How to get more from your broadband

Published: 19 July 2023

You could get faster, cheaper broadband than your current deal.

Millions of broadband customers could be able to get a faster service or a cheaper package than the one they currently have.

We want to give you the information you need to speak to your provider and find out if you’re getting the best package for your needs.

Superfast broadband is available to more than nine in ten premises in the UK, but we want to help more people take up faster services.

Find out if you can get more from your broadband by checking what services are available in your area.

1. Check your broadband

Millions of broadband customers have passed their initial contract period and are paying more than they need to. You could be one of them.

The good news is you could get a cheaper package by speaking to your provider, or shopping around. You could also get a faster service.

View broadband availability

Please enter your postcode to see the broadband services that are present at your location.

2. Find out what broadband speed you need

We all use our broadband differently. Find out what to look for to get the broadband that suits your needs.

I don’t use the internet much, so all I want is a reliable service at a good price.

Broadband speedometer pointing at 10 Megabits per second. This speed is acceptable for basic browsing on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

You use your broadband to follow the news, keep in touch with friends and family and some online shopping.

I get frustrated when my TV streaming service buffers or the connection drops off.

Broadband speedometer pointing at 30 megabits per second. This speed is acceptable for internet browsing and streaming music and video content.

You use your broadband for all the basics, as well as watching TV shows and films and listening to music.

Our broadband needs to cope with a lot of us being online at the same time – making sure we don’t lose the connection.

Broadband speedometer pointing at 300 megabits per second. This speed is acceptable for all broadband needs, such as browsing, streaming, gaming - all at the same time.

A whole household using broadband throughout the day for things, like working online, streaming, gaming, video-calling or uploading.

3. Use our tips to get the best deals

Now you’re ready to buy broadband with confidence. It’s time to speak to your provider and shop around to find the best deal for you.

There are lots of deals available, and choosing the right one can be tricky. If you’re speaking to your current provider or shopping around, here’s what to check.

Questions to ask your broadband provider

  • Am I still in my initial contract period?
  • How much am I paying?
  • What am I getting for that price?
  • How fast should my broadband be to do the things I want?
  • Can I get a faster service, and how much will it cost?
  • How long is that contract for?
  • Are there any connection fees with a new deal?
  • What happens at the end of the initial contract period?

Once you have the information, you can decide to:

  1. upgrade to a faster service
  2. stick with the same speed service, but sign up to a new deal with your provider
  3. switch to a new deal with a different provider
  4. stick with the deal you're on

Need more help?

If you’re not happy with what your current provider is offering, you can shop around for a deal that suits you.

You could use a price comparison site to check the different deals on offer. Ofcom accredits a number of comparison sites to ensure they are accurate, accessible, transparent and up-to-date.

If you need any extra help or advice you can contact Ofcom on 0300 123 3333.

Other ways to boost your broadband

It can be frustrating when you can’t get online. But even if you’re not able to change the deal you’re on, there are things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of your broadband:

  • Check for interference with other devices or your landline
  • Check your router is connected properly
  • Speak to your provider about upgrading your router
  • Make sure your broadband is password protected so others aren’t using it who shouldn’t be
  • Talk to your broadband provider about your problems – an engineer visit may be able to fix it.

How to complain about your broadband

If you want to complain about your broadband, contact your provider. They should offer you practical steps to help fix an issue, or might send replacement equipment or an engineer.

Ofcom’s broadband speeds code of practice also means you have the right to exit your contract without being penalised if your provider fails to deliver the minimum speeds they promised when you took out the contract.

If your provider fails to repair a fault by the date promised, or you are unhappy with how long it is taking, follow their formal complaints procedure. This should be explained on their website or by their customer services team.

If your problem is still unresolved after eight weeks, you can complain to an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme. Ask your provider for a ‘deadlock’ letter so that you can refer your dispute to the relevant ADR scheme directly before the eight week mark.

There are two ADR schemes: the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS) and Communications Ombudsman. All providers must belong to one of the schemes.

Your provider will tell you which scheme it is a member of, or you can use our ADR checker.

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