Home  ›  Guides  ›  Can I get fibre optic broadband in my area?

Can I get fibre optic broadband in my area?

By Luke Thompson
Thursday, February 15th 2018

Fibre broadband is faster than standard broadband, offering download speeds from 38Mbps to 300Mbps. It’s not yet as widely available as standard broadband, but coverage is increasing all the time so you stand a good chance of being able to get it.

Fibre optic broadband checker

The best way to check which fibre optic broadband providers and deals are available to you where you live is to use a postcode fibre broadband availability checker. Enter your postcode and we will return a complete list of every fibre broadband deal currently available at your address.

Fibre broadband coverage

Your information is safe with us. We won't share your postcode with anyone. See our privacy policy.

Getting fibre optic broadband installed

Once you’ve signed up for a fibre optic broadband package your provider will send an engineer to install it for you.

An engineer will perform the installation

Around 90% of UK homes now have access to a pre-existing fibre optic broadband connection. However, in some cases, an engineer might need to run a cable from the road to your home. If you have your own home this will not be a problem.

If you rent a property, or if you live in an apartment block, you will need the permission of the owner before you can permit any digging to take place. If you’re unsure, you should discuss this with your landlord and your preferred fibre optic broadband provider.

Your home may need a dedicated connection point

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.

Most of the time, equipment is supplied free

Your broadband provider will supply all the equipment needed to connect your home, including the wireless router, and the engineer will install everything and test it, and answer any questions you may have, before he leaves.

Fibre is the fastest broadband available

There are many benefits to fibre optic broadband. Most notably fibre optic broadband is much faster than any other broadband package that you may have used before, meaning little or no waiting time for things to happen online.

Fibre broadband gives you faster downloads

Download speeds can be up to 10 times faster than the best standard broadband, with some packages offering up to 300Mbps. At speeds like this you can download entire MP3 albums from sites like iTunes in a matter of seconds, stream services such as the BBC iPlayer with no annoying interruptions, and have as many devices connected as once as you wish.

Upload speeds are quicker too

Upload speeds are also much higher, with some services offering uploads up to 20Mbps. This means you’ll be able to upload photos and videos, even in HD, in a fraction of the time you may be used to.

Prices are becoming comparable to standard broadband

Currently a subscription to a fibre optic broadband will cost more than a standard broadband package, but prices are falling as competition increases in the fibre optic broadband market. As it stands, for most people, the slightly higher price of fibre optic broadband is easily outweighed by the benefits it brings.

When will fibre optic broadband be available in my area?

Fibre optic broadband is available to around 90% of UK properties of the UK. As you’ve come to this page, we’re assuming you’re in the final 10% and are still awaiting its arrival. The good news is that it’s probably coming soon.

Fibre optic is largely available from two networks

Openreach and Virgin Media have the widest fibre optic networks in the UK, and when it comes to your area it will most likely be with one of those two.

Most broadband providers use Openreach’s network

The Openreach fibre optic network is used by many providers other than BT, all of which offer their own fibre optic deals and packages.

Virgin Media operates its own network

Virgin Media has its own fibre optic network and is the only provider that uses it. At the moment, Virgin Media covers around 60% of UK homes and is extending its network all the time.

Find out when Openreach is coming to your area

Openreach has a page dedicated to informing prospective customers if and when their area has been earmarked for fibre optic. From there you can find out if you’re in a planned area, if your area is under review or, if you’re in an enabled area and just waiting for the street cabinet to be switched on.

Talk to your current provider

Some areas already have access to fibre optic broadband, but it might not yet be available from your current provider. Get in touch to find out what its plans are. If it hasn’t got any, it might be time to switch provider.

Find out when Virgin Media is coming to your area

Finding out when Virgin Media is on its way is not as simple. Virgin announced plans to extend its network to include four million additional premises by 2020. Other than getting in touch with Virgin and asking what the plans for your postcode are, there’s not much more you can do other than register your interest, cross you fingers and hope for the best.

Which internet service provider has the best network?

BT’s network is more widespread, so you’ve got a better chance of getting a fibre optic connection from it than from Virgin. If you have the choice of either, then Virgin’s network offers faster speeds.

Two speeds are available on Openreach, three on Virgin Media

You can choose between 38Mb and 76Mb fibre optic broadband speeds with Openreach-based providers, plus an exclusive 52Mbps speed with BT Infinity broadband. While the majority of Openreach connections don't compete with Virgin’s top speeds (100Mb, 200Mb and 300Mb), 76Mb is plenty fast enough to do pretty much anything you need to do online.

Similarly to standard broadband, fibre optic will still slow down the father you are from the cabinet, so you probably won’t get the top advertised speed. Even so, it will likely be a damn sight faster than a standard broadband connection.

If you can get Openreach, you have a wide choice of providers available to you

Openreach leases its network out to other providers, so you can choose from almost any provider, other than Virgin Media.

While all ISPs will charge you a fairly standard line rental charge as part of your broadband fee, they vary in what they charge for their packages, the extras they offer and the quality of customer service.

Virgin Media is faster than Openreach

Virgin Media sells its fibre optic broadband in four speeds; 50Mb, 100Mb, 200Mb and 300Mb, so its three top speeds are faster than those of BT. Its top fibre optic speed is currently the fastest widely available in the country.

Virgin Media offers broadband-only

If you’re not interested in having a phone line, Virgin offers broadband-only deals. These are available on all three speeds, on a 12-month or one-month contract and without line rental.

What can I do to get fibre sooner?

There are a few useful things you can do that might help speed things along, although in reality, getting fibre is something of a waiting game.

Register your interest with Virgin Media

Virgin Media has a page where you can register your interest called ‘Cable my Street’. Here you can fill in some details, including your address and the services in which you are interested. Virgin will use this information to determine to where it will next extend its network.

If you’re in a community with some desire for Virgin Media, getting your neighbours to register interest will also strengthen your case. Virgin will prioritise areas with the most interest, so making as much noise as possible is a great way to get its attention.

Talk to your local authority

The government aims to ensure 97% of the population can receive superfast broadband by the end of 2017, and is investing over £1 billion to improve infrastructure.

This is called the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, and there may be a group lobbying for this funding near you. You can find more information by contacting your local authority.


If you can’t get fibre broadband, you should still be able to get online using a standard broadband connection instead. There are plenty of broadband packages available to over 90% of UK homes, so if fibre isn’t an option for you, you can find out exactly what you can get in your area using our broadband comparison listing.

Compare broadband deals

Why do we need your postcode?

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.

Your information is safe with us. We won't share your postcode with anyone. Guaranteed.