Do you love streaming the latest boxsets in HD quality? Is your family constantly trying to be the last one standing in Fortnite? Are you working from home and need a smooth connection for video calls?
If this sounds like you, then fibre broadband could be exactly what you’re looking for.
While standard broadband was able to get us connected faster than we’d experienced before, allowing us to have instant access to new movies without popping down to the nearest video store, fibre broadband is able to take some of the connection pains away.
Smooth and reliable connectivity, with more than one person using the internet at a time, is the main selling point of fibre broadband. In this article, we’ll take a look at the different considerations you should take into account when deciding whether to upgrade, and help you answer the question: is it worth getting fibre broadband?
What is fibre broadband?
There’s more than one type of fibre broadband, which can make choosing the right package and provider a little tricky.
This is the broadband you’re probably used to. Also called ADSL, it uses the copper cable telephone network to provide speeds of up to 24Mbps.
Superfast / Partial fibre broadband
Much of the fibre broadband connections in the UK aren’t fully fibre. Fibre optic cables are used in the network up to a street cabinet, but the connection is then routed to the same standard copper cables as your phone line. This reduces the speed to between 36Mbps and 67Mbps.
Ultrafast / Full fibre broadband
The fastest connections on the market use fibre optic cables all the way up to your property. The UK government defines ultrafast broadband as 100Mbps, and this type of speed is only possible through the use of full fibre cables. Ultrafast fibre broadband is now available to 66% of UK homes, in speeds between 108Mbps and 516Mbps.
Gigabit fibre broadband
Full fibre broadband is able to deliver much faster speeds than 516Mbps, with some providers now offering gigabit connections with speeds of 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) or more. Although this type of connection is currently only available to 47% of British households, the UK government wants this figure pushed to at least 85% by 2025.
There are five main considerations you should keep in mind when deciding is it worth getting fibre broadband.
The big benefit of fibre broadband is the speed it offers. Although standard broadband offers speeds of up to 24Mbps, many people will only ever hit 10Mbps — a connection which leads to buffering videos and dropped video calls.
Full fibre broadband can currently get to speeds of 1,000Mbps (1Gbps) or more, while even partial fibre connections can reach 67Mbps — nearly 7 times the speed of a standard broadband connection.
The faster your connection, the more you can do online. From HD video streaming and better quality video calls, to faster downloading and more devices connected online at once, fibre broadband helps give you a much improved experience compared to standard broadband.
The other major benefit of fibre broadband is its reliability. By being less prone to dropouts or interference, unlike the copper cables used in standard broadband, fibre broadband is the ideal choice for video calls, streaming and gaming.
Unless you live in a very rural area, it’s likely you can get some form of fibre broadband. Superfast fibre broadband is now available in 96% of UK premises, with speeds of at least 30Mbps.
Unfortunately, the faster the connection, the less likely you are to be able to get it. Ultrafast and gigabit fibre broadband are currently only available to 66% and 47% of UK households respectively. This is increasing all the time though, so it’s always worth checking to see if your area has been upgraded.
Fibre broadband can be cheaper than you think, with many superfast packages now costing less than standard broadband. You can expect to pay £20+ a month for these types of packages.
For ultrafast and gigabit broadband, the faster the speed, the higher the cost. If you shop around, you can find ultrafast packages starting at around £25 for speeds of 100Mbps, with a few extra pounds a month added for each speed increase. A gigabit connection can set you back around £60 a month or more.
Always make sure to look at the length of contract you’re signing up to. For example, if you’re a student, even a 12-month contract may not make sense if you will only be living somewhere during term-time. Instead, take a look at providers who offer monthly contracts, or even ones specifically tailored to students.
Also take into account that some fibre broadband providers will increase their costs yearly, based on inflation. This will increase your monthly charge, so always check the small print before you sign a contract.
After your initial contract term has ended, many providers will increase your monthly costs as your introductory offer will have finished. If you’re currently out of contract, you’re likely to find a cheaper deal.
Use our free tool now to compare the best deals in your area across all broadband providers.
**All deals listed above were correct at time of writing. Use our comparison tool for current market offers.
Once you’ve decided is it worth getting fibre broadband, it’s simple to switch. Either contact your current broadband provider directly and find out what deals they can offer you to upgrade, or why not try a price comparison on our site to see the latest fibre broadband deals? Switching providers is easy — usually you only have to sign up and they’ll sort the switch for you.
Compare the best fibre broadband deals with Free Price Compare
Free Price Compare makes it easier than ever to find the best fibre broadband deals across the UK. Use our free tool today to immediately find the best deal for you.