Fibre broadband deals
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**Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time (8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical factors. You can check the estimated speed to your property before purchasing.
What is fibre optic broadband?
Fibre optic broadband is a type of broadband technology that offers a faster speed and more reliable internet connection than standard broadband. Its name is based on its plastic or glass cables, which allow for faster data transfer than copper wires.
How does fibre broadband work?
While a standard ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) broadband connection relies on the traditional copper phone lines that connect to your home, a fibre broadband connection is a whole different system, using separate cables that offer superfast and ultrafast speeds.
These cables allow data to be transmitted far more quickly, but also sustain those speeds over distance. The copper phone lines can’t deliver fast speeds over a distance, with the speeds dropping the further away you are from your street cabinet.
Do I need fibre optic broadband?
If you have multiple internet users or devices, play games online or want to use any kind of streaming service for films, music or TV, superfast fibre broadband could improve the quality.
Speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). Here are examples of the speeds you’ll probably need for some of the most popular internet activities:
- Web browsing: 1-5 Mbps
- Watching movies and streaming non-HD TV: 1.5-2.5 Mbps
- Watching movies and streaming HD TV: 2.8-4 Mbps
- Streaming audio and music videos: 0.32-0.5 Mbps
- Online gaming: 3Mbps.
Consider the typical internet usage for your family or household. Fibre optic broadband could be a good option if you:
- Download films on a regular basis
- Play video games online
- Use video-calling apps – Skype, for example
- Use catch-up TV from more than one device
- Use the internet at the same time as others in your household
- Live in an area that has low broadband speed.
Not only is fibre broadband faster, it’s also more reliable. That’s why it could be worth upgrading to a fibre deal if your standard connection keeps dropping out.
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Can I get fibre broadband in my area?
At least 95% of UK homes can now receive superfast fibre broadband. To check if your area is covered, simply enter your postcode below, and you’ll be able to see which speeds are available to you.
Compare with us to see what fibre broadband deals are out there with the speeds you need, at the right price.Enter your postcode now
Which providers offer fibre broadband?
All the big names you’ve seen time and time again offer fibre broadband. But there are plenty of medium and smaller providers who also offer fibre broadband, some of which may surprise you.
Providers offering fibre broadband include:
What is the difference between fibre and standard broadband?
Standard broadband, known as ADSL, is the most basic type of broadband connection, using traditional copper phone lines to connect you to the internet. This will get you average download speeds of around 11Mbps, but not much more. This is fine if there’s only a few of you in the home or you’re not big on TV and movie streaming or online gaming, but if that’s not the case, you might want to consider superfast or even ultrafast fibre broadband.
Fibre broadband can handle multiple devices using the internet at the same time. It provides sufficient speeds for you to easily stream and download content and tends to be more reliable than conventional broadband, with fast speeds allowing you to work from home. On top of that, it’s now almost the same price as basic broadband.
What is the difference between superfast, ultrafast and gigabit broadband?
When comparing superfast broadband deals or seeing ads for them, you’ll see many buzzwords flying about, boasting about broadband speeds. To be honest, a lot of them sound the same. So, what’s the difference between superfast fibre and the rest? Ofcom defines ‘superfast’ as speeds above 30Mbps, but ‘ultrafast’ is speeds of 300Mbps and beyond. That’s 10x faster. Finally, if you want the best of the best, ‘gigabit’ is exactly that, moving from megabits to gigabits, which means speeds of 1,000Mbps (or 1Gbps).
To reach these incredible speeds, you’re going to need the right tech and connections to your home. Superfast broadband is pretty widely available across the UK and relies on a fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) connection. But, to reach the top ultrafast and gigabit broadband speeds, you’ll need a fibre to the premises (FTTP) connection, which is when the fibre cables are connected directly to your home. These connections are much less commonly available, but a mass rollout is underway.
Can I get fibre without phone line rental?
You can get fibre broadband without paying line rental, but you won’t have nearly as many options as you would by paying it. This is because you’ll need either:
- Fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband – FTTP is where the fibre-optic cables are connected directly to your home, which means you bypass the traditional copper phone lines that require you to pay line rental. This offers the best broadband speeds but is generally the most expensive and isn’t available everywhere.
- Satellite broadband – satellite broadband bypasses the phone line by using, well… a satellite. However, while you might enjoy not paying line rental, satellite broadband can cost more than fibre broadband with line rental included anyway, and the performance through cables tends to be better too.
- Mobile broadband (3G/4G/5G) – similar to satellite broadband, a mobile broadband connection bypasses the phone line by going entirely wireless. To get this though, you’ll need to live somewhere where you get a great phone signal, so using your phone as a test is a good place to start. Your connection will run using a USB dongle, which plugs into your devices or a wireless box.
The following providers currently offer broadband packages without the need for a landline:
- Virgin Media
Types of fibre broadband
There are two types of fibre broadband to know about:
- Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) is the most common, with fibre optic cables running to green boxes (also known as cabinets) on street corners that house the telecoms connections to each house. From the cabinet, copper telephone wires send the information to your home. FTTC can be fast, with providers like BT delivering up to 76 Mbps superfast broadband. But that last leg from the cabinet to the home can slow your connection down. This means speeds will vary based on how far you live from the cabinet and on the quality of your copper wires.
- Fibre to the premises (FTTP) is often referred to as ‘full fibre’ and is faster than FTTC because the fibre cables travel all the way to your property. Gigaclear, an internet service provider, uses FTTP and can provide speeds of up to 900 Mbps in certain locations. Just be aware that the mass rollout of FTTP is still in its early days, so it’s not yet available in some areas. FTTP is sometimes known as fibre to the home (FTTH), so don’t be confused if you see that.
Is fibre broadband unlimited?
Just because a broadband package uses fibre broadband, it doesn’t mean it’s unlimited. Some deals may include data caps, and exceeding them will cost you extra fees. To make it simple for you though, all broadband deals we compare offer unlimited data, which means you can download, stream and play as much as you like.
How much is fibre broadband?
You can usually pay anywhere between £20 and £35 a month for a fibre broadband package, but it depends on different factors – speed, provider, contract length, etc. The cost of fibre broadband is always changing, as competitors are constantly trying to get the upper hand and attract new customers. This is great news for you, because it means new deals are always becoming available, and we can help you compare them to find which is the cheapest, as well as helping you understand which of them offers the fastest broadband service.
Is it worth getting fibre broadband?
If you’re a home with multiple users or someone who likes to download, stream or play games online, the speeds on offer with fibre broadband are well worth looking at. While you might look at the information above and think you don’t need really high speeds, if there are even just a few of these activities going on at the same time, it can make a huge difference. For busy homes, fibre is worth the upgrade – especially when it doesn’t cost that much more than standard ADSL.
However, if it’s just you at home or you only use the internet to send emails, do a bit of shopping and read the news, then you should be able to get by with a standard ADSL broadband connection.
How can I find the best fibre broadband deal for me?
When you compare fibre broadband deals, think carefully about what you want from your superfast connection. You may want to consider:
- Download and upload speeds
- Data limits
- Installation and connection fees
- Charges for WiFi routers and line rental
- Contract length
What other types of broadband are there?
There are three types of broadband available. You could narrow down your choice by finding out what speeds you need and what connection you have. This can be tricky, so the easiest way to do it is to select a package and see if it’s available in your area.
- ADSL broadband: delivers internet connectivity down the copper wires used by your existing phone line. ADSL speeds vary according to how far you live from your local telephone exchange, but the average download speed is about 11Mbps. The top download speeds are usually up to 24Mbps, and the top speeds for uploads are usually up to 2Mbps. ADSL broadband is widely available in the UK, with coverage available for more than 99% of the UK population. As such, the majority of homes in the UK have ADSL connections.
- Cable broadband: uses a mix of fibre optic and coaxial cables. It’s faster than ADSL, but not yet available everywhere. For this reason, the decision to get cable or not may be out of your hands.
- Fibre: information is carried as pulses of light down microscopically thin ‘pipes’ of glass or plastic, before being turned into internet data. You’ll generally know if you have this because of a green box on the corner of your street or a tech box at home that holds your broadband connections.
Getting fibre broadband for businesses
If you’re running a business in the 21st century, you’re almost certainly going to need an online presence. To help you keep up with it all, you’re going to need a business broadband package. Business broadband packages can sometimes be more expensive than domestic broadband, but they often provide extra features, such as:
- Faster and more consistent download speeds – to help you keep your business running smoothly, because a drop in speed or disconnection can cost you business.
- Better security features – to protect your business.
- 24/7 customer support – so that when issues do pop up, you can get back online ASAP.
What do I need to compare fibre deals?
We’ve made comparing fibre deals quick and easy. Simply type in your postcode, tell us the name of your current provider and what type of broadband service you want.
You’ll then be able to scroll down a results page with a list of deals.
Compare fibre optic broadband deals
Comparing fibre optic broadband deals with us couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is tell us your postcode and we’ll show you which superfast broadband deals you can take advantage of. We can also show you bundled packages, such as broadband and TV or broadband TV and phone deals. You might also want to think about incentives like free gifts, or maybe you’re looking for a broadband-only deal with no upfront costs? Try it today to see if you could save.Compare superfast fibre deals
What our expert says...
"If you live in anything like a modern home, chances are you're going to want fibre broadband. Families with lots of users, or if you're into lots of streaming, downloading or online gaming, will need broadband with plenty of speed and bandwidth to keep up with your busy lives. Making the jump from ADSL to fibre is a game changer."
- Holly Cox, Digital expert
Frequently asked questions
What are the benefits of fibre broadband?
We’ve put together some of the reasons why fibre broadband can change the way you browse, stream and work:
- Higher quality video and audio – the faster your connection speed, the higher the quality of your streaming will be. Netflix now offers a 4K Ultra HD option, which is only possible with the type of speeds fibre optic can achieve.
- Faster download speeds – download a song in seconds, a film in minutes and enjoy live TV streaming without annoying pauses due to buffering.
- Seamless video calls – faster upload and download speeds means improved video quality and less chance of dropouts. Fibre makes it far easier to stay connected with the office and clients if you’re working from home, or chatting to family across the globe.
- More reliable connection – fibre is able to keep up with demanding online tasks whatever the time of day or night, which is especially important for a home-based business looking to deliver a great customer service.
- Multiple devices can be connected at once – essential if everyone in the household wants to use the internet at the same time.
How fast is fibre broadband?
It depends whether you’re using FTTC or FTTP. Advertised speeds for FTTC (which is much more widely available) typically start at 60 Mbps, for the larger providers. FTTP is advertised as the pinnacle of superfast broadband, with providers boasting speeds of up to 900 Mbps.
Take a look at some of the ‘fastest broadband’ deals available at the moment.
What do ‘up to’ speeds mean on broadband packages?
The ‘up to’ speed is usually the maximum speed you’ll experience. But bear in mind that your internet may be slower than this.
Broadband providers now give average speed claims, based on the download speed available to at least half of customers at peak times.
As ADSL is delivered along copper wire, the speed can vary dramatically depending on how far from the telephone exchange you live. With fibre-optic broadband the speed shouldn’t fluctuate so much, particularly if you have FTTP broadband.
Why is fibre broadband more reliable?
Because fibre optic broadband is made of ‘glass’, there’s no electricity involved.
This means it’s protected against interference from power lines or high-voltage electrical equipment. Plus, it doesn’t corrode.
This means you can expect clearer and more reliable communications.
Is fibre broadband available everywhere in the UK?
Most areas of the UK already have access to super-fast fibre broadband. The government and BT have proposed a deal that could introduce a new Universal Service Obligation (USO). In theory, since March 2020, everyone should be able to request a broadband download speed of at least 10 Mbps.
Should I get unlimited data or a data limit?
Having unlimited fibre broadband data means you can use as much data as you like each month, without being charged extra.
The advantage of a download limit on a capped deal is that it’s usually cheaper. However, only opt for this if you’re sure you’ll stay within the limit. Exceeding it could see you having to pay additional charges.
To work out how much data you might need, take a look at the activities you can do online (downloading a movie or a document, for example) and see how much data each of those internet activities typically uses.
Will I have to pay anything upfront for fibre broadband?
It depends on the broadband deal you get, but some providers will charge hardware, activation, or delivery fees – and possibly a combination of these different factors. So be on the lookout for extra fees when comparing fibre broadband deals.
Can I cancel my fibre broadband package at any time?
Cancellation fees usually apply if you want to switch early – and they can be high. When choosing a broadband package, it’s important to be comfortable with the overall contract period.