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Compare fibre broadband in the UK 2024

Explore our picks of the best fibre broadband deals

Gemma Ryles new profile April 2024

Deals checked by Gemma Ryles, our broadband expert

With her expert advice and knowledge, you can trust Gemma to guide you to the best broadband deal for your needs.

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To help you find the best broadband package for your needs, our expert team has broken down everything you need to know about fibre broadband. 

We interviewed over 2,000* broadband customers in the UK to better understand their opinions and habits when it comes to fibre broadband. These insights fed into this guide, where you can find out everything from the popularity of fibre, the different types of connections available and how to pick the right broadband speed for your needs. 

What is fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband offers much faster speeds than standard broadband thanks to the use of fibre optic cables, which replace older copper cables. 
Full fibre broadband can reach top speeds above 1,000Mbps, much faster than the maximum speed of 11Mbps for a standard connection. Openreach claims fibre broadband is 70 to 80 per cent more stable than older internet networks[1].

What types of fibre broadband are available in the UK?

There are two main types of fibre broadband. Fibre, sometimes known as fibre-to-the-cabinet, and full fibre, also called fibre-to-the-premises.  

We have listed everything you need to know about each type to help you understand which fibre connection is best for you.

Fibre broadbandFull fibre broadband 
Average download speedBetween 30-70MbpsBetween 100-500Mbps
Maximum download speedUp to 80MbpsAbove 1,000Mbps
Average cost per month£54£48
Is a phone line needed?YesNo
Availability in UK homes62%[3]97%
Rate of adoption among survey respondents 31%46%

What other types of broadband are available? 

There are other options if you don’t want or can’t access fibre broadband. Here are some key factors to know about other types of broadband connections. 

Standard broadband 

Standard broadband is the slowest type of broadband connection in the UK but is widely available throughout the country. 

  • Average download speed: Between 10-11Mbps
  • Maximum download speed: Up to 11Mbps
  • Average cost per month: £46
  • Is a phone line needed?: Yes
  • Availability in UK homes: 97 per cent 

Mobile broadband 

Mobile broadband works differently than traditional broadband, using data over a wireless network. It comes in the form of SIMs, dongles, portable hotspots or mobile routers. 

  • Average download speed: Between 32-133Mbps
  • Maximum download speed: Up to 200Mbps
  • Average cost per month: £66

Satellite broadband 

Satellite broadband sends signals through communication satellites, similar to satellite TV. This is a great alternative for people living in remote areas without access to fibre or standard broadband. 

  • Average download speed: Between 30-220Mbps
  • Maximum download speed: Up to 250Mbps
  • Average cost per month: £69

What speeds are available with fibre broadband?

93 per cent of respondents to our survey felt that speed was an important factor when picking a new broadband package. Here are the three categories that fibre broadband can be broken down into: 

Superfast broadband 

Superfast broadband offers download speeds of up to 30Mbps (4). Superfast broadband can either be delivered via fibre or full fibre broadband, depending on the package, and is available to most households in the UK.  

Ultrafast broadband 

Ultrafast broadband is 10 times faster than superfast broadband, providing download speeds of at least 300Mbps. Due to this, ultrafast broadband always requires a full fibre connection. 

Gigabit fibre

Gigabit broadband delivers speeds up to 1,000Mbps (1Gbps), making it the fastest type of broadband in the UK. To help more people access gigabit broadband, the UK government has signed £1 billion in contracts to upgrade broadband infrastructure in rural communities (5), aiming to connect 85 per cent of properties by 2025.

talktalk logo

Our Home Tech Expert Gemma Ryles' recommended full fibre offer

If you want to experience faster speeds without breaking the bank, take a look at this deal from TalkTalk; this 24 month contract offers speeds up to 944Mbps for £45 per month with a £4.95 set up fee. 

TalkTalk - Full Fibre 900
Monthly Cost
£49.00
Average speed
944 Mb
Contract term
18 months

No upfront cost , Price could rise by CPI+3.7% next April

Do I need fibre broadband?

Busy households with heavy internet usage habits will benefit from fibre or full fibre broadband more than anyone else, however, you can always opt for a fibre package if you want a fast and reliable connection.

The table below breaks down the types of broadband and the average speeds they offer.

StandardSuperfastUltrafastGigafast 
5-30Mbps30-300Mbps300-999Mbps1,000+Mbps
Best for browsing the web and sending emailsBest for managing smart devices and HD streamingBest for 4K streaming on multiple devices and online gamingBest for large households that want the fastest speeds possible
Gemma Ryles new profile April 2024

Is fibre broadband worth it? A word from our Home Tech Expert Gemma Ryles

Fibre broadband is worth it if you want faster speeds or live with multiple people. Fibre broadband allows for faster response times when browsing the web and opens the door to online gaming, seamless video conferencing and multiple devices streaming video content.

 

If you’re unsure if fibre is worth it, consider investing in a fibre deal, rather than full fibre, which is generally more expensive. Use our postcode checker to find the fastest speeds available in your area.

Why compare fibre broadband deals with us?

Shows full fibre eligibility

Using our postcode checker gives you instant access to all the best deals in your area and will inform you if your home is suitable for partial or full fibre

Filter to your needs

Filter your results by monthly costs, download speeds, contract lengths and more, so you can tailor the best fibre broadband deal for your household

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Our guides will equip you with everything you need to know about comparing fibre broadband deals, so by the time you have picked a new deal, you will know that it’s the right package for you

Why should I get fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband comes with a lot of advantages, but there are a few downsides to consider.

ProsCons
Fibre is much faster than standard broadbandFibre is not yet available to every part of the UK
Fibre does not suffer from signal degradation Full fibre is generally more expensive 
Fibre is more reliable than standard broadband
Fibre cables are more environmentally friendly than copper cables

Can I get fibre broadband in my area?

You can find out what broadband is available in your area by using our postcode checker. Speeds of 30Mbps indicate you can acess fibre, and speeds above 30Mbps mean you can access full fibre. 

To help fibre reach more households, Openreach is aiming to roll out ultrafast full fibre broadband to 25 million homes by the end of 2026 [2]. Currently, 62 per cent of households can access fibre broadband.

Below, you can see the average actual and advertised broadband speed for different regions of the UK. 

RegionActual speed (Mbps)Advertised speed (Mbps)Speed difference (Mbps)
West Midlands160.23189.63-29.4
East Midlands158.37196.32-37.95
Yorkshire and the Humber153.40169.66-16.26
North West145.72179.10-33.38
East of England143.79171.36-27.57
Greater London143.77160.69-16.92
North East141.99181.12-39.13
South East134.88163.33-28.45
Wales128.01166.62-38.61
South West127.35153.18-25.83
Scotland119.46136.49-17.03
Northern Ireland117.93126.42-8.49 
Source: Independent Advisor survey, March 2024.
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Thinking about switching to a new broadband provider?

According to our survey, the biggest deciders when switching to a new package are better prices (74 per cent) and faster speeds (34 per cent). 

 

You can achieve both by switching broadband providers. Switching can tell you what other providers offer fibre broadband and offer a more affordable deal than you’re currently on. Use our postcode checker to discover better deals and faster speeds in your area.

Which providers offer fibre broadband?

The majority of broadband providers offer fibre and full fibre broadband packages, giving you a lot of options when it comes to picking the right company for you. Our expert team has catalogued some of the best fibre deals available to make picking your next provider a lot more simple. 

All of the deals listed above can be classed as full fibre, although some of the providers listed also offer fibre deals. We picked them due to their high speeds, with some being more affordable than others. If you are concerned about your budget, use our postcode checker to find the most affordable deals for you that still provide adequate speeds.

ProviderIndependent Advisor RatingDeal namePrice/month*Contract lengthSpeedsUpfront costs
Hyperoptic★★★★1Gb Hyperfast£3924 months900Mbps£19
Community Fibre★★★★1Gbps Fibre Broadband£26 24 months1,000Mbps£14.95
EE★★★½Busiest Home Bundle£64.9924 months1,600Mbps£0
Plusnet★★★½Full Fibre 500£31.9924 months500Mbps£0
BT★★★½Full Fibre 300£34.9924 months300Mbps£0
Sky★★★½Ultrafast Plus£3418 months500Mbps£5
Shell Energy★★★½Full Fibre 900£44.9918 months944Mbps£10.55
Three★★★½Unlimited Data£1224 months150Mbps£0
NOW Broadband★★★½Full Fibre 100£2624 months100Mbps£0
Vodafone★★★½Full Fibre 500£3324 months500Mbps£0
Virgin Media★★★Gig1 Fibre Broadband£40.9918 months1,130Mbps£0
TalkTalk★★★Full Fibre 500£3424 months525Mbps£4.95
*Prices accurate from 10/07/2024
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

Should I get fibre broadband for my business?

Most business broadband packages offer fibre or full fibre so you can experience faster speeds while you work. Business broadband can be more expensive than home packages, but they usually have more features that make your browsing experience more seamless. These features include:

  • Faster speeds: if you are working online it’s important that you can upload and download relevant content without long loading times. 
  • Enhanced security: many business broadband packages come with anti-virus software and spyware services to help protect your business.
  • Higher capacity bandwidth router: since multiple people will use business broadband at once, they come with higher capacity broadband routers to allow everyone to access the internet without issue. 

How we review fibre broadband offers 

We’ve researched and compared more than 30 different broadband packages from 11 different broadband providers. We also surveyed over 2,000 UK broadband customers to better understand the general public’s priorities when searching for a fibre broadband deal. 

Some of the biggest factors we consider are:

  • Broadband speed
  • Reliability of the service 
  • Ease of contact 
  • Technical support 
  • Pricing transparency
  • Upfront costs 

We also update our deals regularly to ensure that you can access the most up to date information about various packages and providers. 

In March 2024, we surveyed 2,003 broadband customers in the UK to better understand how people feel about their broadband services. We asked them over 20 questions regarding their current broadband provider, including how they felt about the speeds they receive, the pricing of their plan, value for money and their overall satisfaction. 

Survey methodology

*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.

Sources

[1] Openreach, We’re retiring our copper network
[2] Openreach, Celebrating getting next generation Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband to 12.5 million homes and businesses [December 2023]
[3] Ofcom, Connected Nations update: Spring 2024 [April 2024] 
[4] Ofcom, Faster full-fibre broadband now available to half of UK homes [September 2023]
[5] Gov.uk, Over £1 billion awarded to roll out lightning-fast broadband in hard to reach towns and villages [February 2024]

FAQs about fibre broadband

Some providers offer broadband with no upfront cost deals, while others may require you to pay some costs upfront. This could range from as little as £2 to £11.99 for the postage and packaging of your new router.

If you have a fibre-to-the-cabinet connection, you likely won’t need to have an engineer come to your home, as it uses the existing phone line. If you are in a new build without a phone line installed, you will need an engineer visit. 

If you want full fibre broadband, however, you may need an engineer to come to your home to install a new modem. This is so the fibre optic cables can run straight from the broadband exchange to your household.

It is possible to cancel your fibre broadband package. However, it will normally come with an exit fee. This can be based on how much your tariff costs and the number of months you have left on the contract.

There are times when you can cancel your broadband for free. For example, if your broadband provider raises its prices during your contract, you have the legal right to cancel your contract within the 30-day notice period.

Since basic broadband uses the old copper phone line network and fibre broadband uses fibre optic cables, the latter is much more reliable. It is less likely to be affected by weather damage, needs less maintenance and does not suffer from signal degradation. 

Moreover, fibre broadband offers much faster speeds than its predecessor, making it the better option for larger households or those who require ultrafast or gigabit speeds.

Those living in rural areas are less likely to have access to fibre broadband than those living in urban areas due to a lack of infrastructure in certain regions. Our survey revealed that residents of urban city centres have an average actual broadband speed of 141Mbps, while rural residents have much lower average speeds of 110Mbps. 

Fibre broadband can require a landline, but full fibre broadband doesn’t. While fibre broadband deals use copper lines which connect to a landline, full fibre only uses fibre optic cables, meaning you don’t need to install a landline to access it. 

That said, if you opt for full fibre but need a landline, some companies offer a phone line as an additional service. Due to the PSTN switch off, some providers offer a Digital Voice service with fibre deals, which allows you to make calls through an internet connection rather than a landline service.

Yes, fibre broadband is more environmentally friendly than standard broadband. Fibre optic cables use less energy to transmit data than copper cables used for standard broadband, and their production emits less CO2 than copper cables. 

Fibre optic cables can also be reused and recycled into new cables, while copper mining is harmful to the environment and difficult to recycle. Finally, fibre optic cables are easier to maintain and less susceptible to damage than their copper counterparts.

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.