Super-fast broadband is a term used to describe broadband connections that enable you to download files and browse the internet at lightning speeds. Super-fast broadband is the next step in the evolution of the Internet.
We define super-fast broadband as a connection with a speed of 30Mbps or above. This means that even at its slowest, super-fast broadband is several times faster than the UK average of around 9Mbps.
A super-fast connection means you can download movies and music within seconds and stream TV without interruption, too. As a result, your web-surfing experience will be smoother than ever and the way you use online multimedia applications and services will be transformed overnight.
In the case of Virgin Media’s super-fast broadband products, quicker connections with average speeds as high as 362Mbps are made possible due to the next-generation fibre-optic network it operates. This is much more efficient at relaying data than standard ADSL copper wires which slow down connection speeds.
The fibre packages offered by BT — and other providers on the Openreach network, like TalkTalk, Sky and Plusnet — use a slightly different fibre-to-the-cabinet technology to deliver average speeds of 35Mbps or 67Mbps, depending upon which package you have.
In areas where BT's pure fibre product has launched, much higher speeds are up for grabs. But the downside is that right now this service has very restricted availability.
Compare BT fibre deals at our dedicated BT fibre page.
Compare fibre broadband packages at our dedicated fibre-optic broadband comparison page.
Fibre-optic broadband is available to millions of UK households. If you’re in an urban area, you’ve got a very good chance of being able to get it. Rural areas are less well-served.
If you reside out of town and out of range of fibre broadband providers, don't despair. You may still be able to get a fast connection over standard ADSL broadband networks. Average speeds on ADSL are roughly 10Mbps.
Can you get super-fast broadband? Check your availability with our postcode checker.
The company with the quickest super-fast broadband product is Hyperoptic, whose customers can expect average speeds as high as 900Mbps. Hyperoptic isn't widely available, however, so outside of their network, Virgin Media offers fast speeds on a wider scale, with average speeds peaking at 362Mbps.
This largely depends on how you use the internet. But if you’re a heavy downloader, play games online or watch a lot of on-demand television, then a super-fast broadband connection is essential for your needs.
Conversely, if you’re the kind of person who only uses the internet for e-mail or perhaps a bit of shopping and light web browsing, then you're possibly better off sticking with your existing connection.
Not what you're looking for? Why not compare ADSL broadband deals on our dedicated page.
The 'up to' speeds offered by broadband providers, although unrealistic, are the fairest way of advertising connections, according to BT.
British broadband users whose landlines are provided by BT are set to enjoy free calls to 0870 and 0845 numbers.
The CMA has announced a series of steps to assist consumers who are subject to a 'loyalty penalty' by not switching their broadband provider.
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