Broadband.co.uk Blog: News

Regular Broadband-related news and comment from the Broadband.co.uk team.

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News stories relevant to broadband in the United Kingdom.

National Average Speeds March 2016

Average mobile broadband speeds rising in 2016 while fixed line home broadband speeds coast at late 2015 levels

Posted by Edd Dawson on in AnnouncementsNewsEE MobileEEHyperopticVodafoneThreeSkyVirgin MediaBTPost Office

Each month hundreds of thousands of broadband customers test their speeds with our broadband speed test. Since the end of 2015 there's been little change in average speeds from home broadband with average download speeds for March 2016 coming in at 20.41Mb and average upload speeds at 3.73Mb.

However, our test also supports users testing on tablets and smartphones, meaning we can report on mobile broadband speeds from 4G and 3G networks. While home broadband has been stable, mobile broadband average download speed has risen by a full 2Mb since December and upload speed by 1.6Mb, the average mobile broadband speeds for March 2016 were 15.31Mb download and 3.71Mb upload.

When the big mobile broadband and home broadband providers' average speeds compete on the same table, it's only Virgin Media's DOCSIS 3 cable broadband that outperforms mobile broadband, clocking in 46.95Mb, with upload speeds at 5.9Mb. 4GEE is ahead of BT Broadband with download speeds clocking in at 18.71Mb, faster than BT by 1.07Mb. 4GEE and Vodafone mobile broadband sit in overall 2nd and 4th places beating all home big broadband providers' averages bar Virgin Media, with Vodafone's 16.26Mb average mobile download speed only 1.38Mb behind BT.

Of the home broadband providers Post Office Broadband still has the UK's slowest broadband speed overall with only 4.38Mb average downloads and 1.67Mb average uploads, well below the average speeds expected for copper phoneline broadband. Three tested with the slowest mobile broadband at 12.09Mb downloads, but this still beat home broadband offerings from Sky and EE.

When the supplementary broadband providers table (see page 4 of the report) is included we can see that fibre to the building provider Hyperoptic tested as the fastest broadband overall with 91.7Mb average downloads and 77.3Mb uploads.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for March 2016

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National Average Speeds December 2015

Average fixed line download speeds remain stable over December 2015, average mobile broadband speeds see minor increase

Posted on in AnnouncementsNewsEE MobileHyperopticVodafoneTalkTalkThreeO2Virgin MediaBTPost OfficePlusnet

December 2015 saw average download speeds for fixed line providers recorded by users of our broadband speed test remain stable in comparison to the results from November, coming in at 20.56Mb. Average upload speeds saw a 0.15Mb drop to 3.68Mb.

Of the big 5 home broadband providers, Virgin Media remained in first place but their average download speeds appear to have levelled out since rolling out their 200Mb service, remaining stable at 46.57Mb, with upload speeds at 5.66Mb. BT Broadband retain second place with average download and upload speeds steady at 17.58Mb and 4.42Mb respectively. TalkTalk move up to third place, with download speeds stable at 12.8Mb and upload speeds dropping by 0.21Mb to 1.86Mb. Plusnet drop into fourth place, dropping by 0.59Mb to 12.6Mb for average download speeds with a 0.39Mb decrease to 2.85Mb for average upload speeds. Finally, Sky remain in fifth place with a 1.1Mb fall in download speeds to 10.92Mb, while their upload speeds decreased by 0.41Mb to 2.47Mb.

Results from users testing with mobile-enabled devices including phones and tablets suggests that mobile broadband speeds saw an overall rise since November. Taking mobile broadband separately from home broadband, EE Mobile retain first place, with download speeds increasing by 1.1Mb to 17.55Mb and upload speeds holding at 3.87Mb. Vodafone are in second place, seeing download speeds fall slightly by 0.19Mb to 13.76Mb and upload speeds steady at 2.82Mb. O2 are in third place with download speeds at 11.78Mb - a respectable 1.4Mb increase over last month - and upload speeds at 2.53Mb. Three are still in fourth place, with average download speeds of 9.84Mb and upload speeds of 2.56Mb.

When mobile broadband and home broadband average speeds compete on the same table, 4GEE is head-to-head with BT's second place with a difference of only 0.03Mb. 4GEE and Vodafone mobile broadband sit in overall 3rd and 4th places beating all home broadband providers' averages bar Virgin Media and BT. This suggests that 4G broadband may have higher uptake levels relative to 3G compared to uptake of the fastest possible fibre broadband products relative to cheaper options.

This month's supplementary broadband providers table (see page 4 of the report) found Post Office Broadband had the UK's slowest broadband speed overall with only 2.55Mb average downloads and only 0.33Mb average uploads. Hyperoptic was fastest overall with 102.1Mb average downloads and 92.13Mb uploads.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for December 2015

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Direct Save Telecom

Bargain Broadband for just 95p from Direct Save Telecom!

Posted on in NewsOffersDirect Save

Direct Save Telecom are already one of the cheapest broadband suppliers out there with their £1.95 broadband and calls package. However, this hasn't stopped them from introducing a new, cheaper deal! They now offer a fantastic unlimited broadband contract for only 95p a month!

This deal is on a 12 month contract and comes with a free wireless router. It also features an only pay for the calls you make phone package, charged at the standard Direct Save call rates. This is ideal for those who primarily use the inclusive minutes on their mobile phone contracts to make calls and don't want to pay extra for landline call features they simply won't use.

While you will need to pay £17.75 line rental a month, you can reduce these costs by paying £138 for a year up front, making it the equivalent of only £11.50 a month!

Interested in this deal? Head on over to Direct Save Telecom to sign up! Looking for a deal with a phone package or fibre broadband? Check out the other offers from Direct Save Telecom!

Only available within Direct Save Telecom's low cost network area, more expensive packages are available for those outside of their network area. One-off setup fee of £24.95 applies along with £8.95 delivery fee for the router. Calls to UK landlines cost 15.75p to connect and then 9.5p a minute.

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Sky: Choose a £100 reward or an LG 32" TV

Expired: Record Breaking Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deals

Posted by Fiona Conner on in NewsOffersExpiredEE MobileHyperopticTalkTalkSkyBTPlusnet

Despite not having celebrated a family holiday yesterday, Britain still gets to enjoy America's traditional equivalent to the January sales, Black Friday, with headline grabbing special offers available not just today, but all weekend and on Monday too.

This year several broadband suppliers have jumped onto the Black Friday bandwagon and are offering some record breaking special offers, some of the best we've ever seen.

Sky TV have a rewards blowout with a choice of high value rewards including a free 32" LG TV or a LG Soundbar on Broadband and TV bundles and the option of a Galaxy Tab 4 tablet computer with standalone broadband for new customers!

Plusnet have brought back one of their best ever offers, adding an additional £75 cashback on their 12 months free broadband on a 12 month contract offer, meaning that you actually earn back £68 over the first year! You do need to pay Plusnet for a phone line, but this is as cheap as £15.49 monthly equivalent when paid upfront.

TalkTalk have slashed the all in monthly cost of their broadband for the first year with 12 months half price line rental on top of 18 months free broadband on an 18 month contract! So that's just £8.85 all in monthly cost for a year. What's more the line rental discount applies to TalkTalk Fibre and TalkTalk Plus TV too which are both half price for a year!

If you're looking for mobile broadband offers, 4GEE's Black Friday weekend offer sees both their popular portable WiFi devices FREE and a monthly contract with 50GB of data only £25 per month!

And if you're lucky enough to live in one of Hyperoptic's connected buildings, you can get their ultrafast and hyperfast broadband free for the first 3 months with a £100 Amazon voucher reward!

Check out which offers are available where you live or call 0800 093 0405 to speak to one of our advisers. Hurry, all offers end soon!

Offers only apply to new customers of the relevant broadband provider who sign up online who do not need a new telephone line or number. Minimum contracts apply for all deals. Line rental required on all but Hyperoptic's deals. Setup costs and additional charges may apply. Offers may be restricted to particular coverage areas. Rewards must be claimed online after activation. One reward per household. Unless otherwise stated, offers are valid until the end of 2015-11-30. Offers may be withdrawn or amended at any time. Click through to the providers' websites for further details, terms and conditions and confirmation of eligibility.

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National Average Speeds October 2015

Average download speeds increase over October 2015, Virgin Media see gains with 200Mb rollout

Posted on in AnnouncementsNewsEE MobileVodafoneTalkTalkThreeO2SkyVirgin MediaBTPlusnet

October 2015 saw average download speeds for fixed line providers recorded by users of our broadband speed test rise by 2.76Mb in comparison to the results from September, coming in at 21.88Mb. Average upload speeds saw a 0.4Mb increase to 4.65Mb.

Virgin Media's average download speeds rose by 6.31Mb to 48.66Mb, with upload speeds also improving to 6.64Mb. Virgin have recently begun rolling out their 200Mb service for new and existing customers, which accounts for the significant increase in download speeds.

BT Broadband retain second place with average download speeds increasing by 1.32Mb to 18.84Mb, and upload speeds increasing by 0.45Mb to 5.59Mb. Plusnet hold third place, remaining stable at 15.09Mb for average download speeds with only a 0.33Mb decrease to 4.25Mb for average upload speeds. TalkTalk stay in fourth place, with download speeds at 12.89Mb and upload speeds at 2.32Mb. Finally, Sky are in fifth place with a 0.87Mb rise in download speeds, putting them at 12.76Mb, while their upload speeds increased by 0.38Mb to 3.64Mb.

With the recent improvements to our speed test, we're now able to record results from mobile users on their phones and tablets. EE Mobile are in first place, with download speeds averaging at 17.81Mb and upload speeds at 5.36Mb. Vodafone are in second place, with download speeds at 12.95Mb and upload speeds at 3.79Mb. O2 are in third place with download and upload speeds at 11.03Mb and 3.81Mb respectively. This leaves Three in fourth place, with average download speeds of 9.03Mb and upload speeds of 3.45Mb.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for October 2015

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Virgin Media

Virgin Media's new VIVID ultrafast broadband sees top speeds boosted to 200Mb downloads

Posted on in NewsOffersVirgin Media

Virgin Media were already the fastest of the big broadband providers, but since the 1st of October they've become even faster! With the introduction of the new hybrid fibre-coaxial VIVID packages, Virgin Media customers can enjoy download speeds of up to 200Mb!

The speed difference compared to fibre-to-the-cabinet competitors is thanks to Virgin Media's DOCSIS 3 technology. Their insulated coaxial cable houses a thicker copper core and is run directly into your home. This means that there's much less signal loss than there is over the copper phone lines used by most fibre broadband providers, so the speeds you can get are much faster and you won't experience slowdowns with distance from Virgin's street cabinets. The launch of VIVID sees tweaks to the protocol and technology used to get even more speed out of Virgin's existing hybrid fibre-coaxial network.

Interested? Why not use our postcode checker to see if you can get Virgin Media in your area, then check out the following better than half price deals!

VIVID 100 plus Phone Weekends - £9.99 a month for the first year
VIVID 200 plus Phone Weekends - £14.99 a month for the first year

Want to add a Virgin Media TV package, currently reduced in price for 9 months? VIVID Big Bundles start from only £19.99 a month. The Big Bang package comes with 130+ channels and VIVID 100. If you want the faster VIVID 200 speeds, then the Big Kahuna bundles come with over 230 channels, while the Big Daddy has over 260!

Existing customers can also benefit from the faster speeds with the option to opt into a speed increase rolling out between the 1st of October and June 2016, with 90% of customers expected to have the option available by the end of 2015. Customers on slower speed tiers are also expected to see a boost in upload speeds.

Looking for a cheaper Virgin Media package or standalone broadband without phone or TV bundled in? Explore the rest of the packages that Virgin Media have on offer!

Broadband discount offers for new customers only. Time limited introductory offers. Products only available in Virgin Media cabled streets - use our postcode checker to find out if this is available in your area. £49.95 set-up fee applies to standalone broadband packages. Line rental required for phone and TV bundles at £16.99 a month, or £164 for a year up front.

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Direct Save Telecom

Direct Save rebrands to improve customer experience

Posted on in NewsDirect Save

Direct Save have recently revamped their website to make it easier on the eye and to navigate around so that customers can easily find what they're looking for. The new-look website that works smoothly on both computers and mobile devices also makes the process of buying broadband from Direct Save much simpler, be it online or over the phone.

Direct Save offer a range of products to customers, including basic broadband and phone bundles, Fibre Optic broadband, and Fibre to the Home in selected areas. They are also one of the few Internet Service Providers who provide no contract ADSL broadband, allowing customers to control their account on a month by month basis, making these packages ideal for people in short-term accommodation and for students in need of cheap broadband.

Interested in taking a broadband package from Direct Save? Why not browse through the deals available, including three months free on selected Fibre products!

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National Average Speeds March 2015

Minor drops in download speeds for majority of ISPs during March 2015

Posted on in AnnouncementsNewsTalkTalkSkyVirgin MediaBTPlusnet

March 2015 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test drop slightly by 0.32Mb in comparison to the results from February, coming in at 21.11Mb. Average upload speeds remained stable at 4.22Mb.

Virgin Media's average download speeds dropped by a further 1.29Mb to 39.69Mb, with upload speeds remaining stable at 5.34Mb. BT Broadband hold second place with average download and upload speeds remaining stable at 19.85Mb and 5.81Mb. Plusnet remain in third place, with download speeds taking a 1.15Mb hit down to 14.59Mb with a 0.29Mb increase to 5.08Mb for average upload speeds. TalkTalk stay in fourth place, with download speeds increasing by 0.78Mb to 14.26Mb and upload speeds holding stable at 1.76Mb. Finally, Sky are in fifth place with a 0.57Mb decrease to download speeds, putting them at 12.8Mb, with upload speeds falling slightly to 3.24Mb.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for March 2015

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Ofcom

The process for switching broadband providers is changing in June

Posted on in AnnouncementsNews

While Internet Service Providers try to make switching broadband as easy and smooth as possible, the current system has become outdated and complicates matters for many customers. Originally, MAC migration codes were designed to standardise the process for all broadband switches, but they don't apply when you're also moving your line rental and phone service to the new provider. These days most providers now have their own equipment in your local telephone exchange, and most require you to take their telephone services bundled in with your broadband, so MAC codes aren't needed. Once you've switched to one of these providers the system to switch back changes again. It can get quite confusing and frustrating trying to switch between providers.

Sometimes, due to differences in technology and systems being used, you may find you have to cancel your entire service with one provider before you can switch to a new one with someone else. This is known as 'cease and reprovide', and can result in downtime and unexpected extra charges for both disconnection and new line activation, as well as possibly causing you to lose your telephone number in the process. The threat of losing your phone number can lead people to feel trapped with their current provider. Putting up with high prices or poor service may be seen as a better option than the stress and inconvenience of changing phone numbers.

The good news is that Ofcom have announced new regulations which are due to come into effect late June of this year, which will mean that all home broaband providers will be switching to the new Gaining Provider Led system. This will greatly simplify the process for customers, improving consistency across providers and making the process easier regardless of the type of broadband service you've chosen. From the 20th of June, customers will only have to contact the supplier they want to switch to, they will no longer need to ask their existing provider for a MAC code. Once this is done, the old provider will be required to provide a letter as a formal notification of the service ending, informing the customer of any final charges (such as for broadband usage or phone calls not yet paid for) that may apply.

The new system should also mean that the majority of people switching broadband and phone should be able to do so without losing their number, and all services should be transferred at the same time to ensure a minimal loss of service. As long as the service will be provided over the same telephone line, you shouldn't have to worry about these. However, if you're moving from, for example, a Virgin Media cable broadband service with a totally independent cable telephone line to a service that runs over BT telephone lines, you will still need to cease this cable service and ask for your new provider to either activate your old BT line or install a new one. In this case, every effort should still be taken to ensure you get to keep your phone number.

This new system won't come into force until the 20th of June, but is something that you need to be aware of if you're planning to switch providers. Ofcom provide a guide to the process of switching broadband providers which will be kept up to date as the new regulations comeinto force.

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National Average Speeds February 2015

Average download speeds see slight decrease over February 2015, with increase in speeds for Sky

Posted on in AnnouncementsNewsEETalkTalkSkyVirgin MediaBTPlusnet

February 2015 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test drop by 0.48Mb in comparison to the results from January, coming in at 21.43Mb. Average upload speeds saw a 0.23Mb increase to 4.32Mb.

Virgin Media's average download speeds dropped again by 0.63Mb to 40.98Mb, with upload speeds remaining stable at 5.5Mb. BT Broadband remain second place with average download speeds dropping by 0.53Mb to 19.87Mb, though upload speeds increased by 0.29Mb to 5.97Mb. Plusnet hold third place, remaining stable at 15.74Mb for average download speeds with a 0.38Mb increase to 4.78Mb for average upload speeds. TalkTalk are also stable in fourth place, with download speeds at 13.22Mb and upload speeds at 1.75Mb. Finally, Sky are in fifth place with a strong 1.34Mb increase to download speeds, putting them at 13.37Mb, with upload speeds increased by 0.49Mb to 3.44Mb.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for February 2015

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