What are the main internet providers in London
London is served by all the main internet providers including – but not limited to:
You can get broadband, broadband and phone or broadband and TV options depending on which provider you choose.
But there are also some smaller suppliers which offer London broadband deals, too. For instance, some housing providers have set up deals with some of the smaller organisations, like Community Fibre, to bring fibre to their estates. Hyperoptic also offers services in some areas.
What are the best broadband providers in London?
That depends on what’s best for you. Some people may be more concerned about keeping their monthly payment low. Others will be more interested in how fast the broadband is and what the customer service is like if they have a problem.
And while you might be happy to choose an internet service provider (ISP) that offers broadband only, you might want to bundle TV services or a home phone landline in too. What’s on offer will vary between providers.
What’s available will also depend on where you live and whether your area has access to high-speed services. The differences don’t just apply to north London and south London or borough by borough, but can vary house to house, block to block, and even street to street.
Where is the fastest broadband in London?
According to Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2022 report, Tower Hamlets has the fastest average broadband speed in London. The average download speed in Tower Hamlets was 163.8 megabits. This isn’t far off the fastest average broadband in the UK. This award goes to Kingston on Hull with 228.4 Mbps.
However, these are just averages. There are areas where gigabit internet is available. Gigabit internet offers speeds of more than 1,000 Mbps, but it is still being rolled out across the country, so it may not be available in your area just yet. If you’d like to find out, use our broadband area checker to see the fastest speeds available in your postcode.
Do I need business broadband in London?
If you’re a business in London (or a business anywhere, to be honest), then you’ll almost certainly need broadband. Whether it’s for e-commerce or to simply have access to company emails, you’ll need a business broadband service that can handle what you throw at it.
Business broadband is generally faster than home broadband, with upload speed also significantly improved. This is so your business can post to its website, make video calls for meetings and send emails by their dozens, hundreds or even thousands. Business broadband customers are also often prioritised over home broadband customers, which means your internet connection won’t be as impacted by heavy usage in your area.
To find the right business broadband package for your business, all you need is the postcode and a few details about your business. Then we can help you find the right options to suit your needs.
How can I improve my broadband speed in London?
If you’re looking for ways to get a faster broadband connection, there are a few steps you can try at home first. A good place to start is to run a broadband speed test, so you know what speeds you’re working with now.
If the results from your test show that you’re not getting the speeds you were advertised when you signed up, there are a few measures you can take to try to improve your internet connection. Before you consider switching:
Move your Wi-Fi hub
If your WiFi hub is hidden away in a cupboard, behind furniture or tucked away in a far corner of your home, this could weaken your connection. This is because there’s too much blocking your hub and your devices from maintaining a reliable connection. So, something as simple as moving your hub into a more open space might make for a quick and easy improvement.
Turn off any unnecessary devices
If you’re in a home full of connected devices, it’s worth turning some of them off so your bandwidth isn’t spread so thinly. If you have phones, tablets, PCs, games consoles and more, some of these will be running updates in the background, which will be hogging some of your connection. If you don’t need them right now, turn them off and see if it makes a difference.
Check who else is using the internet
If you have many internet users in the home, check how many of them are using the connection at the same time. If someone’s streaming music and another’s downloading a film while a third is gaming online, your connection and bandwidth could be strained. If one or two of them can stop what they’re doing, you might have better luck.
Use a wired connection
If your wireless broadband still isn’t offering the speeds you were promised, you could try a wired connection. Tethering your device to an ethernet cable can be annoying, but it means you’re plugged into the internet source directly. This could offer a more stable and, often, faster speed.
If all that fails, you may want to consider switching the type of broadband you’re using. ADSL is the most common type of broadband in the country, as it’s the most easily accessible, and generally the cheapest.
However, the speeds on offer with fibre optic broadband are far greater. Up to five times greater with a fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) connection, and even up to 100 times faster with a fibre to the premises (FTTP) connection. Check to see which types of broadband are available in your area, and see if you can upgrade.
Did you know?
The broadband speed coming into your house won’t necessarily be the speed your WiFi delivers. It can depend on the position of your router, how up to date it is, the equipment you’re using and any interference with the signal.
How much broadband do I need?
When it comes to how much broadband you need, you need to think of it in two parts:
- Broadband speed
- Internet data usage: capped or unlimited?
What broadband speed do I need?
The ideal speed for you depends on how you use your broadband.
- Gamers – what speed you need can depend on the type of games you play and the console you’re using. Fast speeds can sometimes give you an edge and a better experience when downloading new title. If you’re a keen gamer, you’ll likely need to aim for speeds between 15 Mbps and 25 Mbps for a smooth gaming experience.
- Streamers – if you’re a box-set addict you’ll want to make sure your viewing experience isn’t plagued by endless buffering. Netflix requires higher rates than iPlayer or even YouTube at 3 Mbps for non-HD and 5 Mbps for HD. If you know you’ll be spending a lot of time on Zoom or other video calling services, you’ll need a speed of 3 Mbps for group calls.
- Working from home – many Londoners continue to work from home on a full-time or hybrid basis. For web browsing, you’ll need between 1 Mbps and 5 Mbps. If you’re not the only person working from home in your household, then you might want to ramp up your download speed to 16 Mbps or more.
Of course, if you have lots of people in the home, doing all these things at the same time, you’ll need a high enough download speed to accommodate everyone.
Do I need unlimited broadband?
If you’re a regular online gamer, stream lots of TV shows, films and music or have lots of you in the home online, you could quickly blow through a data cap. If this sounds like your home, you should consider an unlimited broadband deal.
All broadband deals available through Comparethemarket offer unlimited data.
Can I get the fastest broadband in London?
Potentially you could, because the fastest broadband currently possible is available in London. But what’s not certain is whether it’s available for your home. As well as depending on what you’re willing to pay, what broadband you’ll be able to get depends on the area of the city you live in and how you’re connected.
While fibre broadband in London continues to be rolled out, there are still places where broadband is still mostly delivered through copper wires. These older copper wires arefibre.
You can get broadband in a few ways:
- ADSL – Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line – this is the most common form of broadband. It uses the copper wires that deliver a phone service into your home.
- Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) – here you get superfast fibre up to your nearest street cabinet, but from there it gets to your home on the old copper wire. This is usually faster than ADSL, but not as fast as full fibre. Most fibre deals are currently using this technology.
- Fibre to the premises (FTTP) – this offers you ultrafast broadband with fibre all the way into your home.
- Hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) – Virgin Media’s network in the UK uses fibre to the street cabinet. Broadband is then delivered into your home using coaxial cable rather than copper wire and is typically faster.
How to compare internet deals in London
It’s simple, just put your postcode in our comparison tool, choose your current provider from the drop-down list, and we’ll show you what deals are available for where you live. If you’re not ready to switch yet, you can set a reminder and we’ll alert you when the time comes.
When comparing your results, here are some things to look out for:
- Availability — the type of broadband you can access depends on which area of London you live in.
- Speeds — think about the type of broadband user you are and whether you need superfast speeds to browse, stream, download and play uninterrupted.
- Contract cost — look out for the monthly cost, as well as any upfront setup costs. Also keep in mind that you need to think of the price in relation to everything else on offer. There’s no point in opting for the cheapest broadband deal if the service and speed you get isn’t enough for your needs.
- Contract length — you can typically choose between a 12-month or 24-month contract, although some providers offer monthly rolling contract deals. Short-term contracts offer greater flexibility, but they could be more expensive than longer length packages.
- Bundled packages — combining your broadband with a phone and TV package could work out cheaper than paying for separate services. It also gives you the convenience of a single contract and one bill to deal with. However, you’ll have fewer providers to choose from, as not all providers bundle broadband, phone and TV.
- Customer service — while it’s great to have a reliable connection, it’s also important that your service provider is fast, efficient and helpful if any problems occur. Check customer reviews online to get a good idea of your chosen provider’s customer service ratings.
Frequently asked questions
How can I get fibre broadband in London?
Start by popping your postcode into our broadband comparison tool. If you can get fibre, it should be shown in your results. Your fibre options may be fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) or fibre to the premises (FTTP).
Unfortunately, fibre isn’t available everywhere yet. But high-speed internet is being rolled out all the time. It requires cables to be laid, so typically providers work area by area, rather than for individual premises.
Openreach, the UK’s largest broadband network provider, continues to roll out its Fibre First programme.
The ambitious project, which aims to deliver ultrafast, ultra-reliable full-fibre broadband to 25 million premises in the UK by the end of 2026, includes the building of 53 new exchanges in the Greater London region.
Can I get fibre where I live?
If your local exchange is set up for fibre, you’re more likely to be able to get it, but it will depend on whether the cables run to the cabinet nearest your home. And while nearly all London exchanges are fibre-enabled, some boroughs are still only able to access FTTC fibre.
One of the simplest ways to check what type of fibre is available where you live, is to enter your postcode below. You’ll be able to see which providers offer FTTC or even full-fibre FTTP deals in your area.
How can I speed up getting fibre broadband to where I live in London?
You can register your interest with some providers and when they have enough willing subscribers, they might roll it out faster in the area.
There are also some community-based options. A joint funding arrangement can be put in place, which means a provider, contributes some of the costs, with your community funding the rest. An affordable solution is then agreed to meet the community needs.
Openreach has guidance on how to start this kind of community project if you’re interested. If you and enough neighbours are fed up with slow speeds, you might be able to prompt some action. Find out more and register your interest on the Openreach website.
What is the fastest broadband in the UK?
What is the fastest broadband in the UK?
The fastest type of broadband in the UK is a gigabit, fibre-to-the-premises connection. This type of connection offers average speeds of more than 1,000 Mbps.
As the UK’s gigabit revolution continues to roll out, more and more areas are connecting to the ultrafast networks, which offer speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. However, most areas are not connected yet, so you’ll need to check what’s available in your area to be sure.
Where is the fastest broadband in the UK?
According to Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2022 report, the fastest average broadband connection in the UK is in Kingston on Hull. Broadband customers in Kingston on Hull had average speeds of 228.4 Mbps.
However, that’s just the fastest average. There are plenty of areas where you can go faster than 228.4 Mbps. For example, in London, Community Fibre offers a broadband package with 3,000 Mbps download speeds.
What our expert says...
“If you’re looking for the best internet service in your area, it’s worth checking regularly to see that you’re still getting the right deal for you. Things are always changing in London, and it may be that there are better deals out there since the last time you looked.”
- Sajni Shah, Utilities comparison expert
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