Field engineer installing a phone line in someone's home

Could gigabit broadband help to boost your home connection?

Published: 5 July 2023
Last updated: 5 July 2023

Our latest research shows that full-fibre broadband is now available to more than eight million UK homes, an increase of three million properties since last year.

Meanwhile, gigabit-capable broadband is available to 13.7 million homes. This includes full-fibre and upgraded cable networks that are capable of delivering download speeds of 1 Gbit/s or higher.

But at the same time, we’ve found that many households have not yet taken up on these services where they’re available to them. This means lots of people are missing out on better connections.

But what are the benefits of these faster broadband services and why should you be interested in taking them up?

There are three definitions of broadband that you might commonly hear.

  • 'Decent’ (offering 10 Mbit/s download and 1 Mbit/s upload): This allows you to make high-definition video calls using applications like Zoom, Teams, WhatsApp or Facetime, and you can download a 1 hour HD TV episode in around a quarter of an hour.
  • Superfast (offering at least 30 Mbit/s download): Typical uses include a person streaming 4K/UHD video. You can also download a one-hour HD TV episode in under four and half minutes. It also allows several devices to connect at the same time.
  • Gigabit (offering 1/Gbit/s and above download): Allows you to download a full 4K film (100GB) in under 15 mins. This is the fastest home internet available and is generally delivered over full-fibre networks or cable broadband.

It’s not just about speed!

While one of the benefits of gigabit broadband is speed, it’s also important to remember that these services are usually delivered over technologies (full fibre or upgraded cable networks) that give greater reliability and are future-proofed to help cope with higher demand.

Gigabit-capable broadband is available to


homes in the UK

Gigabit broadband is also good for data-hungry households where a number of people need to stream, work, game, video-call and study online on different devices at the same time. These types of household are on the rise – we’ve found that average monthly data use grew to 453 GB per connection – more than treble the level of five years ago.

Thinking about upgrading?

You could be one of the many households that could upgrade to a better broadband service at no extra cost.

And, thanks to a new switching process we recently announced, it’ll soon be easier and quicker than ever to switch your broadband provider.

When it comes to broadband speeds, thanks to our code of practice you’re entitled to get guaranteed speeds from providers in the scheme when you sign up to a service. If your service doesn’t deliver the speeds you were promised by your provider, get in touch with them. If the problem is on their network and they can’t fix it within 30 days, they must let you leave your contract without having to pay an early exit fee.

And finally – remember, lots of things could affect the broadband speeds you’re currently getting. Take a look at our tips on how to improve your speeds.

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