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Fibre broadband deals

Find the right fibre broadband deal for you

Learn all about fibre broadband and what it can do for you. See whether you can get full fibre broadband and how much it might cost compared to your current package.

Fibre broadband lets you:

  • Download items faster

  • Stream TV & movies in higher quality

  • Enjoy a more reliable connection

We're working in partnership with Uswitch to bring you the best broadband experience. This means if you click or tap a link in this guide we might take you to a Uswitch page.

What is fibre broadband?

When broadband providers talk about fibre broadband, they usually mean part-fibre, or fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband.

Part-fibre broadband services use fibre-optic cables to deliver high-speed broadband from the telephone exchange to a cabinet on the street. From there, standard copper phone lines carry it into your home. It's very widely available across the UK, but because it partially relies on copper cables, it's not the fastest or most reliable type.

Full fibre broadband, also known as fibre to the premises (FTTP), uses fibre-optic cables to deliver broadband directly to your home. This removes the need for copper cabling altogether, and is capable of much faster speeds. And since fibre cables deliver a stronger connection than copper wires, it provides a much more consistent connection too.

Looking for a faster, more reliable broadband connection? Here’s what you need to know to find a high-speed fibre broadband deal that works for you.

How does fibre broadband work?

Fibre broadband uses bundles of fibre-optic cables to transfer data. They're made of glass or plastic, and information is passed through them as flashes of light. These flashes are interpreted by equipment at the receiving end of the signal.

For part-fibre connections, speeds slow down once the data arrives at the cabinet and copper takes over the rest of the way.

These copper phone lines have been used for decades to provide standard broadband, but they’re not very durable. They’re also affected by electrical interference so they aren’t good at transmitting data quickly or in large amounts. This makes the connection less stable, especially the further it has to travel.

How fast is fibre broadband?

Part-fibre services overtook ADSL connections several years ago. They provide average download speeds of 30-70Mbps. That’s usually enough for a household of people using the internet without poor load times and frustrating pauses.

Regulations have been put in place to make sure that broadband providers can’t make false claims about their fibre broadband. According to the Advertising Standards Agency, they can only advertise speeds customers can access 50% of the time.

You should get (at least) the speed estimated for the busiest times of day. These are 8-10pm for home services and 12-2pm for business services.

What is full fibre broadband?

big step up from part-fibre broadband, full fibre broadband cuts copper wires out of the equation. It uses fibre-optic cables to deliver broadband directly to your property. That’s why it’s also known as fibre to the premises (FTTP) or fibre to the home (FTTH).

It’s the fastest type of fibre broadband on the market and is currently being rolled out across most of the UK. So it may not be available in your area yet.

Why get full fibre broadband?

With speeds of up to 1Gbps and above in some cases, it’s a game changer if your online life is quite data-hungry. This could be if you’re in a big household with lots of devices connected, or if you do a lot of:

  • Online gaming
  • Video calls
  • Streaming TV services like Netflix or Prime Video in multiple rooms at the same time
  • Downloading high-definition movies
  • Working with and downloading/uploading large files, such as high quality videos.

Full fibre speeds are often described as 'ultrafast' - an industry term that refers to speeds above 100Mbps.

It's faster than 'superfast' broadband, which is a speed often associated with part-fibre connections.

Part-fibre is widely available at 97% of the country, but its speeds are limited to about 70Mbps.

With ultrafast full fibre broadband, you could have dozens of devices in regular use. This includes:

  • Smartphones

  • Laptop and desktop computers

  • Tablets

  • Smart devices such as TVs, speakers, cookers, fridges and thermostats

  • Games consoles

Even in large families or shared houses, ultrafast broadband gives everyone a high-quality online experience.

Openreach has also suggested that with more full fibre connections in people’s homes, 431,000 remote workers would be able to join the workforce. This could save 300 million commuting trips and 3 million car journeys.

It could also allow up to 270,000 people to move to less populated areas of the country, taking the strain off health and transport services.

Can i get fibre broadband where I live?

It depends on the network coverage in your area, but it’s likely.

Openreach’s superfast fibre broadband (30-70Mbps) network is available to 97% of premises in the UK. And in December 2023, its full fibre infrastructure reached 12.5 million homes - nearly half of the UK.

You can’t sign up for full fibre broadband with Openreach directly. You need to use one of the dozens of broadband providers who use its network to deliver their services. These include:

  • BT
  • Cuckoo
  • EE
  • Giganet
  • NOW Broadband
  • Plusnet
  • Shell Energy
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Vodafone
  • Zen Internet

Some of these providers, such as BT, also offer full fibre services for customers where cables have been installed. Openreach is a big name in the full fibre broadband market, but it’s not the only one. There are other smaller full fibre providers, including:

  • Hyperoptic – based in central London, and a few other cities in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Gigaclear – set up to deliver broadband to rural areas. This includes towns and villages in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Northamptonshire.
  • CityFibre - currently rolling out full fibre-only services with dozens of broadband providers in cities, towns and villages across the UK. Like Openreach, it’s a wholesale provider so you need to sign up with a broadband provider that uses its network. There’s a list on the CityFibre website.

Virgin Media is another alternative if you’re looking for faster broadband. It was the first big broadband provider to provide speeds of up to 1Gbps in the UK and its cable broadband network is faster than superfast fibre.

The telecoms giant, which already offers ultrafast cable broadband deals, has also started making moves on the full fibre market. In June 2023 it launched commercial services on Nexfibre, a new full fibre network, and is aiming to reach up to 23 million homes by 2028. This would offer full fibre coverage to around 80% of the UK.

Find the right broadband deal for you

Compare speeds, providers and offers in your area to find a great fibre broadband deal for you.

How do I know if I already have fibre broadband?

Broadband packages will often include 'fibre' in their name if they use it. So a good place to check first would be any of your existing bills from your provider.

If you can't see whether you have fibre on there, your provider can tell you about the broadband service you’re currently receiving. You can also search for broadband deals in your area to see what’s available. 

To find out whether you could upgrade to full fibre broadband, you can see if deals are available to your address by entering it in our Uswitch postcode checker.

When will I get fibre broadband?

Part-fibre (superfast) broadband is already available to 97% of the UK, so you likely have some form of fibre broadband already. Full fibre is still rolling out to properties across the country, both urban and rural, so it's currently available to just over 50% of UK homes.

You may still have a problem accessing fibre broadband services if: 

  • You live in a remote or rural area without fibre-optic cabling.
  • You live too far from the nearest cabinet.
  • You live in a built-up area and your nearest cabinet can’t take any more connections.
  • Your property is too old to accommodate the necessary cabling.

When will I get full fibre broadband?

Precise dates aren’t typically available and different network providers are working at slightly different rates.

The UK’s copper wire network was first laid over 10 years ago. The government wants it all replaced with fibre-optic cables and the rollout is well underway.

As of 19 December 2023, 57% of UK homes had access to full fibre broadband, according to Ofcom. This has been growing at a pace of about 15 percentage points each year.

The next milestone is for 25 million premises (homes and businesses) to have full fibre access by 2026. The ultimate goal is a complete rollout across the country.

I live in a rural area. Can I get full fibre broadband?

If you live in a remote location, you may be waiting a while for full fibre broadband to arrive. However, dozens of regional alternative networks are launching in rural areas across the UK, so it’s always worth checking.

Openreach’s Fibre Community Partnership programme could also speed up the process. It involves setting up a customised installation plan outside the proposed rollout plans from the big country-wide organisations.

When you use the Openreach full fibre checker, you can ask to be updated as FTTP plans progress. If you’re eligible for the Fibre Community Partnership, they can let you know, and send you details. 

The government has also committed to providing gigabit-capable broadband to rural areas across the UK. It aims to reach 85% of premises by 2025 and as close to 100% as soon as possible after that. It set up the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to pay for the installation of fibre-optic cable through community partnerships. Eligible properties and businesses get a voucher worth up to £4,500 to install fibre cables.

Is there an alternative to fibre broadband?

Yes. Depending on where you live, other options might be available. Here are the two most popular alternatives to fibre.

Cable broadband (Virgin Media)

Cable broadband uses a mixture of fibre-optic and coaxial cables to deliver broadband directly to your home.

An upgrade on copper telephone wires, it provides ultrafast speeds and doesn’t require a phone line. You don’t have to pay for line rental.

Virgin Media is the UK’s only cable broadband provider. It can deliver ultrafast speeds similar to full fibre, and is available to nearly 60% of UK homes.

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband sends internet data through 4G or 5G mobile networks rather than fixed cables.

You’re probably familiar with using it for your smartphone, but this works through a router plugged in at home. So multiple devices can connect to it through a normal Wi-Fi network.

Given the speeds that are now possible, 5G broadband can be faster than part-fibre. So make sure to use a network checker map to see which operators are available near you.

How much does fibre broadband cost?

It varies depending on the provider. Depending on speed or other connectivity add-ons, the monthly cost of fibre broadband ranges from around £20 to £60 a month. This is with or without an initial set-up charge. 

Average speeds may be as low as 11Mb for the cheaper options. If you bundle your broadband with TV or mobile phone services, costs could increase, but it might be cheaper than paying for each service separately.

Remember that fibre broadband contracts often include an introductory offer, after which prices can increase by up to 50%. 

Upgrading to faster speeds doesn’t necessarily mean you pay more. ‘Superfast’ part-fibre broadband deals start from around £20. This can be less than you’d pay monthly for a standard broadband package once you’ve passed your initial contract period. 

The cost of full fibre broadband can be significantly more, and vary further depending on contract length. Ofcom recommends using a price comparison site to get the full picture of the market in your area. 

How do I switch fibre broadband providers?

Provided you’re out of contract, switching to a new fibre broadband deal is easy. Though you’ll likely still have to give your provider 30 days’ notice. If you’re still within the minimum contract period with your existing provider, you may have to pay an early termination fee. 

The exceptions to this are:

  • If you’re not getting the broadband speeds promised when you signed up. Providers working to Ofcom’s code of practice commit to delivering minimum download and upload speeds.
  • If you’re still within the cooling-off period of a new contract.
  • If your provider changes the terms of your contract part-way through.
  • If your service is faulty.
  • If you can negotiate a better deal.

Free to switch? Here’s what you need to do next.

  • Contact the provider you want to move to and ask them for instructions. This is particularly important if you’re switching bundles – for example broadband and TV services.
  • If your current and future provider both use the Openreach network, you can follow a ‘one-stop’ switching process. You don’t have to contact your current provider. Your new provider will do all the work for you. Both your current and new provider should confirm the switch in writing.

If you’re switching from or to an FTTP broadband service, or away from Openreach, you need to cancel the service with your current provider first. Contact both providers to let them know.

What are the best fibre broadband deals?

You need to weigh up cost versus convenience to you. Typically, the best fibre broadband deal for you gives you the fastest speeds possible for the price you’re willing to pay.

Compare broadband deals and explore your options. You should also be shown deals from your current provider. It might save you money to stick with them. 

Watch out for restrictions that providers place on data usage, even when it’s described as unlimited. For example, there may be traffic management during peak times or for customers using more than their fair share of data. And as always, before you commit to a contract, make sure you read the small print.

How do I choose a fibre broadband deal?

Fibre broadband is all about getting better speeds and reliability. Working out your usage is the first step.

  • Your monthly bills should show you the broadband package and average internet speed you pay for. Log into your account online or call your broadband provider.
  • Do an online speed test to get the exact speed. There are loads of options online. Then decide if you need more or less.

You should also think about:

  • How much you want to pay.
  • Contract length.
  • Whether you should add a TV or home phone service.
  • Do you want security software? This is usually included in broadband packages.
  • Is this for personal use or business use? Compare business broadband deals.

What's a good broadband speed?

It mainly depends on your usage, and how many people live in your property. Here's a good rule of thumb to keep in mind:

  • Up to 15Mbps (standard ADSL broadband) – this speed works if you’re a light internet user. You might use broadband for web browsing, online banking and shopping, emails and watching low-res videos.
  • 30-100Mbps (superfast broadband) – Go for this speed if you stream HD and 4K videos, use social media, do some online gaming and run some smart devices.
  • 100-900Mbps (ultrafast broadband) – if you want a big upgrade on superfast broadband, allowing for more smart tech, high-quality video streaming and online gaming this speed could work for you.
  • Gigabit: 900Mbps+ – Try this speed if you’re a smart tech fan, an avid gamer, and you do a lot of game downloads or heavy media sharing. This also works if your household streams 4K video on multiple devices.

As a general rule, don’t pay the extra for ultrafast broadband unless you’re sure you really need it. Providers typically let you upgrade mid-contract if you want the extra speed.

What is Gfast broadband?

Developed by Openreach, this tech bolts on to FTTC broadband through a pod attached to the side of the cabinet. It boosts speeds through the copper wires to deliver up to 330Mbps and provide a more reliable connection.

The downside is it only works if your home or business is close to an exchange. Openreach’s focus has now shifted to FTTP broadband instead.