Broadband in London

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How do broadband speeds in London compare?

The typical home broadband average download speed in London can vary borough by borough, with the fastest average for Richmond upon Thames nearly three times that of the slowest – the City of London. The kind of broadband service you get really depends on your postcode.

Internet speeds can be slower 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 2020, 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 2019.

Richmond upon Thames, which topped the list, had an average speed of 94 megabits per second (Mbps) compared with the City of London at 31.6 Mbps. Fastest in the UK was Kingston on Hull with 163 Mbps followed by York with 147.1 Mbps.

Broadband providers 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.

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 will be able to 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 business’ 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 your business’ postcode, and a few details about your business, so we can help you find the right options to suit your needs.

Improving your broadband speed in London

If you’re looking for ways to get a faster broadband connection, there are a few things you can do 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 things you can do to try and improve your connection, before you consider switching:

  • Move your Wi-Fi hub – if your Wi-Fi hub is hidden away in a cupboard, behind some furniture or tucked away in a far corner of your home, this can 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 can 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’ve got 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 – likewise, if you’ve got lots of internet users in the home, check how many of them are using the connection at the same time. If you’ve got someone streaming music, another’s downloading a film while a third is gaming online, your connection can be strained and your bandwidth stretched too thinly. 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, which usually offers 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. But 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 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 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 optic 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.

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
  • Bexley
  • Bromley
  • City of London
  • Croydon
  • Epping Forest
  • Greenwich
  • Harrow
  • Hatch End
  • Hillingdon
  • Hounslow
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Merton
  • Redbridge
  • Richmond upon Thames
  • Southwark
  • 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 
  Westminster FTTP
  Whitehall FTTP
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 
  Canary Wharf FTTC/P
  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 
 

Walthamstow

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 

Key

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.

What is the fastest broadband in London?

As we mentioned earlier, the average broadband speeds in London can be different from borough to borough. For example, Richmond upon Thames boasted the fastest average speeds in London, in 2020, with average speeds of 94 Mbps. This is nearly three times faster than the average of 31.6 Mbps found in the City of London.

However, there are areas where gigabit internet is available. Gigabit internet offers speeds of up to 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.

What is the fastest broadband in the UK?

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, the majority of areas are not connected yet, so you’ll need to check what’s available in your area to be sure.

In our 2020 Broadband Index, we found that the area with the fastest broadband in the UK, on average, was Kingston upon Hull. They boast average speeds of up to 163 Mbps, which is seriously impressive stuff. In second place, Yorkshire continues to shine, as York records average speeds of 147.1 Mbps. In third place, West Dunbartonshire arrives with speeds of 105.3 Mbps.

Towards the bottom of the table, it’s not the best news for people living in the Orkney Islands (33.2 Mbps), the Shetland Islands (34.7 Mbps) or West Devon (36.9 Mbps). It’s probably not a surprise that the island areas are far less likely to be connected to full-fibre services, which leaves them falling behind the rest of the UK.

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
Find a deal

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.

Holly Niblett

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.”

Why use Compare the Market?

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**On average it can take less than 1 minute to find and compare broadband deals through Compare the Market based on data in November 2020.

***For the period 1st March to 31st May 2021, 9,781 people responded to the recommend question. 9,033 responded with a score of 6 or above, therefore 92.4% are likely to recommend.

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