Almost all UK homes now have access to fibre broadband. Except for a few rural spots and a tiny percentage of built-up areas, there’s a good chance if you type your address into our fibre checker, you’ll be able to sign up to fibre.
Broadband Genie fibre checker
The good news keeps coming, too. A basic fibre broadband package won’t ever cost you much more than a standard, ADSL broadband deal. It’s not unusual for a cheap fibre broadband deal to actually be priced lower than a basic broadband package using copper wires.
What does ADSL mean?
ADSL stands for ‘Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line’. It’s broadband technology that allows the transfer data across regular telephone lines. You can make calls at the same time as being connected to the internet.
An ADSL line will, at minimum, allow for a broadband connection of up to 8Mb. These days, that’s pretty slow and won’t allow you to do much other than emailing or basic web searches.
ADSL2+ is now available at nearly all exchanges across the UK with slightly faster data transfer rates of around 10-11Mb.
How do I check if I have fibre in my area?
Around 98% of households across the UK will have access to a fibre deal. By using Broadband Genie’s fibre checker, you can quickly compare the internet speeds you can achieve at home.
The most common fibre optic networks in the UK are operated by Openreach (used by over 650 providers across the UK including the likes of BT, TalkTalk, Sky, Vodafone), CityFibre and Virgin Media. Virgin owns and runs its own cable broadband network (it still refers to its products as ‘fibre broadband’).
Once you get your results, if you’re only being presented with download speeds up to around 74Mb for most broadband providers, it’s likely you have access to fibre broadband but aren’t yet connected to a full fibre broadband network.
As well as using our fibre checker, there are two other places to visit if you want to check the availability of fibre at your address. Try:
- Openreach checker: Enter your postcode to see the fibre speeds available to your address. This will only show you providers who use the Openreach network (so you won’t be able to see availability for Virgin Media, or other providers with their own network). You can also enter your address to get updates when full fibre (FTTP broadband) is coming to your area.
- Ofcom mobile and broadband availability checker: This offers the same information, but it also takes Virgin Media services into account.
If you need further advice to understand the difference between fibre and full fibre broadband, you can read our guide: ‘FTTP, Full Fibre and FTTC: what are they?”
What is Openreach?
Openreach is the company that maintains the former British Telecom Network used for the majority of broadband and phone services. If a repair or installation is required, it’s Openreach who will send an engineer, not your provider.
As we mentioned above, more than 650 service providers using the Openreach network. That’s the majority of the UK’s broadband providers. This includes Sky, TalkTalk and BT. The exception to this is Virgin Media - it uses its own, separate cable network.
What’s FTTP and FTTC broadband?
Full Fibre broadband is also known as ‘Fibre To The Premises’, ‘Fibre To The Home’. This is often shortened to FTTP or FTTH. They’re all the same thing!
Instead of copper telephone wire making up the final part of the journey from that green cabinet on the street, fibre optic cables are installed right up to your home.
It’s amazing the difference in speed this small data journey can have. With full-fibre broadband you can expect to receive speeds of 1Gb+.
The downside is full-fibre is only available to a small percentage of homes in the UK, and it’s taking a good while to get everyone up to speed.
Full fibre checker: can I get full fibre broadband?
As of November 2023, full fibre broadband is currently available to just over 59% of properties. But more homes are getting connected every day!
Use the full fibre checker below to find out if you're able to sign up to an ultrafast or gigabit broadband deal.
Broadband Genie full fibre checker
What if I can’t get fibre broadband in my area?
Although most people will be able to sign up to fibre broadband, it hasn’t quite reached every property in the UK yet. There are a few alternative options:
ADSL BroadbandFirst, check whether you can get standard ADSL broadband using our broadband checker. While nowhere near as fast as fibre, it's still perfectly capable of handling downloads, video streaming, gaming, social media, and just about anything else a typical household could want from a broadband service.
4G and 5G mobile broadband
4G and 5G mobile broadband or home broadband are now capable of providing a high-speed connection that can exceed standard home broadband, and Three, EE and Vodafone offer 4G and 5G packages for home use.
However, you could find that it's pricier, and the data limits may be tight for your needs. We’d always recommend unlimited mobile broadband. It is also reliant on a strong signal, and that may not be available if you’re in a location that lacks even basic fixed-line broadband. You can check coverage below:
Satellite broadband can provide a superfast connection anywhere in the UK. However, you’ll need to be able to mount a dish with a clear view of the sky.
But it's more expensive to install and operate. Many satellite deals have data usage limits too, although providers are increasingly offering affordable packages with unlimited use at off-peak times.
Community fibre projects
In some rural areas, residents have clubbed together to split the cost of installing a high-speed fibre optic line. Some fibre network providers, such as Gigaclear, will consider an installation if there’s sufficient interest from the community.
While these DIY projects can take some time and effort, they can also get you a gigabit broadband service that’s much faster than the broadband available to most of the UK. Find out more about community fibre projects with Openreach.
When will I get fibre in my area?
The easiest way to make sure you get notification of any work or network upgrades in your area is to add your details into the Openreach website. Add your postcode, select your address and select 'register my interest' or 'keep me updated'. You'll be asked to fill in a contact form to opt into mail on your chosen broadband product or build plans.
How much does it cost to get fibre broadband?
You don’t have to pay a fortune for a fibre internet connection. There are plenty of cheap deals available for superfast broadband (standard fibre). Expect a monthly fee of around £23+ for a fibre connection with an average download speed of 35Mb. You’ll often only have to pay just £2-3 more per month to take your speeds up to 67-75Mb.
When you consider the fact you’d be paying around £18-30 per month for a basic broadband connection using a much slower copper line (plus set-up fee and line rental). It can actually end up more expensive not to upgrade to fibre broadband.
Faster fibre speeds will be the most expensive. But you can still get 100Mb+ speeds for under £30/month.
If you're lucky enough to have an alternative network provider (altnet) in your area, you could get even more bang for your buck. These localised providers can offer speeds of up to 1Gb+ at incredibly affordable prices. Sign up to YouFibre 8000, and you'd receive an average download speed of a whopping 6.8Gb!
Use our checker to see if there are any available in your area.
Here are a few of the best fibre broadband offers available at the moment:
Fibre broadband on a social tariff
If you’re currently on a low income and receiving benefits such as Universal Credit, Job Seekers Allowance, housing benefit, disability allowance, or PIP, many popular providers offer fibre broadband on a discounted social tariff.
The functionality of your broadband will be the same as a full-priced fibre deal, but the monthly cost will be cheaper. You might also have more options when it comes to shorter contract lengths, too.
If you need more financial help paying your internet bills, head over to our broadband on benefits guide.
How fast is fibre broadband?
The range of broadband speeds on a fibre connection is huge. It will depend on the type of fibre network you have access to, and the provider and package you’re signed up to.
To help you compare, a non-fibre, standard broadband package that’s served through a copper line will offer you average download speeds of around 10Mb.
All the broadband types listed below are technically classed as fibre broadband. But you might not have access to all of them.
Entry-level fibre broadband packages from providers on the Openreach network usually start with speeds of around 36Mb. However, if you have access to these packages, it’s likely you could opt for a slightly faster package with a download speed between 50Mb-74Mb and pay just a bit more. If you can afford that, we say 'go for it'!
Ultrafast broadband normally refers to broadband that can offer download speeds between 300Mb+ and 1Gb. Although, some providers also use it for packages with download speeds faster than 100Mb.
Gigabit broadband is an internet connection with download speeds of 1Gb+. Gigabit is the fastest broadband speed you’d be able to sign up to. But it’ll cost you! Expect to pay a monthly price of £50-£60 for such a speedy service.
Are you not sure whether you need to pay more for a faster package? First of all, we recommend carrying out a speed test to check the kind of connection you’re already on. This will help you compare your options. If your service is struggling, you might just need a small boost and a modest upgrade.
You may also want to read through these extra guides for more help:
- What broadband speed do I need for Netflix and other video streaming?
- Do you need fast broadband?
- An easy guide to broadband speeds
- A quick guide to bits and bytes
How is fibre broadband installed?
If you're looking to get a fibre home broadband connection, you should know it typically takes around 14 days to activate and might involve an engineer visit.
Virgin Media installations will require a new wall socket. If your home already has a socket, you may be able to select Virgin’s “QuickStart” option — this is a DIY package that can be activated in as little as a week. Otherwise, an engineer will need to attend to install one. Here’s what to expect when you’re visited by a Virgin Media engineer.
And here’s what to expect if full fibre comes to your area:
In most cases, none of this will be a problem and will be easy to sort, but if you’re renting, it’s important to get the OK from your landlord or letting agency.
- Broadband installation and activation
- Phone line installation
- ‘How to get broadband in rented accommodation’
FAQs about fibre broadband & fibre availability
Is fibre broadband faster than ADSL?
ADSL is the slowest broadband you can sign up to. All fibre broadband deals are faster than ADSL. This is thanks to the fact that speedier fibre optic cables are used instead of copper cables. The most basic fibre broadband deal doesn’t cost much more than a standard, ADSL service. So, unless you’re in the small percentage of homes in the UK without access to fibre broadband, you’ll be better off upgrading.
How do I check for full fibre on BT?
Head to our BT fibre deals pack to check availability. If you’re able to sign up to ‘Full Fibre’ deal, you’ll see it listed once you’ve entered your address or postcode.
Am I guaranteed fast upload speeds with fibre broadband?
You’ll certainly be able to receive faster upload speeds with fibre broadband than you can with standard broadband. However, even with the fastest Gigabit deals, the upload speed can look disappointingly slow. There are some exceptions, providers such as Hyperoptic offer symmetrical download and upload speeds. This means you could get broadband with upload speeds up to 900Mb!
Do I need a special Wi-Fi router to get fibre broadband?
Assume that when you sign up to a fibre broadband deal, you’ll be sent an appropriate router for your service.
If you want to find out which routers are included with some of the most popular broadband deals and whether they’re any good, you can read these router round-ups:
Looking for a reliable broadband connection, so you can stream video without annoying buffering, but unsure whether you have access to fibre broadband? Apart from those in rural spots and a tiny percentage of built-up areas, most homes in the UK now have access to fibre broadband in some shape or form.
Some fibre broadband connections will need you to have a phone line installed and for you to pay line rental, but increasingly, this isn’t always the case. Before you sign up to a deal, you should check the offer details to see whether there are any extra set-up fees or line rental fees you’re expected to pay. At Broadband Genie, we make this easier by showing you the ‘effective monthly price’ as well as the advertised price.
Before you switch providers, take the time to do a speed test and check the contract of your current broadband service.
If you’re out of contract with your current provider, and you’re on an ADSL package, we can almost guarantee you could upgrade to a fibre broadband deal in some shape or form.
Why do we need your address?
We need your address to show you the broadband deals available at your home. This information is gathered in partnership with thinkbroadband.