We strongly recommend that you opt for a high-speed fibre broadband service if available in your area since fibre broadband offers significantly higher download and upload speeds at a very modest price premium compared with ADSL and ADSL2+ services.
The availability of fibre broadband is expected to increase rapidly over the next 18 months, and many new fibre street cabinets (like the one shown below) are appearing across the UK.
For the very latest information about fibre broadband across the UK, view our page:
Even if fibre broadband is not currently available, we recommend that you check availability on a regular basis. To do this, you can enter your postcode in the BT Openreach checker:
By spring 2014, BT had completed its £2.5bn commercial investment to roll out fibre broadband infrastructure to two-thirds of UK premises. However, to boost fibre broadband availability further, various fibre roll-out programmes are being led across the UK by local authorities (which are using a £530 million fund established by the UK Government). As a result, in some counties, fibre broadband will be available to more than 95% of premises by the end of 2015.
For some ISPs, the price premium between high-speed fibre broadband and standard ADSL broadband is small, so seize the opportunity if you can. To choose the best fibre broadband service, please read our Which Fibre ISP page.
For services based on BT’s fibre network, connection speeds are dependent upon the distance to your nearest BT fibre street cabinet, as described in our article Chart of BT FTTC (VDSL2) speed against distance from the cabinet. Users within about 300 metres of the fibre cabinet can expect to achieve about the maximum possible downstream connection speed (i.e. around 80 Mbps), with an upload connection speed of 20 Mbps.
The chart below shows the expected connection speed of BT’s fibre broadband (FTTC) service for different distances from the street cabinet:
Chart of BT FTTC speed against distance from the street cabinet
Speeds fall to about 60 Mbps when about 500 metres away from the street cabinet and, at 1 km, about 28 Mbps connection speed can be achieved. Many ISPs offer online checkers that provide an estimate of likely speeds. For more detailed information about high-speed fibre broadband services, visit our What is fibre broadband? FTTC and FTTP explained page.