?



In Scotland, it is an offence to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 unless the landlord (in a pub, hotel club, off-licence, etc) can prove they did their best to check that the person was 18 or over. It is …
Read More

Pupils at school are entitled to fee school meals if their parents (or themselves) receive Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, some type of Tax Credits or support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 19…
Read More

If your flight is delayed by more than 3 hours you may be entitled to compensation. The rules apply to all flights departing from airports in the European Union and to those EU- based airlines to airports in the EU. Com…
Read More

« Previous123456...15Next »

See also:


Utilities & Services

Can't find what you're looking for?

Try the search, another category, or register to contribute.

Key to symbols

child-friendly-32.png Ideal for families gold-star.png Our rating system of 1-5 stars
did-you-know.png Did you know? warning-32.png Important alert
practical-info.png Timesaving information disabled-access-32.png Accessibility

What's new?

In Scotland, it is an offence to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 unless the landlord (in a pub, hotel club, off-…

Get this feed