Community Fibre broadband review 2023
|Value for Money||3.3/5|
Community Fibre offers powerful full-fibre broadband with speeds that outclass most other providers while still remaining affordable. And its customers appear happy! But you must live in London to get it. As well as that limitation, its phone service may not suit everyone, and its free Wi-Fi router has a couple of caveats.
|We like||We don't like|
Community Fibre broadband: In summary
|Download Speeds (Average)||20Mb / 75Mb / 150Mb / 200Mb / 300Mb/ 500Mb / 600Mb / 920Mb / 3000Mb|
|Upload Speeds (Average)||20Mb / 75Mb / 150Mb / 200Mb / 300Mb/ 500Mb / 600Mb / 920Mb / 3000Mb|
|Data Usage Limit||Unlimited|
|Type of Broadband||Full Fibre|
|Home Phone Line?||Yes (optional)|
|Inclusive phone calls?||Included|
|Bundled Wi-Fi Router?||Linksys WiFi 6 Intelligent Mesh|
Community Fibre Broadband Speed
Speed Score: 3.4 out of 5
Community Fibre installs and operates its own Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) network. As such, it has a different selection of packages from many other providers, most of which share BT Openreach lines. You’ll find the following choice of packages available:
- Community Essential 20Mb Fibre: 20Mb download / upload speed
- Community Fibre 75Mb: 75Mb download / upload speed
- Community Fibre 150Mb: 150Mb download / upload speed
- Community Fibre 200Mb: 200Mb download / upload speed
- Community Fibre 300Mb: 300Mb download / upload speed
- Community Fibre 500Mb: 500Mb download / upload speed
- Community Fibre 600Mb: 600Mb download / upload speed
- Community Fibre 1 Gig: 920Mb download / upload speed
- Community Fibre 3 Gig: 3000Mb download / upload speed
Most homes will find the 75Mb package good enough. If you’re in a larger home, where the broadband is shared among many (5+) users, you may want to step up to 1 Gbps.
Community Fibre speed summary
Community Fibre’s speeds put most other broadband providers to shame. Not only does it offer excellent download performance, but its upload speeds are a lot better than the competition. And that includes some other FTTP services.
That’s because unlike the majority of providers, Community Fibre offers symmetrical broadband. This means the download and upload speeds are the same. Most other broadband is asymmetrical, with download speeds prioritised at the expense of upload rates.
It won’t matter for everyone, but for certain activities, such as working from home or online gaming, faster upload speeds will definitely be welcome.
Community Fibre Customer Service
Customer Service Score: 3.2 out of 5
At the time of writing, Community Fibre has an excellent 4.9/5 Trustpilot score from more than 20,000 user reviews. That makes it the highest-rated provider in the entire UK. When you consider how few people can actually get their broadband from them, this score is especially impressive.
In our own survey, Community Fibre didn't rank so well for customer care, where it scored a below-average satisfaction rating of 64.7%.
Community Fibre Value for Money
Value for Money Score: 3.3 out of 5
Community Fibre is pretty competitively priced when you consider the speeds it offers.
At the entry level, prices start at around £25/month for 75Mb fibre. Other providers do offer cheaper deals with similar, or even better, download rates, but their upload speeds are noticeably slower.
The best value services are the higher-end packages. Community Fibre 200 provides a 200Mb average download and upload speed for around £30 per month. That’s more than enough for many homes, but if you want to go even faster, there’s also 500Mb for around £40 or a staggering 3Gb for under £50 on a 24-month contract.
All Community Fibre packages are broadband only as standard. But a call package is available as an added extra if you need it. This too is pretty cheap, at £10 per month for unlimited anytime calling to UK landlines and mobiles.
However, this phone service does have a couple of potential drawbacks.
For one, it doesn’t allow you to make international or premium rate calls. More importantly, you’ll need to make sure you have some sort of back up phone in case of emergency: The phone service uses the fibre line, which means that if the power or internet goes down. You’ll have no phone line either. This also means that Community Fibre’s lines might not be suitable for those who have an alarm or emergency alert system.
However, you can get a regular BT landline installed alongside Community Fibre. This will work as the two networks are separate and won’t interfere with each other.
Community Fibre Reliability
Reliability Score: 3.4 out of 5
In our 2023 Broadband Awards, Community Fibre scored a middling 64.9% in the 'Most Reliable Provider' category. As Community Fibre is a small provider, and coverage is limited to London it's not included in research such as Ofcom's customer service report.
For an additional cost of £10 per month (plus a £14.95 set-up fee) you can add a 'Wi-Fi in Every Room' guarantee. Here, if Community Fibre can't provide at least 10Mb Wi-Fi at the furthest point from the router. you'll get three months of broadband for free. However, considering the package speeds on offer range from 20Mb-3000Mb, this is a bit of an empty gesture.
Community Fibre Bundled Wi-Fi router
Router Score: 3.8 out of 5
Community Fibre supplies a Linksys WiFi 6 Intelligent Mesh router with most of its packages, although you'll receive a Technicolor multi-gigabit if you're signed up to the 3000Mb plan.
|Router||Included with package|
|Linksys WiFi 6 Intelligent Mesh router||All Community Fibre packages up to and including 1 Gig|
|Technicolor multi-gigabit||Community Fibre 3000Mb|
The LinkSys WiFi 6 is a mesh Wi-Fi router, something that’s a little different to the free hardware supplied by most providers.
Mesh Wi-Fi uses ‘nodes’ to extend the Wi-Fi signal around your home, each of which has a dedicated link to the main router, which is separate from the connection your devices use.
The end result is that mesh Wi-Fi networks are much faster than regular Wi-Fi boosters. They’re also very easy to use, providing a seamless connection with the same network name. As you move around the home, your devices will automatically latch onto the strongest signal. It means that you’ll easily be able to work or video call from anywhere in the house.
Community Fibre Wi-Fi Router Specification - Linksys WiFi 6 Intelligent Mesh router
Setting up your Community Fibre router shouldn't be difficult, and you'll be able to do this yourself. There are a few tips available on its website to help you achieve the best results for a fast Wi-Fi speed. If you do need more help, there's an online support hub available. This includes FAQs for setting up your router and extenders and this will be the quickest and easiest way to get help.
Community Fibre: Expert Summary
Community Fibre Overall Score: 3.3 out of 5
Community Fibre is a provider we won’t hesitate to recommend to just about anyone. It offers incredible value and delivers exceptional speeds with prices to suit most budgets. It’s especially good if you need a faster than normal upload speed.
You also get a good free router, with a useful mesh Wi-Fi feature that can help solve problems with weak signal coverage. And it offers broadband only as standard, with no requirement to get a phone line or pay line rental. And to top it all off, it has an outstanding customer service record.
The downsides are few and far between, and largely situational. The phone plan may not be suitable for everyone, particularly if you need to make international calls or rely on a landline for emergencies. And the free router, while good enough for most homes, does have a limited number of network ports.
The biggest problem is that most people can’t get it. Community Fibre is only available in parts of London. But if you are lucky enough to live within its network area, you’re unlikely to find anything better.
Switching broadband providers
You'll only be able to sign up to Community Fibre broadband if you're based in selected London areas. If you're outside of London and are looking for similar ultrafast speeds, your best bet is to look for alternative full fibre broadband deals.
You can easily check which packages are available in your area by popping your postcode into this checker. If you're able to sign up to a full fibre broadband package, you'll see these listed in the comparison table. Don't forget to use our filters, so you can sort by price, speed or contract length.
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If you’re out of contract, switching between any provider is easy. You shouldn’t even need to speak to your current provider - your new one should do all the admin for you. Check out our guide on ‘how to switch broadband and get an amazing deal’ for more hints and tricks, learn how to save money and upgrade your home's internet connection with little fuss.
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