What is superfast broadband?

Crackly and squeaky dial-up is all a thing of the past and you can now get online pretty instantly with lightning fast speeds. Super-fast fibre broadband delivers average speeds above 30Mb, about three times faster than its slower ADSL cousin by using more sophisticated glass or plastic wires.

How does superfast broadband work?

Fibre is a type of broadband which uses newer technology to connect your home to the internet which means it's able to offer super-fast speeds. By contrast, standard ADSL connections are still made entirely through copper wires which were not designed for online gaming, lots of streaming, downloading or having multiple users in your home.

What superfast download speeds can I expect?

The speed you see advertised is the average received by at least 50% of providers' customers between 8pm and 10pm - when most people are online. It's best to use it as an indication of the speeds you may get, and you'll usually be shown an estimate of the speed you're likely to actually get by the provider before committing - based on the speeds of other customers with a similar connection. Here's a round-up of the average speeds the biggest firms offer:

  • BT offers superfast fibre options of 36Mb, 50Mb and 67Mb.
  • EE has 36Mb, 67Mb, 145Mb and 300Mb options.
  • Plusnet delivers 36Mb and 66Mb.
  • Sky advertises 36Mb and 63Mb.
  • TalkTalk offers the choice of 36Mb and 63Mb products.
  • Virgin Media customers can choose from 54Mb, 108Mb, 213Mb and 362Mb.
  • Vodafone has two options of 35Mb or 63Mb.