Home Broadband Survey 2017

Welcome to the Broadband Genie home broadband survey 2017. With so many providers and packages to choose from finding the right deal can be a challenge. To help make your decision easier we’ve gathered the opinions of thousands of broadband customers from around the UK, along with tens of thousands of speed tests and a panel of industry experts, to see which ISPs stood out from the crowd in 2016.

Broadband Awards

We commissioned a nationwide survey from OnePoll and queried Broadband Genie visitors on various aspects of their broadband provider. The results were collated to rate providers for customer support, technical support, value for money, reliability and speed satisfaction, as well as the likelihood that people would recommend their provider to others.

Best Broadband Provider

With the highest ratings in five out of seven categories, and second place in the two it didn’t win, Plusnet is the clear leader in 2017. Plusnet ranked top for tech support, customer service and value for money, and was also considered to be the most trustworthy provider, as well as the most recommended. Its average rating was 2% higher than runner-up Virgin, and more than 10% higher than the lowest scoring ISP.

Winner: Plusnet

Best broadband provider 2017 award - Plusnet Visit Plusnet ›

Best Broadband Provider

With the highest ratings in five out of seven categories, and second place in the two it didn’t win, Plusnet is the clear leader in 2017. Plusnet ranked top for tech support, customer service and value for money, and was also considered to be the most trustworthy provider, as well as the most recommended. Its average rating was 2% higher than runner-up Virgin, and more than 10% higher than the lowest scoring ISP.

Provider Ranking:

Plusnet
74%
Virgin Media
72%
Sky
70%
EE
69%
BT
66%
TalkTalk
63%

Best Customer Care

Customer support is often a major point of contention for broadband users so it’s important to see which providers have succeeded in this area. Plusnet is proud of its UK based customer services team, and rightfully so. It leads the pack in this category with a good majority of Plusnet customers satisfied with the support. 2016 winner Sky as the runner-up.

Winner: Plusnet

Best customer care 2017 award - Plusnet Visit Plusnet ›

Best Customer Care

Customer support is often a major point of contention for broadband users so it’s important to see which providers have succeeded in this area. Plusnet is proud of its UK based customer services team, and rightfully so. It leads the pack in this category with a good majority of Plusnet customers satisfied with the support. 2016 winner Sky as the runner-up.

Provider Ranking:

Plusnet
78%
Sky
74%
Virgin Media
72%
EE
71%
BT
66%
TalkTalk
64%

Most Reliable Broadband Provider

Is your broadband steady as a rock or up and down like a yo-yo? We asked broadband users to rate their ISP for this and found that 76% of Virgin Media customers are happy with the reliability of their broadband connection, a 7% lead over the lowest ranked ISP in this category. Plusnet was a close second with 75%.

Winner: Virgin Media

Most Reliable broadband provider 2017 award - Virgin Media Visit Virgin Media › 0800 276 1162

Most Reliable Broadband Provider

Is your broadband steady as a rock or up and down like a yo-yo? We asked broadband users to rate their ISP for this and found that 76% of Virgin Media customers are happy with the reliability of their broadband connection, a 7% lead over the lowest ranked ISP in this category. Plusnet was a close second with 75%.

Provider Ranking:

Virgin Media
76%
Plusnet
75%
Sky
74%
BT
72%
EE
71%
TalkTalk
69%

Best Technical Support

It’s vital to have a dependable tech support team to call on if things go wrong. Plusnet won again here with 77% satisfaction, while Virgin Media and Sky (the 2016 winner) were joint second.

Winner: Plusnet

Best Technical Support 2017 award - Plusnet Visit Plusnet ›

Best Technical Support

It’s vital to have a dependable tech support team to call on if things go wrong. Plusnet won again here with 77% satisfaction, while Virgin Media and Sky (the 2016 winner) were joint second.

Provider Ranking:

Plusnet
77%
Virgin Media
74%
Sky
74%
EE
72%
BT
68%
TalkTalk
66%

Best Value Provider

We all want to feel like we’ve got value for our money even on the cheapest offer, and Plusnet succeeds by offering low prices and backing it up with good performance and support. The runner-up here was again EE, which has cheap deals plus free extras for EE mobile customers.

Winner: Plusnet

Best Value provider 2017 award - Plusnet Visit Plusnet ›

Best Value Provider

We all want to feel like we’ve got value for our money even on the cheapest offer, and Plusnet succeeds by offering low prices and backing it up with good performance and support. The runner-up here was again EE, which has cheap deals plus free extras for EE mobile customers.

Provider Ranking:

Plusnet
77%
EE
75%
TalkTalk
73%
Sky
70%
Virgin Media
67%
BT
64%

Most Recommended Provider

Would you recommend your broadband provider to friends and family? We asked survey respondents if they were likely to speak positively of their ISP to others, and 67% of Plusnet customers said they would. Virgin Media was a near second with 64% in this area.

Winner: Plusnet

Most Recommended provider 2017 award - Plusnet Visit Plusnet ›

Most Recommended Provider

Would you recommend your broadband provider to friends and family? We asked survey respondents if they were likely to speak positively of their ISP to others, and 67% of Plusnet customers said they would. Virgin Media was a near second with 64% in this area.

Provider Ranking:

Plusnet
67%
Virgin Media
64%
Sky
58%
EE
52%
BT
49%
TalkTalk
41%

Most Trustworthy Provider

New to the 2017 survey was a question about whether people felt their broadband provider was trustworthy. Plusnet won with 76% of its customers agreeing they were, while both EE and Sky came second with 73%.

Winner: Plusnet

Most Trustworthy provider 2017 award - Plusnet Visit Plusnet ›

Most Trustworthy Provider

New to the 2017 survey was a question about whether people felt their broadband provider was trustworthy. Plusnet won with 76% of its customers agreeing they were, while both EE and Sky came second with 73%.

Provider Ranking:

Plusnet
76%
Sky
73%
EE
73%
Virgin Media
72%
BT
70%
TalkTalk
64%

Speed Awards

Many of us will consider speed before looking at anything else so this is a vital metric when comparing broadband providers. We used the data from more than 20,000 speed tests conducted in 2016 to see which ISPs offer the fastest speeds.

Fastest Provider

Virgin Media was far and away the quickest ISP for downloading, with an average speed of 65.78Mb/s, almost twice as quick as the runner-up Vodafone, which achieved an average of 35.14Mb/s. However, it is worth noting that upload speed was a different story, with Plusnet taking the top spot with 7.14Mb/s while Virgin lagged behind with 5.16Mb/s.

Winner: Virgin Media

Fastest provider 2017 award - Virgin Media Visit Virgin Media › 0800 276 1162

Fastest Provider

Virgin Media was far and away the quickest ISP for downloading, with an average speed of 65.78Mb/s, almost twice as quick as the runner-up Vodafone, which achieved an average of 35.14Mb/s. However, it is worth noting that upload speed was a different story, with Plusnet taking the top spot with 7.14Mb/s while Virgin lagged behind with 5.16Mb/s.

Provider Ranking:

Virgin Media
65.78 Mb/s
Vodafone
35.14 Mb/s
BT
29.24 Mb/s
Plusnet
21.66 Mb/s
EE
18.2 Mb/s
TalkTalk
18.15 Mb/s
Sky
15.38 Mb/s

Customer Speed Satisfaction

Not only did Virgin top the speed test ratings, it was also scored very highly by its users with 81% satisfied by the performance. Joint second was BT and Plusnet with 70%.

Winner: Virgin Media

Customer Speed Satisfaction 2017 award - Virgin Media Visit Virgin Media › 0800 276 1162

Customer Speed Satisfaction

Not only did Virgin top the speed test ratings, it was also scored very highly by its users with 81% satisfied by the performance. Joint second was BT and Plusnet with 70%.

Provider Ranking:

Virgin Media
81%
Plusnet
70%
BT
70%
Sky
69%
EE
67%
TalkTalk
66%

Panel Awards

We asked a panel of industry insiders and experts to nominate their picks for providers in a variety of categories: best budget ISP, best bundle, most innovative broadband as well as the best streaming and catch-up TV services.

Meet the panel of judges

Carrie-Ann Skinner Tech Testing and Strategy Manager at the Good Housekeeping Institute

Photo of Carrie-Ann Skinner

Carrie-Ann Skinner is the Tech Testing and Strategy Manager at the Good Housekeeping Institute. With more than nine years’ experience testing technology, there's not a gizmo, gadget or bit of tech that Carrie-Ann hasn't put through its paces. From laptops, cameras and smartphones to the wave of smart home systems and internet-based services that are hitting the market, Carrie-Ann has looked at them all, and she’s pretty good at offering advice on how to use them too.

Jasmine Birtles Founder of Moneymagpie

Photo of Jasmine Birtles

Jasmine is the founder of the saving money website Moneymagpie and an internationally recognised finance expert. She makes regular appearances on the BBC, Sky and Channel 4 as a financial commentator.

Matthew Evans CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG)

Photo of Matthew Evans

Matthew is CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), the government-industry forum tackling strategic issues across the converging broadband value chain. Matthew joined the BSG in April 2014 and has led work on future bandwidth demand modelling and industry input to the Government’s Digital Communications Infrastructure Strategy. He is also head of the Internet of Things and SmarterUK programmes within techUK, the UK’s technology trade association.

Tom Fellowes Sale Director at Wavenet

Photo of Tom Fellowes

Tom is Sales Director at the leading business Internet and telecoms service provider Wavenet. Tom has worked in the Internet industry since the launch of BT Broadband in 2002 – at 512Kbps.

Rob Hilborn Head of Strategy at Broadband Genie

Photo of Rob Hilborn

Rob is the head of strategy and spokesperson for Broadband Genie. He has keen interest in technology and a drive for saving consumers money on their broadband, TV and mobile. He frequently appears in the national media to talk about consumer telecoms.

Best Budget Provider

Origin Broadband are a relative unknown, but with prices starting from under £20 including line rental they deserve to be at the top of your list if you’re searching for an affordable home broadband package.

Winner: Origin

Best budget provider 2017 award - Origin Visit Origin ›

Best Budget Provider

Origin Broadband are a relative unknown, but with prices starting from under £20 including line rental they deserve to be at the top of your list if you’re searching for an affordable home broadband package.

  • Tom Fellowes Sale Director at Wavenet

    “This has to be the market leading budget offer at present.”

  • Matthew Evans CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG)

    “A combination of very low price and decent customer service means that they are very tough to beat.”

Best Bundled Provider

Top notch TV, great technology and now mobile to go with its home services mean you can pick up a complete home entertainment and communication bundle under one roof, and benefit from loads of great extras.

Winner: Sky

Best bundled provider 2017 award - Sky Visit Sky › 0800 840 5386

Best Bundled Provider

Top notch TV, great technology and now mobile to go with its home services mean you can pick up a complete home entertainment and communication bundle under one roof, and benefit from loads of great extras.

  • Carrie-Ann Skinner Tech Testing and Strategy Manager at the Good Housekeeping Institute

    “Sky offer great value when it comes to bundling broadband, phone and TV together and now they’ve added mobile to the mix too. There’s a great choice across all price points and speeds and calling packages.”

  • Rob Hilborn Head of Strategy at Broadband Genie

    “Still the place to be for high quality TV. Broadband is competitively priced, and with the introduction of Sky Mobile the proposition looks very interesting.”

Most Innovative Provider

It can seem like innovation is something sorely missing from the UK broadband market, but while the big players can be slow to move there are some fantastic specialist providers blazing a trail. The Hyperoptic fibre to the home network offers the fastest home broadband speeds in the country, and without costing an arm and a leg.

Winner: Hyperoptic

Most innovative provider 2017 award - Hyperoptic

Most Innovative Provider

It can seem like innovation is something sorely missing from the UK broadband market, but while the big players can be slow to move there are some fantastic specialist providers blazing a trail. The Hyperoptic fibre to the home network offers the fastest home broadband speeds in the country, and without costing an arm and a leg.

  • Tom Fellowes Sale Director at Wavenet

    “Great speeds, delivering genuine gigabit fibre over their own dedicated network.”

  • Rob Hilborn Head of Strategy at Broadband Genie

    “Affordable gigabit fibre broadband that is slowly expanding to more areas across the UK”

Best Streaming TV Service

Netflix doesn’t just have a great streaming service in terms of technology but has shown a real knack for putting money behind high quality content like the hit series Stranger Things, giving traditional broadcasters a run for their money.

Winner: Netflix

Best Streaming TV Service 2017 award - Netflix

Best Streaming TV Service

Netflix doesn’t just have a great streaming service in terms of technology but has shown a real knack for putting money behind high quality content like the hit series Stranger Things, giving traditional broadcasters a run for their money.

  • Carrie-Ann Skinner Tech Testing and Strategy Manager at the Good Housekeeping Institute

    “Has the biggest choice of content, separate profiles for different members of the family, a great kids area and now they let you download some shows to watch when there’s no internet access”

  • Rob Hilborn Head of Strategy at Broadband Genie

    “They've had an amazing year and have shown how TV shows should be made. The Netflix Original selection delivers some of the best content on the market.”

Best Catch-up Service

With the sheer weight of the BBC catalogue behind it iPlayer wouldn’t have to try very hard to please, but the BBC has also made sure the technology is up the job. The interface is straightforward and hardware support is excellent, with iPlayer available on everything from smart TVs to games consoles.

Winner: BBC iPlayer

Best Catch-up Service 2017 award - BBC iPlayer

Best Catch-up Service

With the sheer weight of the BBC catalogue behind it iPlayer wouldn’t have to try very hard to please, but the BBC has also made sure the technology is up the job. The interface is straightforward and hardware support is excellent, with iPlayer available on everything from smart TVs to games consoles.

  • Carrie-Ann Skinner Tech Testing and Strategy Manager at the Good Housekeeping Institute

    “There’s a great choice of shows and it’s easy to use.”

  • Matthew Evans CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG)

    “This is a really tough category but the iPlayer just about deserves to keep its crown this year.”