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Best broadband in my area

Looking for cheap broadband? Compare prices from top providers and get a great deal

Knowing the best broadband in your area is the first step to finding the right broadband deal for your household. To help you on your broadband journey, we outlined some key steps to finding the right provider and all the broadband connections you can benefit from.

Independent Advisor’s top deal

We’ve chosen this deal because it offers a balance of speed and affordability for the everyday user, with no upfront cost.

Plusnet – Full Fibre 145
Monthly Cost
£27.99
Average speed
145 Mb
Contract term
24 months

Price could rise by CPI+3.9% next April

Our top recommended broadband providers
Hyperoptic
Ultrafast speeds at affordable prices
Plusnet
Fast speeds & reliable customer service
Vodafone
Perks for existing mobile customers
BT Broadband
The UK’s largest broadband provider
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How to find the best broadband packages in my area

If you’re looking for broadband offers in your area, there are several things you can do to ensure you’re making an informed choice.

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Test your speeds

Testing your current internet speeds will not only show if you are actually getting the advertised speeds, but can also inform you if you need to upgrade to a faster package or a better suited provider. Use our broadband speed guide to find out more.  

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Figure out your contract needs

Opting for a longer broadband contract will likely be more cost effective in the long run, however, you may need to look towards no-contract broadband packages if you don’t want to be locked into a lengthy commitment. 

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Read reviews and feedback

While you may think opting for a larger broadband provider is safer, you should still check how they treat their customers. Our highest rated broadband provider is Hyperoptic, while the lowest is Virgin Media. You can discover more about each company by visiting our broadband provider page.

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Use our postcode checker

Our postcode checker offers immediate access to all the best offers in your area. You can filter these results by price, contract length, download speed and more to help you tailor the best package for your needs.

How does broadband in my area differ from the rest of the UK?

To give you a better understanding of broadband in your area, we catalogued the difference between each area in the UK’s mean advertised speed compared it with the mean actual broadband speeds people received. 

As you can see, Northern Ireland has a mean advertised broadband speed of 126Mbps, and the actual speeds the region receives are very similar at 118Mbps. On the other hand, the mean advertised speed for Brighton is 205Mbps, but the actual speed received by residents is much lower, at 139Mbps. Ideally, you want the actual speeds you receive to be as close as possible to the speeds advertised on your chosen broadband offer, else they may not be enough to satisfy your household’s needs. 

A variety of factors can impact your broadband speeds and can result in you not receiving your advertised speeds or paying for a subpar service. To help you understand what is causing slower than advertised speeds in your household, we will run through some common issues and how you can solve them.  

Proximity to a telephone exchange 

Basic broadband, also known as ADSL broadband, suffers from signal degradation, meaning that speeds are lower the further away you are from a telephone exchange. 

However, we surveyed over 2,000 broadband customers1 and found that just 10 per cent of respondents use basic broadband. Most of them live in rural areas where broadband options are more limited, so if you live in a more populated region, you likely won’t need to worry about your proximity to an exchange. 

Population density 

While it may seem counterintuitive, living in a busier area allows for faster broadband speeds. This is because densely populated areas usually have more scope in terms of broadband providers and access to fibre or full fibre broadband.  

We asked our survey respondents how often they felt that their broadband speeds matched the originally advertised speeds; 53 per cent of those living in rural areas claimed that their broadband speed Always or Mostly matched their advertised speeds, compared to 67 per cent of people living in urban areas.

Peak times 

You may notice that your broadband speeds slow down at certain times of the day. A surge in the network causes this as more people try to connect to the internet. Home broadband speeds are slower from 8-10pm, with business services most affected during 12-2pm, according to Ofcom2

Little can be done about slowness during peak times, other than choosing to browse at different times of the day.

Fair usage policies 

Some broadband offers come with fair use policies. These policies can slow your bandwidth down at certain times of the day, especially if you are engaging in intensive activities such as file sharing or large downloads. 

If you are engaging in activities deemed as unfair usage, you will be contacted by your broadband provider. Since fair use policies are being phased out it’s unlikely you will run into this issue, but it may be worth switching providers if you are frequently warned about unfair use.

Broadband development 

Openreach3 has pledged to deliver ultrafast full fibre broadband to 25 million households and businesses by December 2026. Right now, full fibre is available to 57 per cent of UK households, according to Ofcom4

Despite recent progress in full fibre availability, coverage is still lower in rural areas (40 per cent) compared to urban ones (59 per cent), according to Ofcom. To help alleviate this disparity, the UK government5 launched Project Gigabit in 2018. This project brought forward the Gigabit Broadband Gigabit Voucher Scheme, which offers eligible homes and businesses up to £4,500 to cover the cost of installing gigabit broadband to their properties. As of June 2023, over 117,000 vouchers have been issued6.

Gemma Ryles new profile April 2024

What the expert says – Gemma Ryles, Independent Advisor Home Tech Expert

Knowing the broadband deals in your area is the first step to switching broadband providers; we found that one in two customers can save up to £141* or more by switching with the Independent Advisor. 

 

Knowing what providers operate in your area gives you a better insight into the highest speeds and lowest prices available. You should always look at smaller providers in your region, as they can be more affordable than larger brands. You can even find providers with price guarantees, meaning you won’t be subject to the annual CPI price hike

 

Using our postcode checker is the best way to find broadband deals in your area and filter for your preferred aspects, including speed, price and contract length.

What broadband is in my area? 

The table below shows the most common types of broadband and their availability across the UK.

Types of broadbandBest suited forAvailability
Full fibre broadband (FTTPBusy households with internet intensive habits57 per cent7
Fibre broadband (FTTCBusy households without access to full fibre97 per cent8 
Standard broadband (ADSL)Households that only browse the web and check emails96 per cent 
Mobile broadband Those without access to traditional broadband who have good signalDependent on 4G/5G signal
Satellite broadband Those in very remote areas with low signalVery widely available

Our survey revealed the most popular types of broadband in each area of the UK, which you can see below. Keep in mind that these aren’t only dependent on the broadband types available in these areas, but will also be the result of personal preferences, budgetary considerations and other factors. 

Do any providers offer coverage across the whole of the UK?

Despite the large number of broadband supplies operating in the UK, no single provider can claim to offer blanket coverage across every corner of the UK. However, some larger providers have bigger scopes than others, making them ideal choices for those with limited options. 

Providers with widespread coverage

BT is the largest broadband provider in the UK and has the most extensive infrastructure, often including remote areas. 

Virgin Media has the largest fibre network in the UK and is available in most cities, including Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. However, it is not as widely available in rural areas. 

Sky’s fibre packages are widely available for most UK postcodes, with 11 million homes currently supported9.  

If you live in a rural area, your choice of broadband may be limited and you may not have access to fibre-optic broadband packages. If this is the case for you, mobile broadband is a good alternative, with Vodafone and EE offering some of the best offers.

What broadband is in my area?

The easiest way to find out what broadband is available in your area is to visit our dedicated pages; we catalogued all the broadband suppliers that operate in various parts of the country and what types of packages you can find. 

Methodology and sources

  1. Survey of broadband customers aged between 24-64 conducted on Censuswide, 11-14 March 2024. Survey sample: 2,003 respondents, totalling Sky (489), BT Broadband (412), Virgin Media (396), EE (134), Vodafone (124), Other (102), Plusnet (66), NOW Broadband (45), Three (31), Hyperoptic (14), Community Fibre (8), Unsure (7). Respondents who selected Hyperoptic, Community Fibre, Other or Unsure were discarded from our review, however, the information gathered for Hyperoptic and Community Fibre was used in our Broadband Providers evaluation. Respondents were asked to rate each category on a five-point scale, from Very Poor to Excellent, or from Never to Always, with the option of selecting Don’t Know for all questions. For the question “What issues, if any, have you experienced with your current broadband provider”, respondents could select from the following: Price Hikes, Slow Speeds, High Prices, Frequent Disconnections, Poor Customer Service, Billing Issues, Other and N/A. ↩︎
  2. Openreach. Broadband speeds: what you need to know ↩︎
  3. Openreach. Our Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband Build Plans ↩︎
  4. Ofcom. Connected Nations UK Report 2023 ↩︎
  5. gov.uk. Project Gigabit progress update, June 2023 ↩︎
  6. gov.uk.Project Gigabit progress update, June 2023 ↩︎
  7. Ofcom. Connected Nations UK Report 2023 ↩︎
  8. Ofcom. Connected Nations UK Report 2023 ↩︎
  9. Sky. Welcome to Sky ↩︎

Frequently asked questions about broadband in my area

Finding the cheapest broadband offers in your area involves a bit of research and due diligence to ensure you’re getting both a great price and a reliable connection.

Start by searching for broadband offers online, ensuring the provider covers your location and offers a fast, reliable connection. Look at the total cost of the contract, not just the monthly fee. Setup costs, equipment fees, and price increases after the introductory period can affect the overall affordability. 

If you’re already with a provider, sometimes renegotiating your current contract can lead to getting a better package, especially if you mention a competitor has a lower price.

Broadband connection speeds can vary significantly depending on the type of connection you have, as well as where you live. 

  • Standard broadband: Standard broadband, which uses copper phone lines to deliver internet services, generally provides slower speeds than fibre-optic broadband. This is due to the limitations in the data transfer rate of copper wires compared to the glass or plastic fibres used in fibre-optic cables that transmit data at the speed of light
  • Fibre broadband: Fibre broadband uses fibre-optic cables from the telephone exchange to the roadside cabinet and then copper telephone wires from the cabinet to your home, making it faster than standard broadband, but slower than full fibre broadband
  • Full fibre broadband: Full fibre uses fibre-optic cables to carry the connection directly to your home from the broadband exchange. Offering speeds of up to 1Gbps, it’s 30 times faster than fibre broadband and more reliable.

Since broadband and TV packages are common among a wide range of broadband suppliers, you should be able to invest in one no matter where you live. These types of offers are generally more expensive than broadband only packages and may require costly installation fees, especially if you need a satellite for your chosen package. 

You can find out what TV and broadband packages are available in your area by using the postcode checker at the top of this page.

The best type of broadband for your household will depend on a few factors, namely how many people live with you, what activities you often partake in and how much you want to spend. 

In a nutshell, faster broadband is usually more expensive, so you may want to opt for a slower deal if you are hoping to save money. Standard broadband  reaches speeds of up to 11Mbps, making it suitable for day to day browsing, but too slow for activities such as video conferencing and gaming. 

Fibre deals can reach speeds up to 100Mbps. This type of package is ideal for houses with up to four people and can support 4K streaming and working from home. Full Fibre  is best suited for those on the hunt for gaming broadband and can handle up to 10 users.

Gemma Ryles new profile April 2024

Gemma Ryles

Home Tech Writer

Gemma Ryles is a BJTC and PPA-accredited journalist with three years of experience writing across various publications. As a home tech expert at Independent Advisor, Gemma tests, researches and writes about broadband and home security. 

Previously, Gemma reviewed and curated lists about consumer technology at Trusted Reviews, where she honed her skills in creating buying guides and features to help customers make informed decisions. She has previously worked at Yorkshire Post, BBC Yorkshire, Glitterbeam Radio and Bonus Stage. 

Gemma has a BA in Journalism and in her free time can be found writing short stories, gaming and crocheting.