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Fibre broadband deals

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uSwitch rated takes into account deals that are proving to be popular with our customers, that are competitive in the market and have a smooth buying process
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uSwitch rated takes into account deals that are proving to be popular with our customers, that are competitive in the market and have a smooth buying process.

To find out more about the uSwitch Awards and how they are selected, please visit our awards homepage.

*The "average" speed displayed in Mb represents the speed available to 50% of customers with this product during peak time (between 8pm and 10pm). The actual speed you will get depends on your cabling, your area and (with non-fibre optic products) time of day and how far you are from the telephone exchange. Most providers will tell you the likely speed you will receive when you begin your online sign up — this may differ from the average speed displayed on our table.

Contract discount compares the promotional price currently offered across all services (broadband, line rental, TV, etc.) against the monthly cost of the same package without promotions, multiplied by the duration of the contract.

The deals available at your postcode are subject to local availability. The provider will confirm availability for your line.

We aim to take the strain out of broadband comparison. Good broadband deals aren't just about the price, it's also about what's included in the product, the speeds offered and any extra incentives providers are offering. To balance all of these, we have developed a ranking formula that takes into account deals that are proving to be popular with our customers, that are competitive in the market and have a smooth buying process.

If you prefer, you can sort deals by monthly cost, speed or contract length. You can also choose to show costs as monthly or full contract, which lets you see the total spend over the contract period, including any setup costs.

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Fibre broadband explained

Fibre-optic broadband is one of the most common options for people in the UK. But what is fibre broadband and how does it differ from other types of broadband in terms of speed, availability and range of providers? Here's everything you need to know before you compare fibre broadband deals.

Compare fibre broadband deals on in October 2019

What's the difference between fibre and regular broadband?

The main difference between regular broadband and fibre broadband is the speed it is able to deliver, with fibre-optic broadband able to provide services many times faster than older technology.

Most standard broadband services will offer average download speeds of around 11Mbps — though there are a lot of variables depending on your line, so in reality, you may receive anything from around 16Mbps to less than 1Mbps. Most fibre broadband services, on the other hand, start at around 36Mbps — some three times faster.

But fibre broadband speeds don't stop there, as fibre broadband deals are offered at a range of speeds up to almost 1Gbps. That's more than a hundred times faster than copper-based broadband.

Do I need fibre broadband?

If you only use the internet for browsing social media and sending emails, standard broadband should do the job. But if you want to stream video, play games online, or download large, multi-gigabyte files, the speed advantage offered by fibre broadband is invaluable.

Take a look at these examples to see the broadband speed you need:

  • Social networking: 1Mbps
  • Web browsing: 2Mbps
  • Standard definition Netflix streaming: 3Mbps
  • High definition Netflix streaming: 5Mbps
  • 4K Netflix streaming: 25Mbps
  • Online gaming: 3Mbps

Of course, different services will have their own requirements. Plus, the more activity you want to do at once, the more bandwidth you need, so if you've got four people wanting to watch Netflix at once, you'll need four times the minimum recommended speed.

How does fibre broadband work?

Fibre broadband gains its speed advantage from the way it delivers data. Regular broadband — also known as ADSL broadband — uses the same copper wire as your landline telephone to transmit data. However, fibre broadband uses plastic or glass cables, with light beams used to transmit the data at the speed of light.

There are two main types of fibre broadband. The most common is known as fibre-to-the-cabinet, also known as FTTC or superfast broadband, which only uses these fibre-optic cables as far as the street-level cabinet, relying on copper wire to connect the last part of the journey to your home. Then there is fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), or full fibre. As the name suggests, this does away with copper completely and runs a fibre-optic line right to your front door.

What’s the difference between superfast, ultrafast and hyperfast broadband?

Superfast, ultrafast and hyperfast may sound like marketing buzzwords, but actually, they have specific definitions referring to the speeds you're able to achieve. A superfast connection means download speeds in excess of 30Mbps. Ultrafast, meanwhile, applies to speeds of 100Mbps and higher. Hyperfast broadband only refers to the very fastest connection - those of 1Gbps or more - and can only be delivered as FTTH.

Take a look at these examples to compare broadband download times:

One-hour standard TV programme

Broadband connectionBroadband speedDownload time

Two-hour HD movie

Broadband connectionBroadband speedDownload time

Large new-release PS4 game

Broadband connectionBroadband speedDownload time

Can I get fibre broadband in my area?

The vast majority of homes in the UK are able to receive fibre broadband from at least one supplier. According to figures from Ofcom, superfast broadband is available to 95% of UK homes.

Most connections are delivered as FTTC via Openreach's networks. Meanwhile, the number of homes able to access full fibre (FTTH) stands at six per cent, though there are a variety of providers rolling out new networks over the coming years to increase this figure.

You can use our broadband postcode checker to find out what types of broadband are available in your area.

Why can't I get fibre broadband?

There are several reasons why some homes still can't get fibre broadband. One of the most common is cost, and this is a particular problem in rural areas. It is very expensive to route cabling to remote locations, and as there will not be many users, fibre broadband providers may not deem it economically viable to invest so much money for a relatively small number of customers.

However, even if you live in a city, this is no guarantee of fibre broadband availability. Some areas are so densely populated, there simply isn't room to add additional capacity for fibre connections. Many apartment blocks are also poorly served because of the way they are wired internally.

Which broadband providers offer fibre broadband?

Almost all providers in the UK offer fibre broadband, with most of these using Openreach's network, although there are a few full fibre providers that use their own infrastructure to deliver ultrafast and hyperfast services. Therefore, it pays to compare fibre broadband deals to ensure you're getting the best broadband package.

BT is the UK's most popular provider of fibre broadband services, though Sky and TalkTalk also have large market shares. Virgin Media, the other big provider in the UK, runs its own fibre-based cable network, with more limited availability.

Here are some of the fibre broadband providers you can compare deals with today.

  • BT
  • TalkTalk
  • Sky
  • Virgin Media
  • Plusnet
  • Direct Save Telecom
  • Vodafone
  • Post Office
  • John Lewis
  • EE
  • Hyperoptic
  • SSE
  • Relish
  • Origin
  • NOW Broadband
  • First Utility
  • Onestream
  • Shell Energy
  • POP Telecom

Can I get fibre without phone line rental?

If fibre-optic broadband is delivered to your home via copper cable as part of an FTTC network, then you will still need a working phone line to deliver it. However, if you have cable or FTTH options available, you can do away with this requirement.

There are a range of providers that offer cheap fibre broadband without a phone line.

Can I get fibre broadband only deals?

Bundling fibre broadband with TV is very popular because the faster broadband speeds make for smoother TV and streaming connections. A number of major broadband providers do bundle fibre and TV together because of this.

If you don't need TV, however, it's easy to find fibre broadband only deals, too. You can compare these deals on our broadband only deals page.

Compare our best broadband deals

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