Is your broadband up to speed?

If you work from home, you’ll appreciate the need for a fast and reliable broadband connection – especially as the days of enjoying buffer-free internet access via the business broadband connection at your office seem like a lifetime ago.

But even if your broadband is up to speed, are you overpaying for it? A new study from Compare Fibre, the broadband comparison site, suggests millions of households could be overpaying by as much as £30 a month. Is your household one of them?

The study found that people paying £44.99 a month could get equivalent service for as little as £17.99 a month. This adds up to an eye-watering overspend of £648 over the course of a 24-month deal.

It also found massive differences in the speeds on offer – while Virgin charges £39.99 for it’s superfast 350Mpbs broadband, Sky charges the same for its 60Mbps broadband service. This means Virgin offers 290Mbps of additional speed for no extra cost (the caveat here being that not everyone can access Virgin broadband).

Does the area you live in affect speeds and rates?

With broadband speeds increasing and average costs falling at an average of £37.25 at the end of 2020 (1), comparing broadband packages is increasingly vital for Brits. What’s more, data released today by Compare Fibre reveals that households across the UK could be making costly mistakes by continuing to buy from the market leaders, BT, Virgin and Sky – meaning in some cases they’re paying nearly £650 more for broadband than they need to.

The UK’s leading fibre broadband comparison website uncovered differences when looking at identical broadband packages based on the lowest annual price during February 2021. The underlying infrastructure used to provide broadband was comparable.

Households in Birmingham can access Hyperoptic broadband at 30Mbps for £17.99/month. Spectrum Internet offers a 36Mbps product to the same homes for £44.99/month on a 24-month contract. Spectrum Internet customers would be paying 2.5 times the cost of an equivalent Hyperoptic service, which works out at nearly £650 over the 24 month contract period.

It’s a similar situation in Liverpool where 36Mbps Origin broadband is available at £20.99/month. EE customers are paying £36.00/month for the same service delivered over the Openreach network. That’s a whopping 171% more expensive.

In areas where alternative networks such as Zzoomm, Jurassic fibre, and Truespeed build fibre optic networks, there are considerable disparities in broadband speed received at equivalent price points.

Take Slough, for example, Toob offer 900Mbps for £25.00/month. The best deal on the BT website is 36Mbps for £26.99/month. Toob customers would get a remarkable 864Mbps of extra speed for £1.99 less per month.

The results also showed that if an alternative network provider covers your area, you should be shopping around when your broadband renewal is due.

What are the best broadband deals currently on offer?

Here are the best and the worst deals on offer by broadband provider in February 2021.

The best broadband deals

ProviderSpeedCost per month
Community Fibre1000Mbps£37.50
Hyperoptic 1000Mbps £40.00
Toob 900Mbps£25.00
Vodafone Gigafast 900Mbps£48.00
Zzoomm 2000Mbps£99

The worst broadband deals

ProviderSpeedCost per month
Spectrum Internet 36Mbps£44.99
EE 36Mbps£36.00
Plusnet 36Mbps£31.99
Vodafone 35Mbps£31.00
iTalk 35Mbps£30.49

What do the experts say?

Nathan Hill-Haimes, Co-Founder at Compare Fibre, commented: “People are invariably unaware of the provider choices available to their household, and think it takes ages to research the myriad of options, which isn’t true. Going through the broadband options on a comparison website only takes a few seconds, but it’s not a job that should be done too hastily. To get the best cover at the best price, you have to choose the site you use to compare carefully. Some comparison sites don’t show all of the deals, only the options the comparison site receives a commission for.”

“It’s worth trying a few comparison sites and making sure that you get a whole of market comparison. If cost is your primary driver for your purchasing decision, there are some considerable savings to be made, regularly check as the deals change daily. If you need higher speeds, you should compare the well-known names with the new alternative or challenger networks. You could get five, ten or even twenty times the speed you currently get.”

“Regardless of your location households should avoid letting their broadband contract run out of contract because firms tend to reserve their best prices for new customers. Shopping around at renewal is the easiest and most effective way of reducing your broadband charges, with significant savings as well as speed increases available.”

How a conference call can help with poor broadband speeds

If your broadband isn’t up to speed, video conferencing can be a write-off. But using means you can meet up with up to 100 particpants at once, using your standard phone line or mobile signal. No more suffering with buffering.