Choosing the right broadband that suits your circumstances is essential. One of the key factors in making this choice is being able to find out what services are available in your area. Our availability checker will tell you what you need to know.
There are so many enticing broadband deals out there right now you could be forgiven for jumping in and taking advantage before it’s too late. However, before you make your final decision, you need to know what broadband speed your household needs and whether that particular package is available in your area.
By putting your postcode into the checker below you’ll instantly be able to see what sort of broadband packages are available in your area. Alternatively, we've picked out some of the best widely available deals available right now for you just below that.
Next you need to think about what you need out of your broadband package. If you’ve already done all your homework, you can dive straight into our broadband comparison page and select the best deal for you. If you’re still uncertain, here are two simple things to think about. How many internet users do you have in your house and what exactly do you use it for?
You then need to match the answers to these questions with an appropriate broadband speed. In a nutshell, the higher the number of megabits – 10Mbps, 35Mbps, 67Mbps etc – the faster the speed will be.
For example, a couple with no dependants (or with children who are still relatively young and cannot operate the internet without your supervision), that uses the internet for general browsing across a number of social media sites, for paying bills online, booking trips, and uses some of the streaming services through Netflix or Amazon, has quite modest requirements and a 10Mbps broadband connection package would be more than sufficient.
At the other end of the spectrum, a large household with several internet users all online pretty much throughout the day, with a 4K UHD TV in the corner of the living room along with a few more Smart TVs in the bedrooms upstairs and a well-used Xbox or PS4 floating around, would need a much faster fibre service, starting from a minimum of 50Mbps to keep everyone connected.
The higher the number of megabits, the faster the broadband connection will be. A fibre optic line will give you the fastest available speeds, allowing for much swifter downloads and uploads, much smoother streaming capabilities, and is ideal for impatient gamers.
The UK’s current speed titan is Virgin Media with its 350Mbps option, but this is way beyond the needs of almost any household. Its 100Mbps package is ideal for households with a need for speed. Alternatively, if Virgin has not yet reached you, all providers operating on the separate Openreach network offer fibre speeds averaging 65Mbps.
Standard broadband connections tend to be cheaper than the fibre packages but, as a consequence, are slower and can be subject to usage limits and traffic management policies. This can result in slowdowns during peak periods in order to ensure consistent speed for everyone across the provider's network.
However, for those of you who are general browsers, rather than regular streamers or downloaders, it’s likely you won’t be too concerned by this and will be satisfied that the speeds – and monthly bill – suit you.
Once seen as limited in availability and somewhat on the steep side in terms of financial outlay compared to standard broadband, fibre is now becoming the preferred choice, and the norm, for many households.
The technical difference between fibre and standard is quite straightforward. Standard broadband – the elder of the two – uses traditional copper cable to transfer data, whereas fibre uses a more modern network of high-speed fibre optic cables that are more resilient. Presently, fibre optic connections cover around 80% of the UK population.
As previously mentioned, Virgin Media’s 350Mbps option is the fastest broadband around, but most providers offer fibre packages averaging 35Mbps. Fibre is much more compatible for those households wanting to connect using a number of devices – phone, laptops etc – all at the same time without seeing any change in speed. You can find out more about the differences between fibre and standard broadband elsewhere on the site.
Remember, though, the key is not to seek the fastest speeds at all costs. The deal has to be right for your needs and one that is available in your area.
Whilst the availability checker is a great place to start for giving you an approximate estimate of download speeds available within your postcode, our speed test will give you a much more accurate assessment of the speed on your line.
The broadband speeds available to you will inevitably be influenced by the network usage during peak times throughout the day. Naturally the speeds will be affected when there are more people connected than not.
There are quite a few factors that can affect the performance of your broadband speed. For standard broadband in particular, the distance between your home and the nearest exchange can cause problems as those old copper wires don’t take too kindly to travelling too far these days; broadband signal deteriorates the further it has to travel.
Traffic management policies are also a scourge of speed performance. Typically targeted at peak times during the weekends and evenings, it is worth considering opting for a truly unlimited package to avoid such restrictions.
There are also hurdles to jump from within your own home as well as outside. Wireless routers are not as effective as those connected by cable and more likely to incur interference and, thus, affect your broadband speed. Other household electrical devices such as microwaves can also interfere with your router hence why it’s advisable to keep it somewhere more isolated such as the hallway.
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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