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Customers have been urged to check the speeds that are attainable in their local area before signing up to any broadband packages.

The Daily Mail reports that most providers will let potential users check what speeds they can get in their area using their postcode.

It explained that speeds will be quicker for people situated closer to a local exchange, adding that there is little point in signing up to an 8Mb broadband deal if 4Mb is the quickest speed achievable in the area.

The newspaper warned that consumers must consider what they will use their broadband connection for before choosing a contract.

"Combining your TV, landline phone and broadband with one provider can save you money," it added. "And there is the added convenience of having all your bills from one supplier."

Citing BT, TalkTalk, Tiscali, Sky, Virgin Media, AOL UK and PlusNet as the main broadband players in the UK, it suggested that comparison sites are the best way to find the best deal for your needs.

Last month, a survey by moneysupermarket.com revealed that 60 per cent of broadband customers are missing out on potential savings because they have not considered switching providers.

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