How do broadband speeds in London compare?
The typical broadband average download speed in London can vary borough by borough, with the fastest average for Camden nearly three times that of the slowest – the City of London. The kind of service you get really depends on your postcode.
Internet speeds can be particularly slow in places like Westminster, the City of London and Southwark, which are affected by the length of copper lines, the street layout or the height of buildings.
In 2019, the last time Compare the Market put together our Broadband index, we found that in the capital, each borough saw an improvement in download speeds compared with 2018.
Camden, which topped the list, had an average speed of 77.7 megabits per second (Mbps) compared with the City of London at 24.4Mbps. Fastest in the UK was Kingston on Hull with 131.4Mbps followed by Corby with 92.9Mbps.
Which are the best internet providers in London?
That depends on what’s best for you. Some people may be more concerned about keeping their monthly payment low, while 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 just offers broadband, you might want to bundle TV services or home phone 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.
Can I get the fastest broadband available 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 is being rolled out across the capital, there are still places where broadband is still mostly delivered through copper wires, which is slower than fibre.
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.
- FTTC – Fibre to the cabinet – here you get speedy 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.
- FTTP – Fibre to the premises – this offers you ultrafast broadband with fibre all the way into your home.
- HFC - Hybrid fibre coaxial – 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.
Did you know?
The broadband speed you get coming into your house won’t necessarily be the speed your WiFi delivers. It also depends on things like the position of your router, how up to date it is, the equipment you’re using and any interference with the signal.
Which internet providers are in London?
London is served by all the main broadband providers including – but not limited to:
You’ll get broadband, broadband and phone, and broadband and TV options depending on which provider you choose.
But there are also some smaller suppliers 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.
Frequently asked questions
How can I get fibre broadband in London?
Just pop your postcode into our broadband comparison tool and see what’s available. If you can get fibre it should be shown in your results. Your fibre options might be fibre to cabinet which can be much, much faster than copper broadband. And you may be able to get Virgin which has already wired up a lot of places and premises in London.
Unfortunately, fibre, whether it’s to the cabinet or your premises, 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 digital infrastructure company, has said its First Build programme plans to roll out full fibre in the next 10 years to areas including:
- Barking & Dagenham
- City of London
- Epping Forest
- Hatch End
- Richmond upon Thames
- Waltham Forest
Virgin Media, which currently reaches just over 44% of homes in the UK, is rolling out Project Lightning to deliver ultrafast broadband into homes across the country, including some parts of London not already connected. For example, the work on connecting 34,000 homes in Barnet was completed in May 2020.
Obviously, plans can change, and whether full fibre is available to you may depend on how far you are from the exchange – sadly, it’s not guaranteed that full fibre will be run into every premises.
Other fibre installers may have plans for your area of London, so it’s worth checking out your options.
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. This list shows the fibre-enabled exchanges in London according to Openreach.
|London Borough||Exchange||Type of fibre available|
|Barking and Dagenham||Barking||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Dagenham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Barnet||Barnet||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Colindale||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Cricklewood||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Edgware||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Finchley||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Golders Green||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Hendon||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Mill Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|North Edgware||FTTC/P & FOD|
|North Finchley||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Bexley||Bexleyheath||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Crayford||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Erith||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Sidcup||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Slade Green||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Brent||Harlesden||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Kingsbury||FTTC/P & FOD|
|North Wembley||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Wembley||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Willesden||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Bromley||Beckenham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Biggin Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Bromley||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Chislehurst||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Famborough||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Grove Park||FTTC & FOD|
|Hayes Common||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Orpington||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Sydenham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|West Wickham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Camden||Euston||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Hampstead||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Holborn||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Kentish Town||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Kings Cross||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Maida Vale||FTTC/P & FOD|
|City of London||Faraday||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Fleet Street||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Monument||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Moorgate||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Wood Street||FTTC/P & FOD|
|City of Westminster||Bayswater||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Bloomsbury aka Howland Street||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Covent Garden||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Kensal Green||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Lords||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Marylebone||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Mayfair||FTTC/P & FOD|
|North Paddington||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Paddington||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Pimlico||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Primrose Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Soho aka Gerrard Street||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Croydon||Addiscombe||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Beulah Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Croydon||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Downland||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Lodge Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Norbury||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Purley||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Sanderstead||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Thornton Heath||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Ealing||Acton||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Ealing||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Greenford||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Northolt||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Perivale||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Southall||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Enfield||Edmonton||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Enfield||FTTC/P & FOD|
|New Southgate||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Palmers Green||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Ponders End||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Winchmoore Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Greenwich||Eltham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Greenwich||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Kidbrooke||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Thamesmead||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Woolwich||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Hackney||Clapton||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Hackney||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Shoreditch||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||Fullham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Hammersmith||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Parsons Green||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Sheperds||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Bush||FTTC/P & FOD|
|West Kensington||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Haringey||Bowes park||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Crouch End||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Muswell Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Stamford Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Tottenham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Harrow||Harrow||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Hatch End||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Kenton Road||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Pinner||FTTC/P & FOD|
|South Harrow||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Stanmore||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Havering||Hornchurch||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Ingrebourne||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Rainham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Romford||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Upminster||FTTC & FOD|
|Hillingdon||Harefield||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Hayes North||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Northwood||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Ruislip||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Skyport||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Uxbridge||FTTC/P & FOD|
|West Drayton||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Hounslow||Chiswick||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Feltham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Hounslow||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Isleworth||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Islington||Canonbury||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Clerkenwell||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Kingsland Green||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Lower Holloway||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Upper Holloway||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Kensington and Chelsea||Belgravia||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Chelsea||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Earls Court||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Kensington Gardens||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Sloane Square||FTTC/P & FOD|
|South Kensington||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Kingston upon Thames||Chessington||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Kingston||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Malden||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Surbiton||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Lambeth||Brixton||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Gipsy Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Streatham||FTTC & FOD|
|Tulse Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Vauxhall||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Lewisham||Catford||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Deptford||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Forest Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Lee Green||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Rushey Green||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Merton||Merton Park||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Mitcham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Wimbledon||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Newham||Albert Dock||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Stratford||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Upton Park||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Redbridge||Gants Hill||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Goodmayes||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Ilford Central||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Ilford North||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Wanstead||FTTC & FOD|
|Woodford||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Richmond upon Thames||Kneller Hall||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Molesey||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Mortlake||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Richmond Kew||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Teddington||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Twickenham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Southwark||Bermondsley||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Dulwich||FTTC/P & FOD|
|New Cross||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Southbank||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Southwark||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Walworth||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Sutton||North Cheam||FTTC & FOD|
|Sutton Cheam||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Wallington||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Worcester Park||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Tower Hamlets||Bishopsgate||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Mile End||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Poplar||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Stepney Green||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Wapping||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Waltham Forest||Chingford||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Highams Park||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Leytonstone||FTTC/P & FOD|
|FTTC/P & FOD|
|Wandsworth||Balham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Battersea||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Nine Elms||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Putney||FTTC/P & FOD|
|South Clapham||FTTC/P & FOD|
|Wandsworth||FTTC/P & FOD|
FTTC - Fibre to cabinet
FTTP - Fibre to premises
FOD - Fibre on demand
How can I speed up getting fibre broadband to where I live in London?
If you’re not on the list, there are still ways of encouraging speedier fibre to your address. You can register your interest with some providers and when they have enough willing subscribers, they could roll it out faster in the area.
There are also some community-based options. A joint funding arrangement is put in place, which means a provider, Openreach for example, contributes some of the costs, with your community funding the rest. An affordable solution is then agreed to meet the community needs.
Openreach has got 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.
What broadband speed do I need?
The ideal speed for you depends on how you use your broadband.
Gamers - What speed you need depends on what you use broadband for. Fast speeds can sometimes give you an edge and a better experience of downloading new titles if you’re a keen gamer. Take a look at the minimum download speeds needed in our guide for gamers.
Streamers – if you’re a box-set addict you’ll want to make sure your viewing experience isn’t plagued by endless buffering. Netflix needs higher rates than iPlayer or even YouTube at 3Mbps for non HD and 5Mbps 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 3Mbps for group calls. See more in our guide to speeds needed for streaming.
Working from home – You can see from how empty the Tube has been during the coronavirus pandemic that loads of Londoners are managing to work from home. 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 16Mbps or more. Get more advice on broadband for working from home.
How much does broadband cost?
What you pay for your broadband will depend on several things:
|The type of package you choose – broadband-only or a bundled deal||The type of broadband you choose – ADSL, fast fibre, superfast fibre or ultrafast fibre||The length of your contract|
What do I need to find a deal for broadband 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.
From the Digital Team
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’s something better out there since the last time you looked.”
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