Next-day broadband: How fast can broadband be installed?

Dan Howdle | June 7th, 2024

Next-day broadband

If you do some digging on the sites of almost any UK broadband provider you'll discover they all have one thing in common: They all take about two weeks to get you set up from the moment you purchase your package. And that's just too long in some situations. That's why you're here right? To find out if there's a way to be up and running much, much sooner. Is that even possible? Next day even? Why yes. Yes it is.

Can I get broadband installed next day?

In short, yes you can. There are two situations in which it's possible to have your new broadband deal up and running within 24 hours. If you're not switching provider and are instead upgrading your existing package, this should take a day or less. If you're looking for a brand new broadband deal and you want it next day, you''re going to be limited to 4G/5G home broadband and mobile broadband deals.

Next-day broadband with your existing provider

Upgrading your existing deal can be a simple case of calling them up or in some cases logging into your online account and doing the whole thing there. However, it should be noted that if your new speed is substantially higher than your existing one, many broadband providers will require you to have a higher-spec router (which they will provide), and in these cases you may find next-day installation isn't possible.

Next day installation of a new broadband deal

Here you're going to be limited to mobile broadband deals. If that's disappointing, it's worth bearing in mind that mobile broadband – broadband delivered by one of the UK's four mobile networks via 4G or 5G – has come a very long way in the last few years. Mobile home broadband deals now exist, with performance and reliability comparable to fixed-line competitors. Mobile home broadband is much the same as fixed-line broadband in that you'll get a home router and fast speeds. The only real difference is how that broadband arrives in your home.

Which providers offer next-day broadband?

In terms of who offers broadband deals that'll have you up and running the next day, the picture is a little mixed, since some broadband providers offer both fixed-line and mobile broadband deals. And while a fixed-line installation from a new provider is universally around two weeks, not every provider who offers mobile broadband does so on a next-day basis.

This table provides a comparison of different broadband providers, detailing whether they offer fixed-line broadband, mobile broadband (MiFi, dongles, etc.), and mobile home broadband (with a home broadband router). Additionally, it shows the typical installation times for each type of service offered by these providers:

Provider Three logo Vodafone logo O2 logo EE logo Virgin Media logo Sky logo TalkTalk logo BT logo
Fixed-line broadband No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Installation time - 2 weeks - 2 weeks 2 weeks 2 weeks 2 weeks 2 weeks
Mobile broadband Yes Yes Yes No Yes (O2) No No No
Installation time 24 hours 3 days 24 hours - 24 hours - - -
Mobile home broadband Yes Yes No Yes No No No No
Installation time 24 hours 24 hours - 1 to 2 days - - - -
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Compare mobile broadband

Important notes on 4G/5G home broadband

While in some cases (outlined above) you will be able to get a mobile broadband deal that has you up and running the next day, there are a few things you should note about mobile broadband in terms of both its pros and cons versus a traditional fixed-line deal.

  • Not all deals are unlimited: Unlike fixed-line broadband where data limits are a thing of the past, many mobile home broadband deals have data caps and while unlimited options exist they tend not to be cheap
  • Unlimited deals tend to be expensive: Data limited deals are comparable price-wise to their fixed-line counterparts, but higher data limited and unlimited mobile home broadband deals are comparatively expensive
  • Check your coverage: 4G speeds can be quite slow, depending where you live. Thoroughly check your likely data speed where you live and be sure it suits your needs
  • Get 5G if you can: If you live somewhere with a good 5G signal, take that option. It's faster and more reliable
  • The best deals are on longer contracts: While one-month contract-less mobile broadband deals exist, they tend to be more expensive than contracted deals, and you'll have to pay the cost of the device/router itself

Ordering and delivery

In order to take advantage of next-day broadband installation you're going to want to get your order in as early in the day as possible. Some providers state 'next-day when ordering before', and then provide a time, so you'll tend to know if you've made the window or not.

If you miss it though, be prepared to wait an extra day for delivery.

What we think

While it's entirely possible to get a brand new broadband deal that'll see you up and running the following day, mobile broadband is the only way to accomplish this outside of simply upgrading your existing deal with your existing provider.

It's important then to weigh up the pros and cons of mobile broadband versus fixed-line broadband as outlined in this blog. If you can't wait, it's your only option, and not a bad one at that by any means, provided you're happy with pricing versus data limits and you live somewhere you'll get a good, fast mobile broadband reception.

Broadband near you

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