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Government had planned to set a 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation.
Two-thirds would pay an additional £4-£8 a month.
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Switching broadband is simple. But to make the process even easier and ensure you’ve got all the information you need, here we’ve answered the questions we’re most often asked by uSwitch site users.
What is broadband?
Broadband is any type of high-speed internet access — whether ADSL, cable or mobile — that’s faster than a dial-up connection and is always on.
What are the different types of broadband?
The three main types of broadband are:
Can I switch at any time? Are there any restrictions?
If you’re out of contract you can switch broadband provider at any time and won’t be liable for any charge.
However, if you’re still within your contract term or haven’t reached the minimum period that your provider insists on, it’s likely you’ll have to either pay up your contract or pay a charge.
The exception is if, during the contract term, the provider you want to leave increases the price of the monthly subscription you agreed to when you signed up. In this case you’re free to leave without any financial penalty.
How do I know if I’m out of contract?
Ideally you’ll have noted down when your contract started. But if you haven’t, don’t worry — just ring your provider and ask. They’re legally obliged to tell you if you’re still under contract, as well as when your contract ends.
Will I lose my broadband service at any stage?
That depends on which type of provider you’re switching to and switching from.
If you’re swapping one provider’s standard ADSL broadband service for a standard ADSL broadband service from another provider, your service will be uninterrupted.
That’s largely because the switch is managed by the provider you’re joining, which seamlessly handles the disconnection and reconnection.
If you’re switching from a standard broadband service to one of Virgin Media’s fibre broadband deals, though, you’ll need to follow a different process. This requires you to cancel your contract with your existing provider and then sign up with Virgin Media.
This will leave you without a service until Virgin Media’s service is connected. With that in mind, you might want to invest in a mobile broadband dongle and some credit so you’ve got a connection you can use in case of an emergency.
Do I need a MAC code to switch broadband?
No. MAC codes used to be a part of the switching broadband process but have since been scrapped. They were abolished in a bid to streamline broadband switching for consumers.
Want to know more about switching broadband deals? Head to our dedicated guide.
How do I know which broadband deals are available to me?
While millions of Britons who live in cities get to choose from a host of fibre broadband, standard broadband and mobile broadband providers, others aren’t so lucky.
To see which broadband deals are available to you, use our broadband postcode checker. Just insert your postcode in the text box provided and it’ll show you all the broadband deals on offer at your address.
Which broadband is best?
Fibre broadband deals — such as Virgin Media’s Vivid service, BT Infinity and top-end products from the likes of Sky, TalkTalk and Plusnet — provide the fastest home broadband connection.
Sign up for fibre broadband and you can expect to stream TV smoothly and uninterrupted (even when it’s HD programming). You’ll also get a much better online gaming experience, with no annoying ‘slowdowns’ in the action.
But the catch is that fibre broadband isn’t available in some locations. If that’s the case in your area, you’ll need to consider a standard ADSL broadband deal. Or even mobile broadband or satellite broadband.
How do I compare broadband deals?
This is where our broadband comparison tables come in. Using these, you can filter by speed, price, contract length and download limit to make it easier to find the broadband deals that most closely meet your criteria.
We’ve also got dedicated pages that list broadband deals if you’re an existing customer and want to add services to your existing broadband bundle.
Ready to see what’s available? Head here to compare the best broadband offers.
With millions of visitors and switches every month plus exclusive home and mobile broadband deals to suit every budget and need, uSwitch Broadband is the UK’s number one broadband comparison site.
We scour the entire market and the best broadband providers to bring you the best broadband, TV and home phone offers and use our market position to secure market-leading exclusive deals that you won’t find anywhere else.
So if you’re looking for a top-of-the-range TV bundle or want to check out great value broadband only deals, we’re confident we’ve got what you’re looking for.
Compare broadband deals now on our best broadband deals comparison page.
To take the strain out of switching, our comparison tables highlight the offers recommended by our team of broadband experts. You can buy with absolute confidence and be certain you’re getting the best broadband deal.
Want to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for? uSwitch’s broadband speed test is free to use and lets you check the speed of your home or mobile broadband connection in seconds.
It can also tell you how your broadband speed compares with other homes in your area, as well as other providers so you can see exactly what’s available to you.
Updated daily, our news section keeps you abreast of everything from surveys of the fastest broadband providers and new money-saving offers to ongoing drive to improve super-fast broadband coverage across the UK.
You’ll also find handy guides to help you make informed buying decisions and bite-sized breakdowns that get you up to speed with new broadband technology.
Need more help? We also have longer, more dedicated guides to help you out.
If you need to know the difference between standard ADSL broadband and fibre broadband or want some tips on switching broadband, this is where you’ll get the assistance you’re looking for.
When you sign up for broadband through uSwitch we’re paid a fee in commission from the broadband provider you choose.
The commission income enables us to offer a free service to compare broadband deals and allows us to develop broadband comparison tools we offer on the site.
Decided by public vote and an expert panel of judges, the annual uSwitch broadband awards are the industry’s most respected, prestigious awards.
If we name a provider as the UK’s best for home broadband, mobile broadband or customer service, you can be sure it’s an award that’s well merited.
Want to see who was named best broadband provider? Find out the answer and much, much more at our dedicated broadband awards page.