This article was contributed by Kerry Butters on behalf of Broadband Genie, the consumer advice site for finding the best UK broadband
in the UK
When it comes to choosing a broadband provider in the UK, it
can seem a little daunting at first, with many options available. Whilst there
are special offers everywhere, if you change provider you also have to give
consideration to your specific needs. If you know exactly what you’re looking
for in a broadband deal, it makes it far easier to shop around for a service
tailored to your requirements.
Very often customers go with whatever is convenient. If your
ISP also provides your television channels and phone line, you can get a
package that is one payment per month, thus making it easy to understand
exactly what you’re paying for, with just one direct debit to pay. Just because
you are paying for all three in one go, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re
getting the best offer.
If you don’t use the internet that often and your priority
when choosing a provider is cost, there are some great deals available.
Companies offering broadband from as little as £3.25 per month as an
introductory offer for the first 9/12 months. These offers tend to have speeds
of around 14Mbit/s to 16Mbit/s.
This doesn’t mean that you will necessarily have to watch
you’re downloading at the same time. Many providers giving these offers have
unlimited downloads as part of the package and as such, these offers are
certainly worth considering.
There are even companies that offer fibre optic broadband,
unlimited downloads, free calls at weekends and evenings and to users of the
same supplier with up to 30Mbit/s for £4.00 with free installation. Very good for
an 18 month contract.
However, as always it isn’t that easy for everyone. The UK
ranks pretty low in the European ranking when it comes to broadband. There are
still millions of homes across the country with low internet speeds and no
access to fibre optic broadband and whilst the government’s claims that 90% of
all UK homes will have superfast broadband
by 2015, experts, including some ministers, have already questioned the
viability of this. The government have a plan to invest £680 million over the
next three years and many believe this just isn’t enough to fulfil their
Another very important thing to bear in mind when choosing
your broadband supplier is that claims of “speeds up to” are just that. The
fact that a provider is claiming speeds up to in a certain area, doesn’t
necessarily mean your home will get that speed. If you’re considering changing
your provider for one that is advertising quicker speeds, it makes sense to do
your homework first and look into what users of that supplier in your area are
saying about it.
Internet Service Providers claims and user’s experiences are
often poles apart. The best thing to do is go on forums, see what people in
your neighbourhood are saying are the best suppliers, as they are often far
more reliable than the ISP’s themselves. Nevertheless, broadband in the UK is
regulated by Ofcom and this is something that they say they are addressing as
If the government are to be believed though things aren’t looking too bleak for the future. The UK hopes to be a European leader in
broadband by 2020. If this is the case, then they are going to have to get a
move on very soon.