The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

Best broadband in my area

Looking for cheap broadband? Compare prices from top providers and get a great deal

With over 150 broadband providers operating across the UK, finding the best broadband deals can be a daunting task. While you may be tempted to prioritise cost when looking for a new provider, you want to be sure that your new broadband deal offers an adequate service for your region. 

Despite the high number of broadband providers available, none of them serve the entirety of the UK, with some providers offering better broadband coverage than others in specific regions and cities. 

Our expert team has catalogued everything you need to consider when choosing the best provider for your area so you can get online quickly and easily.

Plusnet – Full Fibre 145
Monthly Cost
£27.99
Average speed
145 Mb
Contract term
24 months

Monthly prices are subject to increase each year on 31 March by Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%.

Our top recommended broadband providers
Plusnet
Fast speeds & reliable customer service
Virgin Media
Ultrafast speeds at affordable prices
Vodafone
Perks for existing mobile customers
BT Broadband
The UK’s largest broadband provider
icons8-search-100

How to find the best broadband deals in my area

The breadth of a broadband provider’s network can vary significantly across the country, and the disparity is particularly pronounced when comparing urban centres to rural locations. While cities and larger towns typically enjoy the luxury of choosing between fibre broadband and standard ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) connections, rural residents may encounter a more limited selection, sometimes having to depend on mobile broadband solutions, which, while improving, often lag behind their wired counterparts in terms of speed and reliability.

 

If you’re looking for broadband deals available in your area, there are several things you can do to ensure you’re making an informed choice.

icons8-postcode-100

Postcode checker

Use our postcode checker to instantly access all of the providers, packages and types of broadband available in your area.

icons8-speed-test-67

Speed testing

Before deciding, it’s wise to test the broadband speed available in your area. This not only gives you an idea of what to expect from your current connection but can also provide a benchmark for what you should be looking for in a new provider. Find out your broadband speeds and how to measure them using our guide.

icons8-feedback-96

Local feedback

Feedback from neighbours can be invaluable. They can provide first-hand insights into the performance and reliability of the service they use.

icons8-upgrade-100

Future-proofing

Technology is ever-evolving, and so is broadband infrastructure. Check to see if providers are planning area upgrades that could benefit you in the near future – filling out an online form allows them to alert you to any upgrades.

icons8-contract-100

Contract flexibility

A shorter-term deal might offer the chance to reassess your options sooner, which can be beneficial if the area’s network infrastructure is rapidly improving. Some companies even offer no-contract broadband deals that don’t lock you into a lengthy commitment.

How does broadband in my area differ from the rest of the UK?

The quality and availability of broadband connections in the UK are influenced by several factors that can vary significantly from one area to another.

Proximity to a telephone exchange

Generally, the closer your home or business is to the telephone exchange, the stronger and more reliable your broadband connection will likely be. This is particularly true for ADSL broadband, where the signal degrades over distance. However, this is less of an issue with fibre connections, which can maintain high speeds over much greater distances.

Urban broadband expectations

In urban areas where population density can affect broadband speeds, regulations require that advertised speeds must be the average download speed achievable for at least 50 per cent of customers at peak times – between 8pm and 10pm. However, your broadband speed can still be affected by local traffic and the quality of lines as well as wiring in your property.

Rural broadband development

People living in rural areas have traditionally faced broadband speed and reliability challenges. Recognising this issue, the UK government has announced plans to achieve gigabit-capable broadband coverage nationwide by 2025 under its Project Gigabit delivery scheme. As of September 2023, gigabit coverage across the UK is at 77 per cent – up from 6 per cent at the beginning of 2019.

Part of Project Gigabit, the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, means groups of eligible homes and businesses can be awarded up to £4,500 to cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband to their properties. More than 120,000 vouchers have been issued to date.

Groups consist of two or more rural-based homes or businesses that meet the following criteria: 

  • Existing broadband speeds are less than 100Mbps
  • A gigabit-capable network is unlikely to be built in that area commercially shortly  
  • There is no government-funded contract planned or in place to improve the network already

Vouchers can only be used through a broadband supplier registered to the scheme as part of a broadband upgrade project shared with your neighbours. 

What specific types of broadband in my area are most common?

The table below shows the types of broadband and where they are available.

Types of broadbandAreas available
Fibre broadband, also known as FTTC (fibre to the cabinet)According to Ofcom, 97% of the UK has fibre broadband availability, with the fastest speeds in major towns and cities
Full fibre broadband, also known as FTTP (fibre to the premises)Faster than fibre broadband and available to 42% of urban properties and 35% rural currently
Standard broadband, also known as ADSLNeeds a phone line and is available everywhere, but connections can be less reliable in rural areas
Mobile broadbandIf your internet connection is very poor, 4G and 5G mobile connections are available for 98% of the UK, according to Ofcom

Do any providers offer coverage across the whole of the UK?

Most of the best broadband providers in the UK boast extensive coverage, ensuring a vast majority of the population has access to their services. However, despite their significant network reach, no single provider can claim to offer blanket coverage across every corner of the UK.

Providers with widespread coverage:

BT is the largest broadband provider in the UK and has the most extensive infrastructure, often including remote areas. 

Virgin Media has the largest fibre network in the UK and is available in most cities. However, its services are not as widely available for rural homes.   
Sky’s fibre deals are widely available for most UK postcodes and 40 per cent of the UK have access to Sky’s full-fibre packages.

If you live in a rural area, your choice of broadband may be limited and you may not have access to fibre-optic broadband deals. If this is the case for you, mobile broadband is a good alternative, with Vodafone and EE offering some of the best deals.

Some providers cater to specific regions or cities within the UK with an aim to fill the gaps left by national networks. If you’re looking for the best broadband in London, G.Network offers full-fibre services to certain London boroughs. Outside of the major cities, there’s usually less choice, for example, the best broadband in Hull is KCom – it’s also the only provider that serves the area.

Frequently asked questions about broadband in my area

Finding the best cheap broadband deals in your area involves a bit of research and due diligence to ensure you get a great price and a reliable connection.

Start by searching for broadband deals online, ensuring the provider covers your location and offers a fast, reliable connection. Look at the total cost of the contract, not just the monthly fee. Setup costs, equipment fees, and price increases after the introductory period can affect the overall affordability. 

If you’re already with a provider, sometimes negotiating your current contract can lead to a better deal, especially if you mention a competitor’s lower prices.

Broadband connection speeds can vary significantly depending on the type of connection you have, as well as where you live. 

  • ADSL: ADSL broadband, which uses copper phone lines to deliver internet services, generally provides slower speeds than fibre-optic broadband. This is due to the limitations in the data transfer rate of copper wires compared to the glass or plastic fibres used in fibre-optic cables that transmit data at the speed of light
  • FTTC: FTTC uses fibre-optic cables from the telephone exchange to the roadside cabinet and then copper telephone wires from the cabinet to your home, making it faster than ADSL, but slower than full fibre broadband
  • FTTP: FTTP uses fibre-optic cables to carry the connection directly to your home from the broadband exchange. Offering speeds of up to 1Gbps, it’s 30 times faster than FTTC

If you want a comprehensive guide to what broadband providers operate in your city, and what services they can provide, check out our dedicated articles. We have created comprehensive guides for the best broadband in London, Hull, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Sheffield, among others. Check out our other articles below:

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.

rachel

Rachel Sadler

Home Tech Writer

Rachel is a seasoned writer who has been producing online and print content for seven years. 

As a home tech expert for Independent Advisor, Rachel researches and writes buying guides and reviews, helping consumers navigate the realms of broadband and home security gadgets. She also covers home tech for The Federation of Master Builders, where she reviews and tests home security devices. 

She started as a news and lifestyle journalist in Hong Kong reporting on island-wide news stories, food and drink and the city’s events. She’s written for editorial platforms Sassy Hong Kong, Localiiz and Bay Media. While in Hong Kong she attended PR events, interviewed local talent and project-managed photoshoots. 

Rachel holds a BA in English Language and Creative Writing and is committed to simplifying tech jargon and producing unbiased reviews.