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Post Office broadband is delivered via the TalkTalk network, though its accounts and operations are managed separately.
While Post Office broadband doesn’t currently offer ultrafast plans, TalkTalk has recently started exploring this market. Because Post Office broadband is underpinned by TalkTalk infrastructure, ultrafast fibre may be on its way for Post Office broadband customers. However, the service might have been renamed by then, with three companies (including TalkTalk themselves) bidding to take over the Post Office’s broadband business at the time of writing (November 2020).
The Post Office currently offers some of the best prices for broadband in the UK. Its ADSL broadband plan is among the cheapest on the market, while Post Office fibre broadband is itself a high-value proposition.
All Post Office broadband deals promise the following:
No data caps
Line rental included
UK-based support team
Free calls to Post Office Home Phone customers.
Customers can opt into receiving six months of free F-Secure SAFE, an award-winning service that provides protection against online threats including viruses, hackers and online theft. Any Post Office broadband customer can use this service on up to five devices. It’s free for the first six months, and £25 for every 12 months thereafter.
With an average speed of 11Mbps, this is a fixed price contract for ADSL2+ broadband, with contract length ranging between 12 and 24 months. Rather than offering a discount, monthly prices increase the longer your contract is, because after each fixed-price period, customers will default onto a £30 per month subscription. There are currently no upfront costs included in this plan – your router is free, and there’s no set-up cost.
Post Office fibre broadband comes in two speeds, with this 38Mbps connection more than sufficient for streaming and gaming providing several devices aren’t attempting this simultaneously. Contracts are 12, 18 or 24 months in length with no set up costs.
Boasting an average speed of 67Mbps, this fibre broadband plan can also be purchased on a 12-, 18-, or 24-month basis, with no upfront costs, Fibre Plus is the speediest option available, perfect for HD streaming and powering multiple devices simultaneously.
While many providers claim to offer unlimited broadband, this isn’t always the case. There may be no limits on how much you can download or upload, but a lot of ISPs use traffic management policies to limit customers’ usage during peak hours. Post Office broadband employs no such tactics, making this a truly unlimited broadband service. It’s worth noting that downloading big files during peak times could lead to slower-than-usual connectivity, but the Post Office won’t deliberately limit your speeds based on your activity or the time of day.
It’s very likely that Post Office broadband will be available in your area, as the ISP claims its network covers 95% of the UK. Even households outside that coverage area can get online, courtesy of a separate ADSL connection. With an average download speed of 8Mbps, it would be fine for casual browsing and emailing, but intensive activities like streaming or gaming would probably require a faster connection.
Post Office broadband speeds are comparable to many medium-sized ISPs. While it can’t replicate the ultrafast speeds of proprietary infrastructure providers like Virgin Media or Hyperoptic, the Post Office holds its own in the broadband market across Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) connections.
Determining this involves considering the number of people in your household, the types of online activities people engage in, where your home is located and when the internet is most frequently used.
While smaller and less digitally reliant households would be fine with a standard ADSL2+ connection, larger families or heavy internet users may require speeds only offered by full fibre connections. Post Office Broadband should cater to most UK households, and the three options below roughly match the standard ADSL and fibre optic plans offered by other major providers:
11Mbps: This is suitable for smaller households where the internet is used for casual browsing and SD streaming. You can stream videos in HD, though you wouldn’t be able to do much else at the same time.
38Mbps: This is ideal for medium-to-large households requiring more than one online task to run simultaneously – for instance, one person streaming a movie while another hosts a conference call. It could support streaming in Ultra HD, but not 4K.
67Mbps: This allows the most freedom to stream, game, call, and browse simultaneously. It’s also helpful for enthusiastic gamers where latency might otherwise be an issue, and for people who regularly upload large-volume files into the cloud, such as photographers. Even so, if every member of the house wants to play MMORPGs simultaneously or stream Ultra HD videos at the same time, you may need a provider who offers full fibre broadband – not something Post Office broadband can provide.
You are able to bundle any Post Office broadband package with a call plan, and line rental is included on any broadband deal. If you’re looking for a home phone service without broadband, you’ll need to pay a line rental fee.
Post Office phone and broadband packages rely on a phone line, which the provider can install if necessary, though this would incur a setup cost. If you rely on your home phone for communication, explore the call plans available since default broadband plans only offer inclusive calling to other Post Office home phones.
While there are separate plans catering to mobile and international calling, these are the core Post Office phone deals:
Evening and Weekend Calls
Anytime Plus Calls: Unlimited UK landline calls plus 1,000 minutes of anytime calls to UK standard mobiles and 1,000 minutes of anytime calls to 15 countries.
A WiFi router will be provided without charge, regardless of whether you opt for an ADSL2+ or fibre plan from Post Office broadband. Both routers are touted as simple ‘plug in and go’ models, eliminating complicated installation processes or engineer visits.
ADSL2+ customers receive the Zyxel AMG1302-T11C router, which is single band (2.4GHz), with four Ethernet ports and a top theoretical speed of 300Mb.
Fibre subscribers benefit from Zyxel’s VMG3925-B10B router. This is dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) with four Ethernet sockets, a USB port and a theoretical speed of 1.3Gbps – far faster than any connection it will receive.
Some ISPS attract customers by including exclusive TV and entertainment packages as part of their broadband plans, but Post Office broadband is a no-frills service for people who simply want to stay connected. This allows the Post Office to offer lower prices than most major ISPs.
You can sign up for Post Office broadband online or in-store. The Post Office will contact your current ISP to notify them of the forthcoming switch date – unless you’re currently with Virgin Media, in which case you’ll need to wait before your service activates and then contact Virgin Media to cancel your account yourself. This is because Virgin’s fibre cable system is completely separate to the Openreach-based phone line Post Office broadband relies on.
New subscribers will receive a Welcome Pack within five working days of placing an order, including an estimated start date for the broadband service. This should take no more than ten days unless you need a new phone line to be installed. You’ll be able to cancel your order free of charge within 14 days of placing it.
Post Office broadband initially had a poor reputation for customer service, but things have improved since the provider made some internal changes. The Post Office employed Capita as its broadband customer service provider when it joined the TalkTalk network, but after the provider failed to meet regulations, the contract with Capita was terminated in 2015. Since then, Post Office customer service has been handled by HGS in Scotland, and its reputation for broadband customer service has managed to recover.
Wait times to get on the phone to Post Office broadband customer service agents are typically 90 seconds, which is roughly half the industry average. Once connected, customers appear to be satisfied with the support provided by Post Office broadband customer service.
An Ofcom report published earlier this year indicated that Post Office broadband averaged 16 complaints per 100,000 customers, which is slightly above the industry average of 12 but well below infrastructure partner TalkTalk’s quota of 22 per 100,000.
You can call the Post Office free support team at 0800 092 0514. The Customer Care Line is open from 8am-8pm on Monday to Saturday, and 9am-6pm on Sunday. Calls are free when made from a Post Office Home Phone line, otherwise, standard rates apply. There is a phone line dedicated to complaints at 0345 600 3210.
Customers can also contact the Post Office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, using an online form on the Post Office website, or through the post itself at Post Office Telecoms Services, PO Box 14125, Selkirk, TD7 9AF.
The Post Office aims to investigate and respond to any complaint within five days, and to resolve any complaint within ten working days.
If you’re not too concerned about having the fastest connection available, Post Office broadband represents an excellent, no-frills option. Its three plans are straightforward and the Unlimited Fibre Plus package should meet the data needs of most UK households. Consumers seeking ultrafast speeds ought to look elsewhere for full fibre services, but for everyone else, the Post Office’s low pricing and improving customer service should ensure a simple and smooth connection.