Struggling with superslow broadband – join the superfast lane

Ultrafast Broadband
06 Feb, 19 by Phil Higgins

Some people complain about their slow broadband not knowing there are usually plenty of choices out there for faster speeds.

According to OFCOM, 97% of the city’s homes and businesses in Bristol now have access to superfast broadband (download speed of 30 mbps and above), however, take up is lagging far behind.  Nationally, only 45% of premises have taken up the offer of superfast speeds.  Why is that?  Traditionally, superfast packages have been more expensive than standard broadband packages – that will be part of the problem.  However, some people aren’t aware of the new superfast choices now available to them, others are confused about choices and deals; and some will be happy with standard broadband and won’t see the point in changing.

Why go superfast?

  • Much faster downloads and offloads
  • More fun and less annoying waiting and buffering
  • More productive when working from home or running a home business
  • Access to high definition streaming services from Netflix, BBC Iplayer and new 4k streaming services
  • Good for larger households using the internet at the same time

Find out more about superfast broadband – is it for you?

Going superfast

Like everything, if you shop around, you’ll get the best deal.  There are now some superfast packages which are only a few pounds more expensive than standard broadband.  Here’s some tactics in shopping around:

  • Check what’s available.  Use the Openreach superfast checker and Virgin Media checker to see what’s available.
  • Once you’ve established you’re covered by superfast – check out the packages available to you on price comparison website.  Here are the OFCOM accredited ones
  • Choosing a broadband package can be confusing.  The cheapest price may not be the best deal for you – think about how often you use the internet, what you use it for and whether your use is increasing with things, like music streaming and Netflix.
  • The cheapest deals will be around standard broadband, however, your average speed will be slow and you will struggle with multiple members of your household using the internet at the same time.  The internet’s much more fun with superfast and Bristol’s rate of internet data consumption is growing at an annual rate of 26%.
  • Look for fibre packages – you may find for a few quid extra, you can get much faster speeds
  • Superfast fibre comes in two flavours – so, you’ll typically find a package at just under 40 mbps; and another one at under 80 mbps.  The average speed quoted will be dependent on the length of copper cable from your fibre cabinet to your home.  The longer the copper cable, the slower your internet will be, hence why we are striving for full fibre in Bristol.

Tactics to get the right superfast deal for you

You’ll normally need to wait until the end of your current contract to shop around.   However, if your broadband provider notifies you of a price increase mid contract, under OFCOM rules they should give you the option to exit the contract without being penalised – find out more

Some great tips from the Money Saving Expert website about getting a deal on broadband and telephone.  Although with the rate of data consumption growth in Bristol and take up of services, like Netflix, we don’t agree that for many homes 10 mbps is enough!