There are over 150 broadband providers in operation in the UK, and in this broadband provider directory we've outlined the details of some of the UK's biggest and most widely available companies and their networks.
There are a few very large broadband providers, such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, as well as a host of smaller suppliers. Each have their own pros and cons for their ability to meet your broadband needs.
Find out all you need to know about comparing different broadband providers and the services they offer.
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BT is the largest broadband provider in the UK, offering several types of fibre broadband services from superfast fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) to ultarfast full fibre connections. It also offers pay-TV, the major selling point of which is BT Sport and its live coverage of the Premier League, as well as exclusive UEFA Championship matches.
Sky is the biggest satellite and digital TV provider in the UK and also offers broadband and home phone services as part of its broadband bundles.
TalkTalk has many broadband customers thanks to its great-value fibre and ADSL broadband services, as well as home phone and pay-TV via the YouView set top box.
Virgin Media offers premium cable broadband and TV bundles and consistently delivers high-speed broadband and high-quality TV through its cable network.
EE offers impressively fast 4G and 5G mobile broadband and FTTC broadband. EE mobile customers benefit from purchasing EE home broadband as they can potentially boost their data plans.
Plusnet is a great-value internet service provider that offers affordable fibre and ADSL broadband packages to customers alongside excellent customer support.
Vodafone is a mobile phone operator turned broadband provider. Vodafone offers a range of excellent value broadband packages, particularly its superfast fibre broadband deals and 5G home broadband deals.
NOW Broadband, which is owned by Sky, offers affordable fibre broadband packages with easy access to TV add-ons and exclusive content through NOW.
Hyperoptic is a full fibre broadband provider that provides ultrafast and even gigabit internet speeds for new-build homes and apartments.
If you're looking to switch to a new provider, compare broadband deals with Uswitch to find a wide range of options for your home.
Fibre-optic broadband providers
Almost all UK providers, especially the larger ones, offer fibre broadband connections nationwide. But there is still a wide variety of fibre speeds available depending on the network you're connected to and the type of fibre connection you choose.
Fibre-optic broadband speeds can range from what we call 'superfast' at 30Mbps, all the way to 'gigabit' at an astounding 1Gbps, some 33 times faster. So the service you get with fibre really does depend on what's available to you.
The most widely available type of fibre is fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), available on Openreach's superfast network, which hosts the majority of the above providers and is accessible by over 95% of the country. It provides speeds between 30-70Mbps, so it may be the slowest fibre broadband option, but it's often the cheapest and the most widely-available. And still much faster than copper-based ADSL broadband.
Virgin Media's growing cable broadband network offers much faster options, all the way from 50Mbps to 600Mbps, though at 52% it covers fewer UK properties than Openreach's FTTC. It's also more expensive since Virgin needs to connect its special 'coaxial' cables from the cabinet to your home, rather than just standard copper phone lines.
Full fibre providers offer the fastest broadband speeds available in the UK right now. Also known as fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), this is simply where fibre-optic cables connect directly from the provider's broadband exchange to your home. Speeds on one of these networks can range from 100Mbps all the way to 1Gbps.
Learn more about fibre broadband on our dedicated guide.
Who are the fastest internet providers?
Providers who can deliver FTTP broadband will be the fastest options for you right now. This primarily will be full fibre providers, but Virgin Media is also one of the fastest thanks to its cable broadband technology.
Although full fibre only has 18% nationwide coverage right now, it's rapidly expanding through a number of networks:
- Openreach provides FTTP broadband connections for BT and Sky
- CityFibre hosts Vodafone's 'Gigafast' connections as well as some of its own deals
- Gigaclear offers speeds up to 900Mbps on its network
- Hyperoptic provides full fibre for new-builds and flats
- Community Fibre only services London addresses, but its connections go all the way up to 3Gbps
If you'd like more information about the fastest broadband speeds in the uk, take a look at our guide on gigabit internet.
Choosing the right broadband provider
Certain providers are more well-known for some services over others, and each one will have at least one unique selling point that'll make them attractive to a customer with a particular set of needs.
Here we'll go through the main considerations you should have for a broadband package and which providers might be more suited to each.
Broadband monthly price
Cost is obviously important to keep in mind when choosing a broadband provider. A certain provider could offer deals that have more than you could ever need, but if the monthly price is out of your budget then you may end up regretting it.
However, cheap broadband providers will often ease the pressure on your bills but their service might not be up to the standard you require.
Plusnet and TalkTalk are popular choices for affordable broadband deals. They're both widely-available across the country with fast fibre deals and good customer service.
If you're looking for broadband at an affordablke price, you can compare cheap broadband deals with Uswitch.
You'll need to make sure that the deal you choose has the right bandwidth for your internet usage. If you're a small household and you only really go online to check social media or browse the web, you could get away with a standard, 10Mbps broadband package from the likes of POP Telecom, Direct Save Telecom or John Lewis Broadband.
However, if you live in a household with several people who use the internet, or you often stream high-quality TV, download large files or play bandwidth-hungry online games, a faster broadband package would be best.
Virgin Media, Hyperoptic, Vodafone's Gigafast service or providers using Openreach's FTTP network offer speeds for homes with the highest demand.
As a paying customer, you'll want to be assured that the provider you choose will treat you with respect, care and, when it matters, urgency. Whether it's through complaints handling, helpful communications or fixing connection issues, good customer service makes your life a lot easier.
Ofcom releases a quarterly list of the broadband providers that they received the most complaints for in each period. Of late, Sky and EE and Plusnet have been the best performers in this regard, with complaint numbers all falling below the national average.
Get more information on which broadband provider has the best customer service.
If you have a complaint to make about your broadband service, it's best to take it up with your provider to see if they can find a solution first instead of going straight to Ofcom or the ombudsman. Here's how to complain to your broadband provider.
Which broadband providers are in my area?
The sheer range of broadband providers can be slightly overwhelming. This is where broadband comparison sites come in handy, offering you a great way to compare lots of broadband packages at once in a single location, saving you a lot of time and effort.
At Uswitch, we try to help you to choose the right broadband provider for your needs by giving you relevant information on each provider and listing their packages in an easy-to-understand, concise way.
If you'd rather compare broadband providers available to you at a broadband package level, you can use our postcode checker. This allows you to see which deals are available to you in seconds.
Want to find out the broadband speeds you can get to your home, not just your local area? Get a much more accurate view of the broadband providers available to you with our Broadband Network Checker.