Can I get high speed broadband?
High speed fibre optic broadband is rolling out across the country and the availability checker below will show if it has arrived in your area yet.
Fibre optic broadband is available to around 70% of homes and businesses in the UK, delivering download speeds between 38Mbps to 200Mbps. The networks are growing all the time so if you can’t get fibre broadband now, there’s a chance it may reach you soon. To check whether your area has high speed internet availability...
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When will I get high speed internet?
If our checker says that there is no availability for high speed internet in your area, don't be too downhearted. The government has pledged to support investment to enable 95% of premises to have access to high speed broadband (of 24Mbps download speed or more) by the end of 2017.
However, if you live in a very rural area, it is unlikely that you will receive high speed cabled broadband any time soon and you may be wise to look at alternative options, such as 4G or satellite broadband.
Which providers offer high speed broadband?
BT runs the BT Openreach network
There are two main fibre optic broadband networks in the UK, operated by BT and Virgin Media. BT shares access to its network with other providers, including Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet and EE. BT offers two speeds of 52Mbps and 76Mbps.
All other providers running on the BT network generally offer a choice of 38Mbps or 76Mbps, although remember these are only the maximum download speeds you can expect to receive – it is unlikely you will receive these speeds in reality.
Virgin Media has its own high speed internet cable network
Virgin Media does not share its fibre broadband network with anyone, so it can set its own speeds and is on a different schedule from BT when it comes to extending its network.
Virgin offers three speeds of superfast broadband – 50Mbps, 100Mbps and 200Mbps – and because it does not share access to these speeds, you have a greater chance of receiving close to the advertised speed than you would with a service connected to the Openreach network.
Specialist high speed internet providers
Although they are not mainstream providers, Hyperoptic and Gigaclear offer very high speed broadband of up to 1000Mbps. However, they only install the service on a community case-by-case basis – not to individual properties – as it is more financially efficient.
Hyperoptic specialises in supplying internet to urban offices and apartment buildings, whereas Gigaclear supplies rural communities with a minimum of 400 properties. All enquiries must be posted on their respective websites. If you can gain the support of your local community and act together, your chances of installation will be brighter.
Fastest fibre broadband
Virgin Media offers the fastest widely available internet
Virgin Media currently offers the fastest widely available broadband in the country with its 200Mbps service, which can be taken with or without a phone line. If Virgin Media is available where you live, you can choose to take this top speed, although its slowest speed – 50Mbps – is ample for most people.
BT Infinity fibre broadband speeds go up to 76Mbps
The BT Openreach fibre broadband network is used by most other broadband providers, including Sky, TalkTalk and Plusnet, and the top speed on offer is 76Mbps. If you can get BT Infinity where you live, then you should also have a choice of various other providers.Compare fast broadband →
Once you have established that high speed internet is available where you live, our comparison tool can help you to compare the many different fibre broadband options available. We’ve selected three packages from the three biggest players in the market – BT, Virgin and Sky – but you can select any of several different providers.
Alternatives to high speed broadband
Mobile 4G broadband
If you still can't get high speed broadband where you live, you might like to check whether you can get 4G mobile broadband in your area, as this can often deliver download speeds that are faster than traditional broadband – and in some instances almost as fast as fibre broadband, although it generally works out more expensive and the maximum data limit is around 20GB per month.
Finally, if you live in a remote location and our postcode checker tells you that you’re unable to receive broadband at all then why not consider satellite broadband? It’s available right across the UK, even in the most isolated areas, and although you won't receive superfast internet speeds, you will in general receive around 20Mbps – far more than an average standard ADSL broadband connection.
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