Home Broadband DealsGreat deals on home broadband access from the UK's top internet service providers including BT Infinity, Virgin Media, AOL, Sky, Plusnet and Be.
Home Broadband Deals
Over recent years the range of companies offering broadband internet access has increased greatly. This increased competition is great for consumers and means that broadband internet access is an area where you can save some real money.
Home broadband falls into three distinct types, each of which has it’s own maximum speed limits which is determined by the technology upon which is based:
Cable or fibre optic broadband such as BT Infinity and Virgin Cable Broadband is the most up-to-date method of internet access.
As the name suggests the broadband signal is transmitted from the network and into homes via fibre optic cables. These cables transmit data at a much greater speed than the older copper phone wires that have been used since almost the very birth of telecommunications.
Currently only two companies - BT Broadband and Virgin Media - are able to offer cable broadband in the UK.
Virgin Cable Broadband
Virgin Media was the first company to offer fibre broadband intenet access to UK consumers.
Virgin Media 100 is the fastest broadband internet service currently being offered in the UK. Promising connection speeds of up to 100Mbps this is a seriously fast internet system.
Other packages and Virgin Media bundles feature broadband access at up to 50Mbps (or slower for a reduced rate) and come with the added options of telephone and digital TV services.
Sadly Virgin Media are unable to offer fibre broadband or digital TV to the whole country. At the moment they reach roughly 55% of UK homes and businesses with this figure growing gradually each month as the Virgin Media network continues to be rolled out.
The BT fibre broadband system is called BT Infinity. With BT Infinity you can enjoy connection speeds of up to 40Mbps.
While, at up to 40Mbps, this is not nearly as fast as the Virgin Media 100Mbps broadband system it is still incredibly fast and should prove to be more than enough for almost all users.
BT Infinity is not available everywhere but the BT Infinity rollout is continuing apace.
And as with Virgin Media broadband subscribers to BT Infinity can combine their broadband internet access with telephone services and digital TV, all with the added convenience of paying for all of your services with a single monthly bill.
LLU, or Local Loop Unbundling, is a scheme whereby broadband providers other than BT are allowed to install equipment in local exchanges. This gives these third-party broadband providers the ability to offer a range of broadband packages to its customers.
Most of the UK’s broadband providers are able to offer LLU broadband to at least some portion of the country.
These providers include AOL Broadband, Be Broadband, BT Broadband, O2 Broadband, Plusnet, Plusnet business broadband, Sky, Tesco Broadband and Virgin Media.
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line broadband (or, more correctly ADSL2) is ‘traditional’ broadband.
The broadband signal is transmitted over the existing telephone network and, as such, connection speeds are a fraction of those enjoyed at the top end of those offered by fibre broadband.
The great news about ADSL broadband is that practically everyone can access it and, as it is such a well-established technology that is offered by lots of different providers, there are some great deals to be had and some real savings can be enjoyed.
How to save money on broadband internet access
Get all the freebies you can
Many providers will include a free wireless router or USB modem dongle when you subscribe. You may also qualify for free or reduced rate phone calls on certain bundles so make sure to check out all the different deals on our broadband page, or on a specialist broadband comparison site like Cable UK.
Make sure to get a package with the right download speed
As discussed above you may not need to go for super-fast 100Mbps broadband to enjoy the web.
If you are the type of person – or family – that mainly uses the internet for emailing friends, or for social networking on sites such as Facebook or Twitter then you shouldn’t notice any loss to your online experience by going for a slower, and cheaper, broadband package.
Even ADSL broadband at speeds of just a few Mbps should be enough for light internet users so if you’re this type of person you can save some real money by going for a slower broadband service.
However if you are a heavy internet user, especially one who downloads a lot of music or video, then you really should consider a faster service.
Bigger files, naturally, take longer to download than smaller files. Emails and Facebook status updates are tiny, especially in comparison to HD movies so if you will be using the web to build your movie connection or if you sit up playing Halo online into the small hours then fibre is probably the way to go if it is available to you. Otherwise we strongly recommend going for LLU broadband.
Make sure to get the right download allowance
Most broadband packages come with download limits and, you won’t be surprised to hear, the lower the broadband subscription charge, the lower this allowance will be.
Again, as discussed above, if the internet to you means Facebook, Twitter and little else then you can save yourself a lot of money by going for a package with a lower download allowance of, for example, 10GB.
Occasional users can save even more by going for broadband packages with just a 2GB monthly allowance.
Conversely if you are a high definition movie nut, or a hardcore Xbox or PS3 gamer then a higher allowance is essential. Don’t fall for false economy in download allowances. The last thing you want is for you connection to be curtailed – or lost - because you’ve reached your limit for the month too soon.