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Last updated: 07 June 2021
Thanks to countless technological innovations over the last 20 years, it’s now easier than ever to have high-speed internet in your home or business.
What speeds can broadband providers offer?
The speed of your broadband connection is measured in megabits per second (Mbps), and there are four main types that internet providers offer:
Standard speed (up to 17Mbps)
This is the most basic option available, provided by standard copper ADSL (Asymmetric digital subscriber line) wires. ADSL enables faster data transmission than a conventional voiceband modem can provide. Standard speed is suited for low-level users, who want only to surf the internet, send and receive emails, and occasionally watch videos online.
Fast fibre-optic (up to 38 – 52Mbps)
Using more modern fibre optic technology, this is a sophisticated connection that opens up a number of new possibilities. With these speeds you can watch HD online streams, upload and download heavy files and connect multiple devices.
Superfast fibre-optic (up to 76Mbps)
This is usually the highest fibre optic service your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will offer and provides your property with a strong and reliable connection. Superfast speeds let you comfortably play online games, and allow you to connect even more devices to the internet.
Ultrafast fibre optic (up to 350Mbps – 1GBps)
Unsurprisingly, ultrafast broadband isn’t available everywhere. You’ll have to be particularly well located in order to be eligible to receive this kind of coverage. But when you are, there’s not much you can’t do online! The only drawback is the cost and availability.
Which provider has the fastest broadband speeds?
Only a select few ISPs are offering ultrafast broadband speeds of up to a whopping 1GBps (1000 Mbps). Sky and TalkTalk are trialling an Ultra Fibre Optic service in some parts of York, as well as a lesser-known provider called Hyperoptic.
Virgin Media has the fastest and most widely available Ultrafast broadband service, with top speeds of 516Mbps. Compare broadband deals now to see if it’s available in your area.
Other providers, such as BT, TalkTalk and Plusnet (as well as the others mentioned above) offer enviable fibre-optic broadband speeds of up to 76Mbps.
How fast is Virgin Media broadband?
Virgin Media broadband runs off its own independent fibre optic network, thanks to the company’s seemingly endless resources.
Their M500 fibre broadband package was the most widely available deal of its kind, providing speeds of up to 516Mbps. According to their own research, around 44% of homes in the UK are able to receive this kind of coverage, and they expect to increase that to 53% within the next few years.
As of March 2021, Virgin Media is now able to provide average speeds of 600Mbps to many of these properties with its M600 connection. Customers signed up to the Virgin Media Ultimate Oomph bundle, which includes broadband, TV, phone and 4G, will have been automatically eligible for the speed upgrade when it came in.
How fast is Hyperoptic broadband?
A relative newcomer to the broadband scene, York-based firm Hyperoptic are creating waves with their reasonable prices and impressive performance capabilities of an average of 900 Mbps.