Bristol’s tech history
Bristol and the surrounding area has been populated for a very long time; settlements dating back 60,000 years have been discovered, and at one time the city was important enough to have its own mint producing silver pennies. Bristol’s port has long been a major hub for the entire country and the city has played a major part in many industrial and technological developments.
The engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed Bristol’s Clifton suspension bridge, and the railway linking Bristol and London. Brunel’s SS Great Britain steamship is now a major attraction for visitors to Bristol.
John Louden McAdam was a Scottish engineer who moved to Bristol and designed the road system, and the physicist Paul Dirac was born in the city, as was inventor and photographic pioneer William Friese-Greene.
Today, Bristol is known as the ‘silicon gorge’ as it hosts numerous technology firms. HP and Orange both have headquarters there, and there are also regional offices for Broadcom, Intel, NVIDIA and Toshiba.
Bristol is also the home of Col Needham, founder of world famous movie site IMDB, which began when Col (then working for HP) and others on a Usenet group posted lists of movies.
Comparing mobile broadband in Bristol
Bristol offers excellent mobile signal coverage for its residents. The city centre and outlying areas are blanketed by 3G with all the networks providing strong signals so you can expect a reasonable performance from a 3G mobile broadband dongle.
As ever though you do need to confirm before buying that the signal is available if you plan to use it regularly in a specific location.
The coverage check tools provided by networks are a good place to start, and you can read our mobile coverage guide for more information, but it’s also smart to confirm by checking signal strength on a mobile phone.
Bristol also enjoys good 4G coverage. The superfast next-gen mobile service is widely available from Three, O2, Vodafone and EE so you can enjoy mobile broadband at speeds that match or exceed some home broadband connections.
Comparing home broadband in Bristol
Bristolians rejoice - your city has some of the best broadband access of anywhere in the UK. All the major exchanges - Bristol West (Clifton), Bristol North (Ashley), Eastville, Redcliffe, Easton, Bristol South (Totterdown) and Bedminster - are enabled for ADSL and ADSL2+ with a wide variety of LLU ISPs.
Plus you also have the option of BT network and Virgin Media fibre at these locations, with the added bonus of rare FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) at the Bristol South and Easton exchanges.
Do double check coverage before you do anything else, though. Even in locations like Bristol with excellent fixed line broadband provisioning there can still be streets where particular services are not available. This happens often with Virgin Media broadband in particular, and you may find that while a neighbour can get it you don’t have the option.
To narrow down your search enter a postcode into our comparison table. We’ll provide a filtered list of ISPs showing only services that should be available in your area, at which point you can click through to the provider and confirm availability.