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Is Superfast Broadband Available In My Area
Author: Max Beckett | Last updated: 13th July 2023 Fiber broadband explained Fiber is the most widespread and popular type of broadband in the UK, offering faster speeds and greater reliability than older copper telephone lines. But what exactly is fiber broadband and how is it different from other types? From internet speed and availability in your area to monthly pricing and tempting extras, here’s everything you need to know before comparing fiber broadband deals. What is Fiber Broadband? Fiber optic broadband connections to the home use fiber optic cables that transmit data using pulses of light. These cables can carry much more data in less time than copper cables, meaning they are much faster and more reliable for a broadband connection than older networks. Can I get fiber broadband in my area? Availability of fiber broadband varies by country and depends on the type of fiber broadband you are looking for. But almost anyone can get it at least in some form, and it will probably be fast enough for your needs. There are two main types of fiber broadband and the type you choose will determine your expected speeds. Split-fiber broadband The most common (and popular) type of fiber broadband is split-fiber broadband, also known as “superfast” fiber. It relies on fiber optic cables from your provider’s broadband exchange to local lockers on your street. However, the rest of the home connection uses the same copper cables as a standard ADSL connection. This is many times faster than a pure copper connection and offers speeds between 30 and 70 Mbit/s. This is plenty of speed for most homes today, but still much slower than fiber broadband. High-speed split fiber cable is available in over 97% of UK buildings, so there’s a good chance it’s available in your home too. Full Fiber Broadband Full Fiber uses fiber optic cables from the provider’s headquarters directly to your home, providing one of the fastest broadband speeds available. With a full fiber package, you can still get pretty standard speeds of 50-100 Mbps for a reasonable price. But you can also opt for speeds well above 1 Gbit/s (1000 Mbit/s) and more. And while most people don’t really need such fast speeds right now, full fiber will help secure your home for decades to come. It is currently only available to about half of UK households, but fiber connections are rapidly expanding across the country. So if it’s not available in your home yet, it probably will be in the next few years. Read our comprehensive fiber guide to find out more about how fiber broadband works. Broadband Postcode Checker See what internet speeds are available and compare prices for any UK postcode. Broadband in my area Who are the best fiber broadband providers in the UK? Almost all internet providers in the UK offer fiber optic broadband and there is no one ‘best’ option. Choosing the best provider for you depends entirely on what you need, whether it’s a cheaper partial fiber subscription or an ultra-fast broadband connection. Here are some of the broadband providers that you can compare partial fiber vs full fiber deals with. What broadband providers can offer you, including how well they are seen in different parts of the broadband offering. Some may have great customer support, but the speed may not be as fast as you’d like. While others offer large TV packages, their prices can be significantly higher as a result. That’s why it’s important to read vendor reviews to make sure you choose a vendor that offers more of what you need. Broadband Provider Reviews Read our expert reviews of all of the UK’s leading broadband providers. Read our broadband reviews Virgin Media Broadband Virgin Media Cable Broadband is a bit different from other fiber service providers. While the company also uses fiber optic cables from its headquarters to every local street cabinet, it uses its own coaxial cables to go home. This means that Virgin Media can also deliver very fast broadband speeds – currently in the range of 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. As it is not part of Openreach’s main network, Virgin has its own broadband infrastructure. As a result, Virgin Media’s coverage is slightly more limited to around 56% of UK premises. However, Virgin Media is available in more areas than full fiber. So if you’re looking for ultra-fast or gigabit speeds, it’s worth checking whether Virgin Media’s broadband offering is available in your area. Full fiber optic providers Only a few broadband providers offer full fiber optic connections, which means that the average speeds offered are much higher. However, currently their coverage is mainly limited to a limited number of regional areas in the UK, so their overall availability is lower than larger providers. These brands include Hyperoptic, Community Fiber, Gigaclear and KCOM. Compare our best fiber broadband deals July 2023. Broadband bundle speeds. Contract duration: Virgin Media M125 ultra-fast fibre, only average 132 Mbit/s*, 18 months. Virgin Media M250, ultra fast broadband only. Average 264Mbps*, 18 months average Sky Superfast Broadband*, 18 months community fiber broadband 1Gbps, average 920Mbps*. 24 months Vodafone Fiber average 267 Mbit/s*24 months Sky Ultrafast Broadband average 145 Mbit/s*18 months Community Fiber Broadband 150 Mbit/s average 150 Mbit/s*24 months Hyperoptic 150 Mbit/s Fiber Broadband average 158 MB*24 months Sky Ultrafast Plus Broadband 500 MB average*18 months Vodafone Full Fiber 100100 MB average*24 months Other broadband offers How does fiber optic internet work? The speed advantage of fiber broadband comes from the way data is transmitted and the type of cable used to carry it. Standard copper broadband cables use the same wires as a landline phone, but fiber optic broadband cables, which are made of plastic and glass, instead use pulsed light beams to transmit data. This allows you to transfer significantly more data in a given period of time than with copper cables. Unlike copper, fiber optic signals do not deteriorate over time, so the connection is more consistent. There are two main types of fiber broadband that work slightly differently. Here are two images to illustrate the difference: How to find the best fiber broadband deal To find the best fiber broadband deal, you need to search for the best deal for you and your household. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to broadband as some features and services may suit you better than others.1. Determine what internet speed you need. The first thing you need to be clear about is which broadband speed is right for you. For example, the more people in your household who regularly use broadband, the faster internet you need. Fortunately, even partial fiber contracts can support internet use in most households these days. However, if you need fast internet to work or play games from home, there are more and more all-glass deals available. Even if you don’t need full fiber speed right now, you may soon need it to power all the devices in your home. However, no matter how much internet you use personally, you also need to consider other people’s usage. As a rule of thumb, 1-2 people per household: you can probably get by with cheaper, slower fiber broadband below 35 Mbit/s. However, if you both often use the internet separately for bandwidth-intensive things like 4K streaming or gaming, you may need to look for something faster. 3-4 people: If your entire household uses the Internet only occasionally, 35 Mbps may be the most cost-effective option. If you or your kids watch a lot of Netflix or YouTube or play online games, a speed of 50-100 Mbps is best. 5+ people: 50-100 Mbps is a safe bet if your household uses the internet occasionally or your kids watch a lot of movies. However, if most people in your household use the Internet frequently, for example to watch high-quality TV or work from home, a speed of 100 Mbps or more is ideal.2. Consider TV and landline phone packages. In addition, you should consider whether you can get a package with additional services such as pay TV or a mobile phone subscription. The best fiber broadband deal may be one that bundles multiple services for a cheaper monthly fee from the same provider. Broadband and TV contracts combine broadband and TV in one contract. This is only possible with providers that offer both services such as Sky, BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and others. However, if you use both services fairly regularly, you can save a significant amount each month and avoid extra costs
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