Broadband in your area
Despite the frustratingly slow deployment of superfast and ultrafast broadband, the UK does benefit from a wide variety of broadband services with a vast mix of broadband packages to suit most budgets.
But that is far from consistent across the nation. Many towns and cities enjoy the option of multiple providers using different technologies with an extensive choice in speed and pricing, while other areas still have a very limited selection. And then there are some lucky people enjoying incredible gigabit fibre optic broadband.
All these potential options, from the very fastest broadband to basic ADSL, mean some research is required when selecting a provider to ensure you get the best broadband deal on the right service. This is especially important when moving to a new area as there’s no guarantee that you can receive the same speeds or even continue to use the same supplier.
Read on below to find out more, or start comparing offers in your location by entering a postcode into our broadband checker:
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Why should I use Broadband Genie's Broadband Checker?
We have partnered with local broadband experts Think Broadband, who provide some of the most accurate and up-to-date broadband availability data in the UK. And once you've used the checker, you'll find some of the very best value broadband deals available on the market - including the many exclusives we work to get you every single week!
What's the cheapest broadband in your area?
The easiest way to discover this is to use our postcode checker - then sort the results by price! Broadband deals are available from under £20 per month including line rental, but when buying a cheap deal you need to make sure that it fits your requirements in other ways. Is the connection fast enough? Does it have a data usage cap? Are you missing out on extra features that might be useful? Visit our cheap broadband page to compare offers and learn how to get the best deal.
What's the fastest broadband in your area?
Again, you can find this using our broadband checker. Fast broadband is now widely available, with more than 95% of UK premises having access to at least 24Mb broadband. But what exactly is fast broadband, and is it something you need? Read our guide to the UK’s fastest broadband for more information.
Why does availability differ depending on location?
Broadband coverage tends to be best in urban areas, because when building networks the operators prioritise locations where they can get the most from their investment. Installing a network is expensive, so it doesn’t always make sense for them to install new lines or upgrade a connection if it’s only going to serve a small number of homes.
The Openreach (BT telephone line) network has the widest coverage, but there are still a few areas where broadband is either very slow or not available. The other major network, Virgin Media, covers slightly more than 60% of premises and tends to be concentrated in towns and cities.
The UK does have a Universal Service Obligation (USO) which means that anyone has the right to request a minimum 10Mb broadband connection. However, even then there’s a small minority of premises where fixed line access is not financially viable. There is a cost threshold for installation, and those in remote locations may have to pay extra or look for alternatives such as wireless broadband or satellite broadband.
Why does broadband speed change in different areas?
As well as the availability of a connection there is also a difference in speed between areas.
The ADSL and Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) technology used for many broadband services have a maximum range and get slower the further you are from the exchange, so those at the very end of the line will experience slower and less reliable connectivity in comparison to people whose homes are very close to the exchange. This is less of an issue in an urban area where we may never be far from an exchange but can be problematic in the countryside. Speed can also be impacted by the number of users sharing the network in a given area, which may be especially apparent during peak hours when lots of people are online at the same time.
Some locations also benefit from access to different types of broadband technology which can deliver much faster speeds. Virgin Media offers broadband up to 600Mb, far quicker than the 65Mb-ish available for most homes using the Openreach network. And a lucky few can get ultrafast Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) which can provide gigabit speeds.
Which providers have the fastest broadband?
There is not a huge variation in speeds for ADSL deals, all ADSL broadband providers advertise average speeds of 10Mb or 11Mb.
Openreach fibre optic
Virgin Media fibre
Virgin Media fibre broadband offers average speeds of up to 630Mb across most of its network. In a few locations, it offers download speeds of up to 1Gb.
Fibre to the premises is capable of delivering speeds of 1Gb (gigabit per second) or more. However, FTTP is only available to a very small number of homes at this time.
FAQs about our broadband checker and broadband in your area
How do I use the broadband checker?
To use our broadband checker, simply enter your postcode into the box at the top of this table. The very best broadband deals available in your area will then be shown in the table.
If there are no deals available in your area, we will then show you our default pick of the very best deals. While most probably won't be available, providers do often have even more accurate availability data than we do. So if you do like the look of one of these deals, click Go and double check availability with the provider.
Can I get fibre broadband in my area?
Fibre broadband is currently available to more than 90% of the UK, with the government setting an ambitious target of 2025 for full coverage. To see if fibre is available in your area use our fibre checker: Enter your postcode and see what fibre deals come up!
There can be very rare occasions that, while fibre may be available in your area, there may be no room in the cabinet for an additional fibre connection. This means you would not be able to get fibre (at least through an Openreach provider such as BT, TalkTalk, Sky or Plusnet). Unfortunately, at this stage, the best way of finding this out is by checking with the providers themselves. If this were to be the case, you have other options such as fibre to the premises, or Virgin, who use their own network.
Can I get Virgin Media in my area?
We've got a checker for that too! Simply follow this link to our Virgin Media checker and enter your postcode to see if Virgin deals are available in your area.
More information about broadband in your area
Want more information about broadband in your town or city? Check out your local broadband area page by clicking the relevant link below: