Communications & Media

Internet Access

Internet access is available through several providers. However, most services are delivered over BT owned wires (telephone wires), Openreach fibre networks, or Virgin Media's cable wires. Good, reliable internet service is surprisingly hard to get, so make sure to spend a little time researching user reviews of the services in the immediate area of your house.

There are several comparison websites that evaluate services - including internet service providers - and compare deals:

Additionally, several mobile providers offer wireless broadband services which may be an option if you have good wireless signal at your home.

If your home has FTTP - Fibre to the Premises (similar to Verizon's FIOS) - from BT OpenReach, then you have many more options for Internet Service Providers for super fast broadband. Check out OpenReach's list of ISPs.

Mobile Phones

Most people in the UK have a mobile phone and as in the US, there are a number of service providers and plan options. The main mobile providers are:

Shops selling phones and plans can be found on most high streets. Knowing how much you intend to use your phone and what you intend to use it for (calls, emailing, texts, web browsing) will greatly benefit you when you try to decide on a plan. You do not have a legal right to keep your mobile number if you switch carriers in the U.K.

Landline Telephones

The UK has a variety of telephone providers - mostly the same as the internet and television providers. The main providers are:

Many companies have special packages for calling the US. Some people prefer to use only a mobile phone and a computer service to make calls back home. Decide how frequently you will be calling and at what times of day prior to deciding which plan is right for you.

Most companies also offer bundles, which include cable/phone/internet for one lower price. Researching the prices and options is the only way to decide which plan is right for you. The UK government has a helpful website to compare plans and answer your questions:

TV, Cable, Satellite

All three major providers cable or satellite television and entertainment packages with special channels. Many houses are already wired for a digital connection, be sure to order your service in advance to avoid long wait times.

TV License

You must have a TV license if you watch or record programs on a TV, computer or other device as they’re broadcast, and if you download or watch BBC programs on iPlayer, live, catch-up or on-demand. A single TV license covers all of the following in a single property: TV’s, computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones or any other device that can receive a TV signal. An annual license costs £154.50. You can be fined up to £1,000 if you watch or record live TV without a TV license.

Visit to buy your license. If you move, you can move your license with you.

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About the group

The American Women of Surrey (AWS), International Women's Group,  is a not-for-profit club founded in 1975 to provide a welcoming atmosphere for expatriates and their families living in Surrey. We offer social, cultural and philanthropic opportunities for our 230+ members representing more than 30 nationalities.


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AWS International Women's Group
P.O. Box 170
Cobham, Surrey
KT11 2YJ

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