What broadband can I get in Manchester?

For a long time Manchester has been an industrial city of science and technology, and it’s got some darn good music as well. It’s been kind of behind other major cities when it comes to speedy broadband, however, but it’s catching up. Now, almost anywhere you go in Manchester, you’ll find fibre optic connections and nice fast speeds.

Pretty much everywhere in the city is covered by BT (www.bt.com) - and if that’s not enough, all of the provider’s Manchester exchanges are fibre optic. So wherever you are, it’s fairly likely that your area can access superfast broadband. There’s also a good chance you can get a package from Sky (www.sky.com), TalkTalk (www.talktalk.co.uk), Plusnet (www.plus.net), or Fuel (www.fuelbroadband.co.uk).

Broadband from Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com) is available too, though only in limited areas. You’ll find it in the absolute centre of the city, including around Spinningfields, but not in the rest of the area around the centre. Its network does stretch quite widely across Greater Manchester, however, covering parts of Salford, Pendlebury, Droylsden, and Stretford.

Ultrafast provider Hyperoptic also covers a few premises, mostly near the centre and in more commercial areas.

Speed-wise, broadband in Manchester has very few problems. ADSL connections are likely to have speeds of at least 8Mb, and likewise, fibre optic is almost entirely available with speeds above 24Mb. There are quite a few not-spots where it struggles to reach 4Mb, but they’re not limited to any particular area. That’s why it’s always important to use the postcode checker above to see exactly what you can expect where you are - especially as things like your neighbourhood, the kind of building you live in, and your local street cabinet can all affect what packages are available to you.

Read more about local broadband deals.

Or, find out about broadband in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, and Sheffield.

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FAQs

  1. How do I switch broadband provider?

    The process of changing your broadband provider is actually pretty straightforward. First, you put your postcode into our impartial comparison tool. We’ll display the broadband, phone and TV deals available where you live, and then you can use our search filters to narrow down the options and find the perfect package for your household. Finally, you sign up with your new provider online. They’ll contact your existing provider and take care of everything else for you (unless you're switching to or from Virgin Media).

    The actual switch should be virtually seamless, and in the vast majority of cases it is. Your new broadband provider will send you all the stuff you need to get set up, like a new wireless router and/or TV set-top box.

  2. How long does it take to switch broadband?
    When you sign up to a new provider, they’ll contact your existing one and request a transfer of your service. The only exception is when you're switching to or from Virgin Media, in which case you'll have to call and cancel. While switching times vary depending on the type of package, it shouldn’t usually take more than 10 working days. It can take longer if you don’t currently have a phone line, as an engineer will need to come out and install one for you.
  3. Can I keep my email address if I change provider?
    This depends entirely on who your current provider is. If your email address is from BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, or Plusnet, you'll still have access to your emails at least temporarily - but we'd suggest changing over to a free service like Gmail or Outlook so you don't need to worry about losing all your emails just for switching broadband. See our guide for more info.
  4. Can I get broadband without a phone line?
    Cable giant Virgin Media is the only major UK provider to offer broadband without a telephone line. Its fibre optic network is completely separate from the copper phone wire network that ordinarily connects you to the web. Aside from this, the only alternative is to use mobile broadband instead - then you have no requirement for a landline. But, if your internet use is anything other than particularly light, this might just prove to be too slow or too restrictive to need your needs.
  5. Can I save money by bundling TV, phone and broadband?
    Yes you can. Providers like Sky and Virgin Media offer competitively priced bundles, comprising broadband, home phone and TV, and getting all three services from the same place often leads to significant savings. It also makes it easier to manage finances, as all services come on a single bill.
  6. I'm moving house - how do I get a phone line?
    Unless you're moving to a new build, there's a good chance your new home will already have a phone line, and you'll just need to get it activated or connected to your chosen provider. If not, however, your new provider will give you all the info you need for getting a new one installed when you sign up to a package. Some will even install it for free when you sign up.
  7. Do I need fibre optic broadband?

    Fibre optic broadband is much faster and much more reliable than broadband through the phone line, but it’s not essential for everyone. If you just want to browse the web, check email, Facebook, Twitter etc, you’ll be fine with standard broadband through the phone line.

    However, if you stream a lot of video, download music, films and games, and other such activities, you will likely find a fibre connection hugely beneficial.

    It’s also a boon for large households, especially ones with lots of gadgets like smartphones, tablets, and computers connected up most of the time. The more people using a connection, the slower it will be, so if you have a big family where lots of people want to connect to the web at the same time, for example, a fibre connection will ensure everyone can get a good experience.