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Fibre Broadband Comparison – what speed do I need?
This is all dependent on what kind of activity you typically use the internet for. Sharing and downloading large files can take an age on a slow connection. If it is size and speed you require, then paying that bit extra for a faster connection can prove invaluable. Similarly, it can prove false economy if you decide to save a few pounds each month – especially if you need to download data or files quickly. However and crucially, as you will be entering into a contract, it is important that you sign up to a service you can afford.
Take a look at our chart below to get an idea of different fibre broadband connections – when downloading various file types and sizes:
|File Type V’s Speeds:||38mbps||76mbps||100mbps||300mbps|
|MP3 (5mb)||1 secs||0.5 secs||0.4 secs||0.1 secs|
|YouTube clip (50mb)||10 secs||5 secs||4 secs||1 sec|
|TV Show (450mb)||1 m 39 secs||50 secs||38 secs||13 secs|
|DVD (4.5GB)||17 m 2 secs||8 m 26 secs||6 m 26 secs||2 m 9 secs|
|DVD BluRay (10GB)||37 m 41 secs||18 m 50 secs||14 m 19 secs||4 m 46 secs|
|*Abbreviations: mbps = megabits-per-second | mb = megabytes | gb = gigabytes | m = minutes| secs = Seconds|
What deals on fibre shall I look for to save money?
The good news is that there are always deals available, especially for new customers. Free activation, discount subscription and rewards such as vouchers – are all typical incentives regularly promoted by UK providers. If you wait until your current contract expires, you will almost certainly save money by switching to a new provider.
Three simple steps you can take to save money on a fibre broadband deal:
- Calculate the cost of what you will pay if you continue with your current broadband provider.
- Compare deals above and find a service that suits you.
- Compare the costs between your old and prospective provider.
What contract lengths are available with fibre broadband?
As the telecoms market becomes increasingly competitive in the UK, providers are always seeking new ways to make their services more attractive. This not only has an impact on monthly subscription costs, but contract lengths too. While typical contract lengths for fibre broadband are 12 or 18 months, you can now sign-up to a ‘no contract’ broadband service. In-effect, this is a 30 day or 1 month rolling contract, due to the termination or notice period you need to give in order to cancel. ‘No contract’ broadband is an attractive proposition for those of us who need to be flexible. With the obvious benefit of not being tied-in to a longer term contract. However, customers can expect higher set-up and monthly costs for the privilege.
What does ‘up to’ mean?
You may of noticed the ‘up to‘ message when comparing broadband speeds. This indicates that the speed stated is an approximation of the fastest you can expect. Furthermore, depending on how far away your home is located from your nearest sub-station (telephone exchange), you may not receive the maximum speed stated. With the exception of Virgin Media (who have their own cable network) – all other providers run fibre-optic cables to telephone exchanges. From there, broadband services continue to homes via traditional fixed lines. This also explains why most services require you to have a phone line.
Does this mean I also need to pay for a landline for fibre?
Recently, OFCOM (the telecoms watchdog in the UK) introduced mandatory guidelines regarding this. OFCOM stated that providers are required to include the cost of line rental as part of ‘broadband’ monthly costs. So when you compare monthly subscriptions, you can be assured that what you see is all you actually pay each month. Virgin Media do offer some broadband services without a phone line. This is because Virgin Media have their own cable network, with no need for the use of a traditional line. You can also find these services on our site.
What is ‘traffic management’?
We also state if a broadband service uses traffic management or is truly unlimited. The difference between the two is as follows:
- Traffic management – when a network provider slows down speeds at peak-times in order to manage their network efficiently.
- Truly unlimited – when a broadband service does not apply traffic management, so you can expect speeds to be consistent throughout the day.
When it comes to up-front costs, set-up charges vary between providers. But there’s not much in it! What you should look out for is promotional discounts, which can reduce your set-up costs significantly. During a limited promotional period, some providers waiver the cost entirely. Alternatively, you can recoup set-up costs if there is an attractive reward such as a voucher offer. You should also bear-in-mind that nearly all providers normally charge a ‘router delivery fee’. This is around the £7.00 – £10.00 mark. If this is a sticking point with you, then take a look at First Utility broadband – they offer services with zero upfront costs and no router delivery fee.
The advancements in technology and the expansion of networks in recent years, means super-fast broadband is now widely available. Not just confined to cities, many rural areas now have access to the internet with much improved speeds. This is just as well, as figures show that our appetite for data is also growing fast!
If your household has many devices connected to the net, or you have streaming TV, gaming and downloads as your main activities at home; then you will need a Fibre broadband connection. With lots of services to choose from, go for a speed you can afford and a deal that helps get you started.
Positives & Negatives
Super-fast speeds of up to 300mb
Fibre copes with multiple devices connected
Lots of choice & offers available
Virgin only provider to offer broadband without line rental
Fibre broadband may not be available in your area
May be cheaper to get a package with TV & calls