The Uswitch broadband availability checker is a quick and simple way to compare broadband deals in your local area. It helps you find a range of broadband packages that are available at your postcode in just a few simple steps:
After running our postcode checker, you'll see a results table of broadband packages from many of the UK's top providers. And depending on what's available in your postcode, you'll get a wide choice of different broadband speeds in your area as well.
You can then compare those prices with your current monthly bill, and decide if what you're paying is about right or too much. Or you can compare the speeds with your current package to see if it's worth upgrading your service.
Whether you want a faster connection, want to add more services like a landline or pay-TV subscription, or need to reduce your monthly bills, you'll be given lots of options with our postcode checker.
The fastest available internet in your area will usually depend on how much fibre-optic coverage there is in your postcode.
Depending on which types of fibre connection are installed in your area, you could benefit from a huge internet speed upgrade with fibre broadband. Skip down to find out more about fibre-optic broadband in your area.
Ultrafast speeds are becoming available to more and more properties every month. See if you could benefit from ultrafast broadband.
The best broadband deal available is one that suits your needs the most. You'll often want to find a good balance between your budget, the number of people in your household, and what you want to use your internet for.
So when you search for the 'best' broadband in your area, the fastest or the cheapest options may not necessarily be the best for you. Instead, you'll want to look for the most appropriate deal for what your household needs, because that'd be most worth your money.
There are a few different types of broadband you can get, each with a different range of speeds and prices:
The most widely-available connection in the UK is ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) broadband, which is delivered over the same copper phone wires as your landline.
ADSL uses different frequencies on this line to let you use the internet and make phone calls at the same time (unlike the old days of dial-up).
Download speeds on ADSL often average around 10Mbps, depending on the quality of lines and connections in your area, as well as how far away you are from your local street cabinet.
If you're searching for fibre-optic broadband in your area, you'll have plenty of options to choose from on Uswitch.
Nowadays, most providers offer fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) packages to their customers using the Openreach network, which provides what is known as 'superfast' internet speeds between 30-70Mbps.
These operate through fibre-optic cables that run to the street cabinets in most neighbourhoods across the country. The cabinets then deliver broadband to the surrounding homes in their vicinity using the same copper phone lines as ADSL.
So again, if you're using FTTC, your distance from the street cabinet might slightly affect your broadband speed.
Despite using the same phone lines for the final leg of the journey, the fibre connection between the broadband exchange and your street cabinet is what makes the difference.
Fibre-optic cables can transmit more data in a much shorter time period, which is why average FTTC broadband speeds are often several times faster than ADSL.
With 96% of the country covered by Openreach’s FTTC network, there's a good chance you can get broadband from the providers who use it. They include BT, Sky, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Vodafone, NOW and many others.
In fact, some providers have fibre broadband offers that are the same price as their ADSL ones, since fibre uptake is now very common and copper cables are being phased out of the telephone network.
Virgin Media's independent cable broadband network covers roughly 52% of UK premises, but its coverage is gradually growing across the country.
Its network makes use of the same fibre-optic cables from the broadband exchange to street cabinets, but from there it connects to individual homes with its own 'coaxial' cables, instead of traditional copper phone lines.
Virgin does have plans to upgrade its cable network to full fibre by 2028, offering speeds of up to 10Gbps. So even faster speeds could be on the horizon if you switch to Virgin Media in the next few years.
Virgin broadband is much faster than the FTTC connections you get from BT or Sky. Since late 2021, it's been able to offer speeds of up to 1Gbps (or 1000Mbps) to everyone on its network, which is just shy of what current full fibre connections can provide.
Use our Virgin Media postcode checker to see if its ultrafast deals are available in your area.
A number of providers are also rolling out full fibre connections. This technology is also called fibre-to-the-premises, or FTTP broadband.
As the name suggests, this involves fibre-optic cables running all the way from the broadband exchange to your home, which can offer gigabit speeds of 1Gbps, plus much faster.
Although the aim is for everyone in the country to eventually get access to full fibre, only around 28% of the UK currently has this type of broadband available to them.
The government is currently running Project Gigabit to speed this process up though. This scheme is allocating over £1bn to smaller providers, to make it more affordable for them to lay fibre cables in rural and remote parts of the UK.
Adding this to providers' efforts to grow their own FTTP networks means that full fibre will likely be available to you in the next couple of years.
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 right broadband for your needs.
Broadband availability changes across the country due to the infrastructure in each location.
Our own research at Uswitch discovered that nearly one fifth of homes achieve speeds of less than 10Mbps, while one in ten can be as slow as 5Mbps.
Ofcom has pointed out this is very unlikely to be enough to cover the average family's demand for internet, especially when accounting for music and TV streaming.
Thankfully, there has been a big push in the last couple of years to provide gigabit broadband speeds for as many UK homes as possible this decade. This is an ambitious target, but it should hopefully mean that soon those suffering on slow connections will get faster, more reliable speeds in the coming years.
Currently, around 40% of UK premises can access some form of gigabit-speed broadband.
If your property can't access gigabit broadband yet, it's still worth checking Uswitch to see if you could benefit from switching providers. Especially if you're in a rural area, and you feel you aren't getting the speeds you need.
Take a look at our broadband availability checker guide to learn more about the different broadband types in your area.
According to figures from Ofcom, 96% of the UK can access FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) broadband, so there's a good chance you can get fibre broadband in your area.
Our broadband postcode checker will quickly show you if your location can access fibre broadband, and at what speeds. You can then filter the deals that come up to only show fibre broadband packages.
We'd recommend using our fibre-optic broadband checker to make sure you're pricing up exactly what you need, and that you can access what you want in your area.
Once you enter your information on most providers’ websites — in particular your home address — you should get bespoke speed estimates for your home, including an average speed and minimum speed guarantee.
If you're looking for an affordable broadband deal, you may have a couple of options depending on what your budget is.
Firstly, the cheapest broadband deals on Uswitch offer broadband from around £17 per month — and even fibre broadband up to 67Mbps from just £18 at times. So there is certainly a high number of widely-available cheaper deals.
However, if you're receiving Universal Credit or another form of government financial support, you could qualify for a social broadband tariff. These are much cheaper deals that some providers offer to make broadband a lot more affordable for people struggling to pay their bills.
Take a look at our broadband deals for low-income families guide to find out which broadband providers offer social tariffs.
At Uswitch, we can show you deals from some of the best broadband providers.
Check out individual providers to see more details of their broadband deals and coverage:
Broadband speeds can differ from those advertised online and on TV, depending on where you live in relation to your provider's infrastructure.
The difference in speed can be due to any number of things, but it's often the case that customers are simply sticking it out with their old broadband contracts on expensive out of contract fees, rather than switching to a new, better offer.
A great way to quickly find out what broadband speed is available to you is by using the Uswitch broadband speed test. Not only will this measure the current internet speed you're getting, but it will then run a broadband availability check to see what speeds you can get at your postcode.
This way, if you're unhappy with your existing speed, you can find out what packages you can switch to in order to enjoy much faster speeds.
If your internet isn't working or is much slower than usual, it could be down to a broadband outage in your local area. Even if you notice after some googling that others are experiencing the same issue as you, there could still be things you can do to improve your own connection.
There are a few ways you can run a broadband service check to see if it's either a network issue with your provider, or something in your home that you can fix yourself. Take a look at our broadband outages guide to learn what you can do when your broadband goes down.