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Broadband postcode checker

Enter your postcode to see what Broadband deals and speeds are available in your area.

Broadband availability checker tool explained

The broadband postcode checker from Uswitch is a quick and easy way of taking a look at the current broadband packages available in your specific area. Simply type in your postcode, press 'check' and you'll see broadband deals for both fibre broadband and non-fibre connections come up onscreen.

You’ll get access to deals from many of the UK's top providers and the speeds offered, so you can check the price against your current offering and gauge if what you're paying is about right or just far too much.

What's the best broadband in my area?

There is no one perfect broadband solution for any given area in the UK, since different considerations come into play depending on what you will use the internet for, your budget and internet service provider (ISP) coverage.

The most widely available connection is ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) broadband, which is an always-on service delivered over a standard, analogue Openreach line. ADSL uses different frequencies on this line, so you can use the internet and make phone calls at the same time.

Openreach wholesales its service via a range of different ISPs, who will then offer you their services through a host of packages tailored to the end user. Broadband speeds on ADSL will depend on the quality of lines and connections in your area, as well as how far you are from the exchange.

Nowadays, most ISPs also offer fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) packages to their customers, providing super-fast connections to the internet through fibre-optic cables that run to street cabinets. The cabinets then deliver broadband from the cabinet to several homes in the vicinity — and again, the closer you are to the cabinet, the faster your broadband.

Fibre-optic cables can transmit more data faster, which is why FTTC broadband speeds start at about three times faster than ADSL. Some 90% of the country is covered by Openreach’s fibre network, and there's a good chance you can get broadband from providers who use the Openreach network, including BT, Sky, Plusnet and TalkTalk.

As of 2018, Virgin Media's network only covers about 75% of the UK population, although this is growing all the time. Virgin Media relies on its own cable network, which connects homes to cabinets via coaxial cables and offers faster download speeds than FTTC connections.

A number of ISPs are also slowly rolling out full fibre, or fibre to the home, connections, too. These connect fibre-optic cables directly to your home and can offer speeds up to 900Mbps. Although the push is for everyone to eventually get access to full fibre connections, only around 5% of the country currently has access to these types of connections.

Simply put, checking your postcode to see exactly what's available in your area is the best way to find out how you can get the best broadband for your needs.

Why does broadband availability differ in different areas?

Broadband availability differs across the country due to the infrastructure. The government declared in 2018 that 95% superfast broadband coverage had been achieved and promised that everyone will be getting 20Mbps downstream speed by 2020.

But until then, not everyone in every area can get advertised speeds, providers or even fibre broadband deals.

Our own research on Uswitch discovered more than a quarter of homes achieve speeds of less than 10Mbps, while some connections can be as slow as 5Mbps. Ofcom has pointed out this is unlikely to be enough to cover the average family's internet needs, including streaming and video viewing.

Thankfully, it’s not too much longer until high-speed broadband connection is to be made a legal right for everyone in Britain by 2020 and those suffering on slow connections can get faster speeds.

In the meantime, it's worth using our broadband checker to see if you could benefit from switching ISPs, particularly if you're in a rural area and you feel you aren't getting the speeds you need.

Can I get fibre broadband?

According to figures from Ofcom, 95% of the UK can now access superfast broadband, so there's a good chance your area has a network in place. Our broadband postcode checker will quickly show you if your location can access fibre broadband, and at what speed. You can also filter the deals that come up to show only fibre broadband contracts.

Where can I find more information about broadband providers and their cover ranges?

At Uswitch, we can show you broadband deals from a wide range of providers, including:

We also have broadband deals from a number of other providers, such as Hyperoptic, Post Office, John Lewis, Origin and Gigaclear, all of which might have great deals for your area.

Most offer tempting time-limited prices, often throwing in free equipment such as smart speakers or hubs to sweeten the deal.

Again, we'd definitely recommend making use of our postcode checker - and in particular the fibre optic broadband checker - to ensure you're pricing up exactly what you need and can access in your area.

Once you enter your personal information on most providers’ websites — particularly your home address — you should get bespoke speed estimates for your home, including an average speed and minimum speed guarantee.

How do broadband speeds differ between areas?

We have already mentioned that broadband speeds can differ wildly from those we see advertised on TV, depending on the local area, proximity to digital infrastructure and availability of ISPs.

However, the extent to which this applies was underlined by Uswitch's most recent test of consumer speeds, published in December 2018.

It found even different streets can be subject to varying internet connectivity, making for something of a postcode lottery.

For example, our table of the slowest streets in Britain saw Greenmeadows Park in Bamfurlong, Gloucestershire take the top spot, achieving download speeds of just 0.14Mbps. That's 1,899 times slower than on Abdon Avenue in Birmingham, which came top on our list of the fastest streets and enjoyed download speeds of 265.89Mbps.

We agree that luck can be a factor in the speed of your broadband, but we also discovered a lack of awareness that better services are probably available where you live.

So don't be resigned to poor download speeds — put your postcode into Uswitch's broadband checker and see if you could be enjoying a better deal on your broadband in just the time it takes to switch.