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Why do we need your postcode?

We don’t want to show you a load of deals that you can’t actually get, so by giving us your postcode we show you only the deals that are available where you live. We don’t share your postcode with anyone else. Take a look at our privacy policy to find out more.

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Supercharge your broadband

With blisteringly fast speeds, and impressive reliability, fibre optic broadband’s perfect for shared households, large families, or anyone who likes to watch TV and movies, listen to music or play games online. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s so special about fibre optic broadband?

If you want to get the most out of the internet, you need a fibre optic broadband connection.

Why? Well, it's the fastest type of broadband you can get in the UK for starters. Compared to a standard broadband connection, fibre is like Usain Bolt on rocket-powered rollerskates, making browsing the web as smooth as butter and allowing you to download movie-size files in just a few minutes.

Read on, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about superfast fibre optic broadband deals, including how to get it, how to find out whether you can get it, and whether or not you really need it.

Video: Fibre optic broadband

Which providers offer fibre optic broadband?

Most national broadband providers now offer fibre optic broadband packages. So if you’re interested in a superfast package, you might want to consider the likes of:

To compare fibre optic deals, enter your postcode into the box above to see what you can get in your area.

To find out what's best between BT Infinity and Sky Fibre, including deals and features, see our BT Infinity vs Sky Fibre review.

Can I get fibre optic broadband in my area?

One of the biggest drawbacks of fibre broadband is that not everyone can get it yet. In some areas, you may be able to pick and choose from loads of fibre optic deals, whereas in others - particularly in the countryside - you may find you have no options at all.

That's changing though. Fibre optic broadband's now available to more than two thirds of homes and businesses in the UK and, supported by government investment, that's likely to hit 95% by 2017.

So, if you're interested in getting fibre optic broadband right now, you should check to make sure you can get it. Pop your postcode into the box above to see what fibre optic deals are available in your area.

What can you do with fibre optic broadband?

The extra grunt you get from fibre will give general browsing a boost, but there are some online activities where you'll really see a the difference. Here are just a few:

You can download files, including films and music, very quickly

Fibre optic broadband download speeds are so fast that downloading files becomes a snap. With a 100Mb connection, for example, you can download a DVD quality movie in less than five minutes, and an entire album in just a few seconds.

The whole family can get online at the same time

Your internet gets slower if lots of people are using it at once. Large households often find that they can’t do what they want as a result. With fibre that's less of an issue. Your connection will still get slower, but because it's so much faster to start with, it's unlikely to drop to unusable levels.

You can stream films and TV in high-definition

If you like to watch TV and films online, through services like BBC iPlayer and NOW TV, or subscription services like YouView from BT and TalkTalk, you'll love fibre. It gives the smoothest possible experience, with minimal loading, or interruptions, even in high-definition (HD).

It makes gaming smoother and faster

If you're a serious gamer, you need fast broadband. It could help performance of multiplayer games - ensuring you don't miss the crucial moment in a match on FIFA 2014 or a once-in-a-lifetime headshot in Call of Duty. But more importantly, it will let you download the games themselves, extra content, and updates and patches very quickly, so you spend more time playing and less time waiting to play.

You can make video calls reliably

Phone calls are good and all, but sometimes you want to speak to someone face to face. On a video screen. It's especially useful if you have friends and family overseas. Online video calls and conferences can be data-intensive, and the faster your connection the smoother your experience will be.

Do I need fibre optic broadband?

For some people fibre optic broadband does indeed revolutionise their lives, but it is more expensive than regular broadband, and you don’t necessarily need it. So who does?

You will are likely to benefit from fibre optic broadband if you:

  • Have a large family living in the same house
  • Share accommodation with more than one other person
  • Watch a lot of movies online
  • Regularly use online TV catch-up services like BBC iPlayer
  • Have a TV service like YouView, which allows you to stream content from the web
  • Regularly upload photos and videos to the web
  • Play games online
  • Regularly download and upload large files
  • Use video calling services like Skype on a regular basis

However, if you live alone or in a small household, and typically only use the internet for checking email, going on Facebook, and occasionally watching iPlayer, you can probably save money by picking a cheaper non-fibre package. To see what else is out there, simply use our broadband comparison service.

How does fibre optic broadband work?

Unlike telephone lines - which have essentially been repurposed to carry broadband - fibre optic cables are custom-built for broadband. Information is transmitted as flashes of light. The thing about light is that it travels extremely quickly. There's less chance of interference slowing down fibre too.

This means the broadband speeds you get from a fibre package are much faster than you'd get from a 'traditional' connection, and you get speeds much closer to the ‘up to’ speeds advertised by providers to boot.

That's not to say speeds will be exactly the same as advertised, mind you. Most superfast packages use fibre optic cables to your nearest cabinet - the green box on or near your street - and run from there Into the home via copper telephone wire, which is unreliable and prone to interference at the best of times. As a result, some drop in speed is inevitable - how much depends on the distance covered.

The exception to the rule is Virgin Media, which has its own network. In this case, coaxial cables - which are designed to reduce interference - run right into the house, so you are more likely to get the up to speeds advertised with Virgin Media than you are with other fibre broadband providers.

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Find and compare deals in your area

Why do we need your postcode? More Info
Why do we need your postcode?

We don’t want to show you a load of deals that you can’t actually get, so by giving us your postcode we show you only the deals that are available where you live. We don’t share your postcode with anyone else. Take a look at our privacy policy to find out more.

Need help? Give us a call 0800 380 0068

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Fibre Optic Broadband FAQs

  1. How do I get fibre broadband?

    Put your postcode into our comparison tool to see what’s available where you live. You’ll need an active phone line for the majority of fibre services, such as BT Infinity, as they’re delivered like standard broadband.

    The main exception is Virgin Media, which doesn't require a phone line because it uses a separate network. Once you've found a package that ticks all the boxes, click through to the provider’s website and sign up. Then it won’t be long before you’re all set up.

  2. How fast is fibre broadband?

    Speeds vary between providers and packages, but most fibre broadband offers download speeds of up to 30Mb or faster. BT Infinity, Sky Fibre and TalkTalk fibre broadband have speeds of up to 38Mb or 76Mb depending on the package. Virgin Media cable broadband is even faster, with speeds of up to 152Mb on top-end bundles.

    While ‘up to’ speeds are never guaranteed, when you’re on fibre the speeds you receive are typically closer to the advertised speeds than with standard broadband.

  3. What fibre package should I get?
    Think about how the people you live with use the internet. Does everyone connect to the Wi-Fi at the same time? If so, you’ll want a faster speeds and an unlimited package. Think about things it’d be nice to have too, like Sky Sports or Sky Movies, and see if there’s a bundle that includes them. Try not to forget your budget. A lot of offers expire after a few months, leaving you with a bigger bill for the remainder of your contract, so don’t sign up until you’re 100% sure what you’ll be paying.
  4. How long does it take to switch to fibre?
    It varies between providers, but usually within a couple of weeks from when you place the order. It can be much quicker, or it can be slightly longer, depending on whether you need an engineer to visit you. Your new provider will give you a more accurate idea of how long the switching process will take
  5. Can I keep my email address if I switch provider?
    Most providers don’t have a party line on it. Chances are, if you’re moving to a rival provider, you won’t be able to keep it. Ask your current provider before you switch though. If it’s a no, it’s not the end of the world. These days, you can move all your contacts in one go to a specialist email service like Gmail or Outlook - formerly known as Hotmail - then you’ll never be tied to a provider by your email address again.

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