Fibre broadband promises to improve connection speeds for smoother streaming and faster downloads and uploads. It’s currently available to around 95% of homes and businesses in the UK, so always investigate fibre availability in your area prior to signing a new broadband deal. Online fibre broadband checkers will establish whether your home or business is eligible to receive it. Before diving into a new broadband deal, it’s always a good idea to check up on the fibre availability in your area. You can use an online fibre broadband checker to see whether your home or business is eligible.
In most cases, yes. Fibre broadband is now available across the UK, and many of these connections are known as Fibre to the Premises (or sometimes Fibre to the Home). FTTP represents a substantial upgrade on standard broadband packages, and is widely regarded as the best option for anyone looking for high-speed connections. That’s because FTTP uses fibre optic cables all the way from data centres into our homes. The alternative is a Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) connection that uses copper wiring from local street cabinets into the home, throttling data speeds for the final leg of its journey.
For the majority of suppliers, fibre broadband will mean FTTC connections, which reach impressive speeds and are more than sufficient for most households. Ultrafast broadband is the preserve of a smaller selection of suppliers, with Virgin Media offering the widest coverage.
Alternatives to fibre broadband include ADSL (also known as standard broadband, delivered over a phone line) and mobile Wi-Fi. Fibre will almost always be the most logical choice in terms of speed, reliability and price.
Nearly all homes have access to fibre these days. However, there are several reasons why the question ‘can I get fibre broadband in my area’ may be ‘no’. These include:
You live in a remote area where fibre is unavailable, or the landscape makes it difficult to install.
You live too far from the nearest street cabinet, meaning fibre can’t be run directly to your house.
You live in an older property with wiring that doesn’t support fibre connectivity.
You live in a high-demand area for fibre, and your closest cabinet can’t accommodate any more connections.
Even if fibre is currently unavailable where you live, it’s likely to arrive in the next few years. Providers are in constant competition to deliver greater service and poach customers from one another. Allied to significant levels of infrastructure investment, fibre is becoming available in more and more regions up and down the country.
If you’re unable to obtain fibre because of high demand locally, keep up to date with local news for signs of change. Local exchanges are regularly upgraded to support more connections, so it may not be long before the question ‘do I have fibre in my area’ receives a positive response.
If it’s available in your postcode, simply contact your preferred internet service provider and sign up to a fibre package. If this is the first fibre connection into your property, the ISP may send an engineer round to install certain equipment. Depending on your broadband deal, this could incur a charge. However, once the correct socket is in place, simply plug in your new router and fibre services will be ready to use. Do expect some speed fluctuations and dropouts over the first few hours.
Fibre refers to a more rapid connection than standard ADSL broadband, which is distributed along telephone lines. Fibre utilises state-of-the-art fibre optic cables which can transmit data at far higher speeds than the copper wiring inside phone lines.
Upgrading to fibre could greatly improve domestic connection speeds, making it a good choice for households which are heavily reliant on the internet. If you live in a household with people who like to share large files, play online video games or stream movies in HD, you’ll benefit from an upgrade.
Another point to note is that fibre packages tend to be only slightly more expensive than the standard ADSL offering. This modest investment delivers far higher speeds, making it a worthwhile choice for most households.
FTTC connections use high-speed fibre optic cables to deliver data as far as the nearest street cabinet, before switching to copper wiring to complete the journey into your home. FTTP extends all the way to your property, making it significantly faster than FTTC.
The UK’s biggest ISPs all offer their own versions of fibre packages:
BT: As the UK’s most popular ISP, BT offers a range of fibre broadband packages, including affordable options for consumers on a budget.
EE Broadband: EE offers a range of different fibre deals available, available at discounted prices for EE mobile customers.
John Lewis Broadband: Department store stalwart John Lewis provides excellent customer service in tandem with a highly reliable broadband service.
Plusnet: Several fibre packages are offered at different speeds. Plusnet has won awards for its customer service, making it a good choice for consumers wanting dependable support.
Post Office Broadband: The Post Office has ADSL and fibre options available, suiting varying budgets and connectivity requirements.
Sky: A range of high-speed fibre packages can be augmented with a TV subscription, allowing consumers to bundle TV and broadband into a cheaper overall deal.
TalkTalk: Focusing on value for money deals, TalkTalk offers several fibre packages at different speeds to suit personal usage requirements.
Virgin Media: If you’re after the highest speeds on the market, it’s worth considering the full fibre packages distributed along Virgin Media’s proprietary underground cable network.
Vodafone: Vodafone’s internet packages are all fibre, and the mobile operator is recognised for its high-quality routers and good customer service.
Some providers may additionally offer no contract broadband, though this is generally more expensive for anyone planning to sign up for more than a few months.
Last updated: 14 December 2020