Can I get fibre optic broadband in my area? How to check availability
Fibre optic broadband offers the fastest online experience with download speeds many times higher than traditional broadband. For years it was little more than a pipe dream for most UK consumers but all this is changing now as the fibre optic roll out continues apace.
Is fibre optic broadband available in my area?
To find out if fibre optic broadband is available in your area already please enter your postcode below.
We can then tell you immediately if fibre optic broadband is available where you live, and we’ll show you a list of all the different packages you have to choose from and your best download speed.
Where is fibre optic broadband available?
Fibre optic broadband is currently available to more than half of all homes and businesses in the UK. This figure is set to rise as the roll out of the fibre optic network continues over the coming months and years. Aside from a few isolated rural areas almost all of the fibre optic broadband enabled areas in the UK are in and around major towns and cities.
How do I get fibre optic broadband?
If fibre optic broadband is available where you live then subscribing to a service is very quick and easy, and you can do it all online.
If our postcode checker says that fibre optic broadband is already available in your area we will show you a list every package from each of the fibre optic broadband providers that operate in your area. You can then compare the different speeds, download limits and costs of each package so you can quickly and easily choose exactly the right fibre optic broadband package to suit you.
How is fibre optic broadband installed?
Once you’ve signed up for a fibre optic broadband package your chosen provider will send an engineer to install the whole system for you.
As a physical connection must be made between your home and the fibre optic network an engineer will most likely need to run a cable under your front lawn. If you own your own home this will not be a problem. If you rent a property however, or if you live in an apartment block you will of course need the permission of the owner before you can allow the installation to take place. If you’re unsure you should discuss this with your landlord and your preferred fibre optic broadband provider.
Once the physical connection is made to the outside of your property the engineer will then need to connect the master phone point (and TV points, if a digital TV cable subscription is included with your fibre optic broadband package) to your new fibre optic cable, or they will install a new dedicated connection point.
Your broadband provider will supply all of the equipment needed to connect your home and their engineer will install everything and test it before he leaves. You are then free to connect your computer to the fibre optic network with an Ethernet cable and begin to enjoy the online world at lightening speed.
What are the benefits of fibre optic broadband?
There are many benefits to fibre optic broadband. Most notably fibre optic broadband is very, very fast and much, much faster than any other broadband package that you may have used before.
Download speeds can be up to 10 times faster than the best traditional broadband with packages available at up to 100Mbps. At speeds like this you can download entire MP3 albums from sites like iTunes in a matter of seconds, stream IPTV services such as the BBC iPlayer with no annoying interruptions and join the high definition revolution by downloading HD movies in a matter of minutes.
Upload speeds are also much higher with fibre optic broadband with some services offering uploads at up to 10Mbps which means you’ll be able to upload photos and videos, even HD, in a fraction of the time than before.
Is it expensive?
No, fibre optic broadband offers fantastic value for money, especially when you consider all of the benefits it offers when compared to older broadband systems such as ADSL.
Currently a subscription to a fibre optic broadband will cost you a little more than an ADSL package but prices are very likely to fall as competition increases in the fibre optic broadband market. As it stands, the slightly higher price of fibre optic broadband is far outweighed by the benefits that it brings.
When can I get fibre optic broadband?
You may be able to get fibre optic broadband already. To find out if your area is connected you can use our free fibre optic broadband postcode checker at the top of this page. If you can’t get it immediately then all is not lost. The fibre optic rollout is continuing apace with many new areas being connected each month.
If you'd like us to contact you when fibre optic broadband reaches your area then why not sign up for our free fibre optic broadband alert tool? When you do we'll automatically check your postcode regularly and then contact you immediately once your neighbourhood is connected to the fibre optic network.
Your information is safe with us. We won't share your postcode with anyone. Guaranteed.
Who provides fibre optic broadband?
There are several companies that offer fibre optic broadband in the UK, including the country’s most popular ISPs. They are Virgin Media, BT and Eclipse, with TalkTalk due to join them very shortly. Virgin Media operates its own fibre optic network and it is this network that has the widest coverage of any UK provider. BT is rolling out its own fibre optic network and new areas are connected every month, and it is this network, OPenreach, that is used by the majority of UK fibre broadband providers.
Virgin Media Broadband
Virgin Media is the leader of the fibre optic broadband pack in the UK. To the majority of consumers fibre optic broadband (or cable broadband) is synonymous with Virgin Media and this market leading position is something that they’ll be doing all they can to protect.
Virgin Media broadband was for a long time the provider of the fastest widely available broadband in the UK. Within a year of releasing their groundbreaking 50Mbps fibre optic broadband package they unveiled a 100Mbps service.
All Virgin Media packages offer unlimited monthly downloads, subject to the terms of a daily Fair Usage Policy. Access is via a Virgin Media Super Hub, which is included in the cost of a subscription.
Virgin Media can currently offer fibre optic broadband packages to just over half of all UK homes. More regions are connected to the network each month with newer properties and housing developments, often in the vicinity of existing cabled areas being more likely to become connected to the Virgin Media fibre optic network than older or more remote communities.
BT fibre optic broadband is marketed as BT Infinity. Launched in 2010 BT Infinity is already making big waves in the UK fibre optic broadband market thanks to a widespread cross-channel marketing push and a multimillion-pound installation programme.
BT Infinity has an advertised download speed of up to 38Mbps for the basic service, and up to 76Mbps for the improved BT Infinity 2. It’s offered in a handful of different packages and all include a BT Infinity wireless router. BT Infinity packages are offered with monthly download allowances of either 40GB (Option 1) or unlimited (Option 2). These limits were previously subject to the terms of the BT fair usage policy although it was announced in March 2011 that they were scrapping the fair usage policy limits from all BT Infinity packages.
The BT Infinity rollout is still an ongoing process with more and more areas being connected to the BT fibre optic network each month, with some even getting access to the new up to 160Mbps Infinity service. Our postcode checker has full details of all areas that are already connected to the BT Infinity fibre optic network while our news section reports every new announcement from the BT Infinity rollout team.
Sky Fibre Unlimited
Sky uses the same Openreach network as BT to delivery home fibre packages. Marketed under the name Sky Fibre Unlimited it is a relative newcomer to the fibre party, but due to the widespread take-up of Sky TV and its availability without TV.
Available in two varieties, the basic up to 38Mbps Sky Fibre Unlimited and the advanced up to 76Mbps Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro, Sky’s offerings come backed with totally unlimited monthly usage allowances and they shouldn’t slow down even at peak times. When you sign up you’ll get free and unlimited access to the Sky public Wi-Fi network and a free Sky Hub wireless router, although a small charge is levied to cover delivery.
TalkTalk is another relative newcomer to the fibre broadband market. They offer two packages, Fibre Medium at up to 38Mbps and the up to 76Mbps Fibre Large. To subscribe to either you first need to choose a basic TalkTalk home broadband package, which will then be upgraded to fibre within a few weeks of activation. As with other fibre broadband providers and engineer’s visit is required for installation.
Eclipse Fibre Broadband
Offering downloads at up to 40Mbps Eclipse is also offering one of the fastest upload speeds of any UK provider at up to 10Mbps. Eclipse also understands the importance of broadband throughput to consumers and provides a guarantee that its subscribers will be able to enjoy a consistent broadband connection speed of 12Mbps. To business users especially this will be very warmly received.
Eclipse has garnered a reputation as a very dependable provider of business broadband services especially for its use of UK-based call centres.
Areas with fibre optic broadband
London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Stoke-on-Trent, Southampton
Derby, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Leicester, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire.
Lancashire, Liverpool, Cheshire, Trafford, Manchester, Wirral, Tameside, Wigan, Bolton, St Helens, Blackburn, Salford, Blackpool, Sefton, Stockport, Bury, Oldham, Halton, Rochdale, Knowsley, Warrington.
Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Kent, Southampton, Bracknell Forest, Reading, Medway Towns, Slough, Portsmouth, West Sussex, London, Milton Keynes, Brighton and Hove, Windsor and Maidenhead, West Berkshire, Wiltshire, Wokingham.
Birmingham, Shropshire, Walsall, Coventry, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Stoke on Trent, Solihull, Telford.
York, Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley, Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield, Lincolnshire, Rotherham.
Most searched postcodes
E14, NW6, N1, SW19, BN3, BN1, W2, W9, E3, CR0, NW3, NW2, SL6, LE2, SW16, BN2, S10, RH10, DE11, BA2, SW17, SE18, CF14, NW1, SW15, SW18, PR2, CM2, LN6, CF31, LE3, NW10, CM1, SW6, SW11, M14, SL1, RH12, SE15, SE1, CM7, BL8, E16, W5, WS11, PR4, W4, N7, RG12, SE5
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Once you enter your postcode, Cable.co.uk will perform a live lookup and check all the available providers in your area.
This ensures you receive accurate information on the availability of providers and packages in your area.
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