Dan Howdle | February 13th, 2023
TalkTalk positions itself as the purveyor of affordable broadband for all, providing uncomplicated, well-priced broadband packages with the option to bolt on a simple TV package.
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Like BT and most other providers, TalkTalk runs on the Openreach network that covers 95% of UK households, so you have a good chance of being able to get TalkTalk broadband wherever you are.
TalkTalk offers its services over the Openreach network, so you can expect similar coverage to that offered by BT, EE and Sky, all of which also run on Openreach. The major exception to this is Virgin Media, which runs on its own, separate network. TalkTalk still offers a standard, ADSL broadband service for anyone that cannot get fibre, but with its fibre services now available to 95% of the country, the vast majority of people should be able to get a decent fibre speed at their address.
TalkTalk also offers ultrafast broadband services, ranging in speed from 150Mbps to 944Mbps, but these speeds are not as widely available as regular fibre. The broadband checker will tell you what sort of speeds you can expect to get from TalkTalk broadband at your address.
If TalkTalk fibre is not already available at your address, it is unlikely to reach you any time soon and your best alternative is Virgin Media. Almost all other broadband providers also use the Openreach network used by TalkTalk to supply their services, and so if you cannot get TalkTalk fibre, then you will almost certainly also be unable to get BT, Sky, Shell, EE or Plusnet fibre either. Virgin is different since it operates over its own network. However, it is not as widely available as Openreach, so we advise that you check Virgin Media availability to see if it is available at your address.
If you cannot get TalkTalk fibre or Virgin Media, then you should be able to get TalkTalk standard broadband, known as Fast Broadband. You can use our availability checker to find out.
LIke most other providers, TalkTalk now offers three kinds of broadband. ADSL, also known simply as standard broadband, uses copper telephone wires to transmit data, and as a result offers very slow connection speeds averaging 11Mbps.
Fibre broadband, which is now widely available across the country, uses fibre optic cables that run as far as your local cabinet, at which point they connect to the copper telephone wires to reach your home. This is known as FTTC broadband (short for Fibre to the Cabinet). Fibre optic cables enable data to travel much more quickly than copper wires, which means that a fibre broadband service is considerably faster than ADSL, with speeds up to 76Mbps available.
The fastest speeds on offer are those enabled by TalkTalk’s ultrafast fibre service, which can provide up to 900Mbps download speeds. There is no copper wiring involved in these connections – the fibre cables go straight into your home. This kind of service is known as FTTH (Fibre to the Home), but you will also see it described as Full Fibre or Pure Fibre. Unfortunately these ultrafast services are not yet widely available, but rollout across the country is ongoing and so if you cannot get it yet, you may well be able to at some point soon.
In most cases, getting set up with your new TalkTalk broadband service at home is as straightforward as plugging in your new router and switching it on, but things can get a little more complicated depending on which service you choose. A new Full Fibre service, for example, will require the installation of fibre cables all the way to your property, which will need to be done by an engineer.
Customers choosing to take broadband and TV will also receive a TalkTalk TV 4K Box, which comes with 70 free-to-air channels and the option to bolt on Netflix and NOW TV Memberships. The TV Box is wifi-enabled so requires no cabling to connect it to the router and is easy to self install.
TalkTalk will advise you when you purchase your new broadband package as to whether you will need an engineer or not to get your new service up and running.
TalkTalk’s standard broadband service won’t require engineer installation unless you do not already have a pre-existing phone line. ADSL broadband uses your telephone connection to get you online so there is no need for specialist installation. Bear in mind that TalkTalk will only offer Fast Broadband to customers who are not in a fibre-enabled area.
TalkTalk offers customers the choice of two fibre speeds averaging 38Mbps and 67Mbps. Customers signing up for TalkTalk Fibre will receive the Wi-Fi Hub Premium router through the post. It is easy to self-install – simply plug it in and switch it on and then connect your devices via wifi.
TalkTalk offers a wide range of Full Fibre speeds to customers in Full Fibre-enabled areas. Customers can choose from 65Mbps, 150Mbps, 500Mbps or 900Mbps. With the exception of the 65Mbps Full Fibre package, the other Full Fibre speeds come with the Amazon eero router, which has WiFi 6 technology that enables ultrafast speeds via wifi around your home.
All customers signing up for Full Fibre will require an engineer visit to wire the fibre cables into your home. TalkTalk will arrange a date and time with you when you sign up.
TalkTalk supplies customers with routers and TV boxes free of charge but they remain the property of TalkTalk and should be returned if you leave the provider at any point. If they are not returned, TalkTalk will charge you £50, which will be added to your final bill.
TalkTalk offers its TV package to any TalkTalk broadband customer. Customers will be supplied with the TV 4K Box, which comes with access to 70 free-to-air channels as standard, along with access to 30 On Demand players and streaming apps (some of which require an additional monthly subscription fee).
Customers specifically looking for Netflix can add this as a bolt-on, and in addition there is the option to bundle in any of the NOW TV Memberships – choose from Entertainment, Cinema, Sports and Hayu – to your broadband and TV package.