Setting Up Internet Access
Internet access can be provided using different broadband technologies including satellite, cable, telephone, wireless or mobile connections.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
If you want to access the internet at home, you will need an
Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a router to connect to the ISP. ISPs often provide a router with their service. This means more than one computer or device in your house can use the broadband connection at the same time. Some devices can also use WiFi to connect to the router. As ISPs often improve their services, it is useful to have updated information about what they can offer. Go to your ISP’s website and see if they use an online checker where you can find out what services are available in your area. You might need to use your postcode in the online checker. Alternatively you can use some comparison websites the find the best deal.
There are also WiFi hotspots which can give you access to fixed-line broadband at different locations. You don’t have to pay for equipment, but you may have to pay for your time online. Usually there are no usage limits. Hotspots are normally quicker than mobile broadband for browsing and downloading. You can get free WiFi but for the best coverage you will have to pay.
You will need a Television Licence (TV) if you watch or record live television on any device. Live television is any programme that you watch or record as it is being shown on TV or lives on an online TV service. For example, live TV can be soaps, movies, series, documentaries and news shows as well as live events like football matches and concerts. This includes satellite or online streamed programmes broadcast from outside the UK.
If you don’t use a TV but use other devices, such as a laptop, you will still need to be covered by a TV license if you watch or record live TV. This includes:
- TV sets
- Laptops and desktop computers
- Tablets, mobile phones, satnavs and other portable devices
- Digital boxes (PVRs), satellite and cable, e.g. Freeview, Freesat, Sky, Virgin Media, BT Vision, YouView, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire TV
- Games consoles
- DVD, Blu-ray and VHS recorders
An online TV service includes any website, app or smart TV service that lets you watch live TV using the internet, such as BBC iPlayer, All 4, Sky Go, Virgin Media, Now TV, BT Vision, Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video or ITV Hub. A standard annual TV Licence currently costs £145.50 per annum. You can buy a TV license for the first time or renew an existing one on the TV licensing website using your credit or debit card. Because everyone budgets differently there are a number of payment methods to help you pay quickly and easily, in a way that suits you. This includes weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual payments directly from your bank account via a direct debit, or you can pay directly in a local post office. https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/
Mobile Phone Providers
Most international doctors will have a smartphone that they can stay connected with home via the internet, social media and email. In Northern Ireland prices for mobile phone contracts and deals may differ greatly.
Most international doctors initially take the opportunity to use a “pay as you go contract” for the first one or two months until they settle into Northern Ireland. With this contract you tend to only pay for the data or calls that are used rather than having a fixed monthly fee. The main mobile phone providers in Northern Ireland are Vodafone, O2 and “3” and EE.
Click the icons below to access the relevant providers website: