Fibre broadband is one of the fastest and most reliable ways to connect to the internet. Signals travel at close to the speed of light through fibre optic cables, making for much faster connections than can be achieved via copper ADSL lines. What’s more, fibre broadband is now more affordable than ever, with some deals similar in cost to much slower ADSL broadband deals.
Last update: October 2021
What are the best fibre broadband deals in my area?
Fibre broadband was once available only to a lucky few in large cities and towns. Now, however it’s available to 96% of UK households. While not all fibre connections are created equal (more on that shortly), most broadband consumers will be able to get access to a fibre connection. These can yield superfast, or even ultrafast speeds up to 100 times faster than can be achieved through a copper ADSL line.
Fibre broadband deals fall into two camps— Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre To The Premises (FTTP). Let’s take a look at the difference between these fibre connections and how they will affect the speed and cost of your broadband deal.
Cheapest Fibre To The Cabinet deals
Fibre To Cabinet connections are the cheapest way to get a fibre broadband deal. They are achieved via a fibre optic connection that comes from a shared exchange. This means that your speeds and performance will vary throughout the day. At peak times, when multiple users are sharing the connection, you may experience slower speeds. What’s more, if fibre broadband is very popular in your area you may find that there is no room in the exchange for a new connection. This is fairly rare, but it does happen.
Despite these caveats, FTTC connections are increasingly affordable and can achieve superfast speeds from around 36 Mbps to over 200 Mbps. For best results, it’s recommended to connect your devices via an ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi.
In the table below, you’ll find some of the cheapest FTTC deals on the market right now from a range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Where prices are promotional, we have included post-promotional prices wherever possible.
All prices listed are inclusive of line rental.
|ISP Name||Monthly subscription charge|
|Shell Energy||£18.99 (£21.99 after promotion ends)|
|John Lewis Broadband||£19.00|
|EE||£21.50 (£27.99 after promotion ends)|
The cheapest FTTC broadband deals are comparable in prices to most of the cheapest ADSL connections. And given that they’re at least 10 times faster in most cases, switching to fibre is a no-brainer if you are able to access it.
Cheapest Fibre To The Premises deals
Fibre To The Premises (also known as “Full-fibre”, Fibre To The Home or FTTH) is exactly what the name suggests. A direct fibre broadband connection to your home, bypassing the exchange completely. This means that you can achieve a much faster and more reliable connection. Because the connection is not shared by other households in an exchange, you’ll experience much more consistent speeds throughout the day. But the real selling point of FTTP is the speed. You can achieve ultrafast speeds of between 300 Mbps and 1 Gbps.
This is more than fast enough for most household and small business needs. You can game online, stream 4K video, or download large files on multiple devices with one of these deals frustration-free! While these are only available to around 14% of households, they are the gold standard of home broadband.
|ISP Name||Monthly subscription charge|
|Hyperoptic||£29.00 (£35.00 after promotion ends)|
|TalkTalk||£29.95 (£39.95 after promotion ends)|
|TalkTalk Business||£35.94 (£41.94 after promotion ends)|
|EE||£39.00 (£44.00 after promotion ends)|
|BT||£39.99 (£47.99 after promotion ends)|
How do I find the best fibre broadband deals near me?
Before you can determine the best fibre broadband deals near you, it’s a good idea to see what types of fibre connections are available in your area. The telecoms watchdog Ofcom has a useful coverage checker that can help you to see what cabling infrastructure and types of connection are available where you are.
Once you know this, you can start looking at deals that will give you the kind of speed you want at a price that will suit your budget.
However, the broadband market is more competitive than ever. In an effort to engage new customers, broadband providers are constantly trying to lure customers in with promotional offers. Because deals are constantly in flux, it’s always a good idea to contact the Broadband Plans team when you’re thinking of changing broadband providers or plans.
Who is the best fibre broadband provider?
That’s a tricky question to answer. Every broadband consumer has slightly different expectations of their broadband provider. Some are motivated completely by cost, while others value performance over all. Some, on the other hand, want to know that their provider has a reputation for strong customer service.
The most popular broadband providers in the UK are detailed in the table below:
|ISP Name||Number of Subscribers|
|BT (Including PlusNet & EE)||9,300,000|
However, these are not necessarily the highest-performing in terms of customer service. When we scour Trustpilot for the highest-performing ISPs, we can see that it’s the smaller and lesser-known providers that dominate the charts.
|Provider||Trustpilot Score ( /5)||Number of Customer Reviews|
|Andrews & Arnold||4.8||252|
While it’s understandable that consumers may see smaller consumers as a bit of a gamble, you may not always get the best deal by following the herd.
Because everyone’s looking for something slightly different from a broadband provider, we’ll look at some of the best providers by different categories.
Best budget fibre broadband providers
Looking for a fibre deal that will give you great value for money? There are lots of budget providers that offer no-frills fibre broadband deals at great prices. In the table below, you can see our top budget fibre providers and why we love them.
|ISP Name||Why We Love Them|
|Pop Telecom||Great value fibre deals starting at just £17.50 per month Affordable TV packages powered by NOW TV Contractless deals that combine affordability and flexibility Special deals for rural customers and over 60s|
|NOW Broadband||Low cost deals starting at £18 per month Free calls to landlines and UK mobiles for first 12 months Affordable and comprehensive TV packages High-spec Hub 2 router|
|Origin Broadband||Low cost deals starting at £19.99 per month Affordable call packages TV bundles with award-winning 4K TV box Save money with pay upfront deals|
|Onestream||Low costs deals starting at £19 per month Speeds of up to 67 Mbps for less than £25 per month Affordable range of call packages|
Best ultrafast fibre broadband providers
If you’re looking for the fastest broadband provider in your area, you’ll need an ultrafast fibre provider that can bring you speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Let’s take a look at some of the best ultrafast broadband providers.
|ISP Name||Why We Love Them|
|Hyperoptic||Affordable "full fibre" starting at £29 per month 12 month minimum commitment Symmetrical upload and download speeds|
|Community Fibre||Exclusive broadband deals for customers in London Lightning-fast speeds of up to 3 Gbps Flexible 14, 12 or 1 month contracts|
|People's Fibre||Half price 900 Mbps broadband (£30 per month) Symmetrical upload and download speeds Tri-band Wi-Fi|
|Zen Broadband||£25 gift voucher for new referrals Speeds of up to 1 Gbps Lifetime price guarantee Zen Everyroom ensures great Wi Fi coverage around your home|
Best fibre broadband and TV providers
We may be living in an age of abundant streaming services. But pay TV is still alive and well. There are a number of ISPs that provide home broadband and TV packages to suit all needs and budgets.
|ISP Name||Why We Love Them|
|Sky||Huge range of channels Variety of sports channels Movie channels with a new premiere every week Build your own TV package|
|Virgin Media||Affordable TV packages starting at just £7 per month 4K ready TV box Create your own bundles Cable network provides faster speeds than most FTTC deals without the shared connection|
|BT||Flexible TV base packages from £12 per month Add-ons powered by NOW TV Netflix and Amazon Prime can be combined into your bill Exclusive BT Sport channels|
|TalkTalk||Low cost TV base packages starting from £4 per month Huge selection of add-ons Fixed prices|
Best fibre broadband and landline phone providers
Calling all chatterboxes! Since most fibre broadband deals (other than FTTP deals) require a line rental from Openreach, you may as well take advantage of this and make some affordable calls. Most broadband providers offer calls on a Pay As You Go basis. However, you can also add call packages to the cost of your monthly subscription.
Here are some of our favourites:
|ISP Name||Why We Love Them|
|NOW Broadband||Free anytime calls for the first 12 months International calls starting at 2p per minute Free extras including caller display, last number recall & number withhold Voicemail for just £1 extra per month|
|Plusnet||£50 Plusnet reward card included for new customers Free anytime calls to UK landlines and mobiles Inclusive packages for less than £30 per month (UK average broadband spend)|
|TalkTalk||Unlimited free anytime calls to other TalkTalk numbers Unlimited call packages start at £7 per month Wide range of broadband speeds|
|John Lewis Broadband||Free John Lewis gift card for £40-£75 (depending on your package) for new customers Unlimited calls to UK landlines for £6 per month Add unlimited calls to UK mobiles for £5 per month Anytime UK call package includes 300 minutes of calls to landlines in 35 countries|
What are the best broadband deals at the moment?
Broadband deals are always changing. Which is why it’s always best to get in touch with the Broadband Plans team when you’re ready to switch broadband providers. We can help you to find the best fibre deals for your needs, budget and location.
We’ve looked at some of the cheapest deals on the market at the moment. However, in the table below, you can see some of the best value deals and bundles on the market at the time of writing.
These aren’t always necessarily the cheapest. They’re the packages that offer the best value for money. Take a look at the table below:
|Broadband Deal||Average Speed||Contract length||Monthly Cost|
|Virgin Media M100 Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & Phone||108Mb average||18 months||£26 (£51 after contract ends)|
|Vodafone Superfast 2||63Mb average||24 months||From £22|
|Sky Superfast Broadband||59Mb average||18 months||From £25|
|Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra & Phone Line||66Mb average||18 months||£25.99|
|TalkTalk Unlimited Fibre 65 and Phone Line||67Mb average||18 months||£27.99|
|Virgin Media M200 Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & Phone||213Mb average||18 months||£30 (£57 after contract)|
|BT Fibre 2 Broadband||67Mb average||24 months||£32.99|
|Virgin Media M500 Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & Phone||516Mb average||18 months||£38 (£69 after contract ends)|
|Virgin Media Big Bundle, Drama & Documentaries Pick, Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & Weekend Calls||108Mb average||18 months||£37.99 (£74 after contract ends)|
|NOW Broadband: Fab Fibre & Anytime Calls||36Mb average||12 months||£22.99|
What fibre broadband speed do I need?
That depends on what you spend most of your time doing online. Most households get by just fine with speeds of between 36 and 50 Mbps. Ultrafast speeds (above 300 Mbps), while impressive, may be surplus to requirements for your household. They are a good fit for large families and student houses where there are likely to be multiple people and devices online at the same time.
The best place to start is to decide whether you’re a light, medium or heavy use household:
Online habits can generally be sorted into three categories:
- Light users: Use the internet to browse websites, shop online, or check their emails
- Medium users: Spend a fair amount of time on social media, browsing websites, or streaming music and video
- Heavy users: Enjoy online gaming, and peer-to-peer file sharing, or want to streaming films in 4K UHD quality
In the table below, you can see the kind of speed that’s required for common household activities:
|Online activity||Broadband speed required|
|Streaming music||1 Mbps|
|Watching video in 1080p HD||5 Mbps|
|Making a high-quality video call||10 Mbps|
|Online gaming||At least 3 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload|
|Watching video in 4K UHD||25-30 Mbps|
What is the most reliable internet connection?
It’s important to have a broadband connection that’s reliable. Especially in an era where many of us are still working from home. You need to know that your connection will be there for you whether you’re working or winding down, no matter how many other people in your household are online with you.
So, what is the most reliable kind of internet connection?
Is fibre optic the best way to connect to the internet?
Yes. For most households a fibre connection is the best way to get a fast and reliable connection that will meet your working and entertainment needs. Signals travel much faster through fibre optic cables. What’s more, unlike copper ADSL connections, your distance from the exchange doesn’t matter and won’t deteriorate when you’re further from the cabinet.
FTTC connections may fluctuate in their performance, due to the shared exchange. When there are more users online in the exchange, it may slow your speeds. An FTTP connection will give you the most reliable broadband, as the connection is not shared and goes directly into your home.
What other types of broadband can you get?
Fibre broadband is great, but it’s by no means your only option for getting online. If you’re in the 4% of UK households where a fibre broadband connection is not available, you may have better luck with one of the following:
ADSL broadband uses the copper cables of your phone line to get online. It is the most widely available form of broadband, and often the cheapest (although there are many similarly priced fibre deals). ADSL speeds typically range between 10 and 12 Mbps, although the further you are from the exchange, the slower your connection is likely to be.
Mobile networks like EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone also offer home broadband deals. These use a data-only SIM card that’s inside either a USB dongle or a mobile router. If you live in an area where there is no cabling infrastructure, you may be able to get a better broadband connection in this way depending on your network availability.
Most mobile broadband deals use 4G, achieving speeds comparable to most entry-level fibre broadband deals (around 20-25 Mbps). However, if you live in an area where 5G mobile broadband is available, you can achieve real-world speeds of around 200 Mbps and theoretical speeds of well over 1 Gbps with this.
If you’re in an area where there is no cabling or mobile network coverage, satellite broadband may be your only option. This broadcasts your broadband signal via orbital satellite, which is received via a dish attached to your home.
Most satellite broadband plans have speeds similar to ADSL and entry-level fibre deals (between 10 and 30 Mbps). However, installation costs and monthly fees tend to be high. Installation usually costs around £600, while monthly fees can range from £20 to £80 per month.
Let Broadband Plans find the best way to get you online
Not sure about the best way to get online? Need a helping hand choosing the right fibre broadband deal for your home? The Broadband Plans team are here to help!
We can scour the market to find the best broadband deal for your home’s needs and budget. We can even manage your switch to bring you better broadband faster and hassle-free.
Want to know more?
Give us a call today on 0330 054 0020.
What is “full-fibre” broadband?
“Full-fibre” is another term used to describe a Fibre To The Premises broadband connection. A direct fibre line goes right to your home, completely bypassing the exchange. This affords you much faster speeds and a more consistent connection throughout the day as no other households share your connection.
Can I get fibre broadband without phone line rental?
Most fibre broadband connections go via an exchange. As such, they require a line to be rented from Openreach. Line rental is included in the cost of your monthly subscription. The only exception to this is full-fibre / FTTP connections. Because they provide a direct line to your home, there is no need for line rental.
Does fibre broadband need a special router?
Not necessarily. Some budget providers use the same routers for ADSL and fibre broadband customers. However, many providers offer higher-spec routers to customers with faster fibre deals to ensure that their real-world speeds are as close to the advertised speeds as possible.
Do I need fibre broadband?
The 10-12Mbps speeds available with an ADSL connection may be perfectly adequate for smaller households. This is fast enough to stream music and HD video, browse websites, shop online and use social media. However, if you want to play lots of online games, stream in 4K, or download large files you may find that you require the faster speeds (usually 36 Mbps or more) afforded by a fibre broadband connection.
Updated on 19 Jul, 2021
Junior Copywriting Specialist in Broadband
UK Content Manager