In this guide
- What is ultrafast broadband?
- Superfast and Ultrafast Broadband Speeds
- Ultrafast Broadband Providers
- BT, Virgin Media, EE and Sky
- Full fibre broadband providers
Superfast broadband refers to internet connection with 30Mbps+ download speeds whereas ultrafast broadband connection comes with 100Mbps+ download speed. Both connections need not be fully fibre (Fibre to the Premises) which is called pure fibre broadband.
Ultrafast speeds are ideal for very busy households, for streaming HD and 4K videos, video calling and online gaming.
By comparison, superfast broadband is great for small households, for similar online activities.
Standard ADSL broadband connections deliver up to 17Mbps (mega bits per second) through pure copper network. They are not superfast and speeds lag and reduce drastically over distances.
Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) broadband connections which are common in the UK offer average download speed of 35 – 38Mbps through a hybrid network of fibre and copper. They are superfast and offer faster and reliable speeds required for streaming videos and sharing on multiple devices
Ultrafast Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband connections can ideally offer 1Gbps (gigabits per second) download speeds through fully fibre network, however, it’s not widely available in the UK and also its costs are very expensive.
Ultrafast G.fast broadband is technological tweak on FTTC broadband to offer speeds from 100Mbps up to 1Gbps. Openreach rolls out this broadband to offer affordable, ultrafast fibre broadband to businesses and homes across the UK.
Virgin Media cable broadband is mostly hybrid of fibre optic and co-axial cables and delivers average speed of 54Mbps – 516Mbps to the UK homes. It also has its own FTTP or pure fibre network which can offer gigabit speeds.
BT offers two ultrafast fibre packages – Ultrafast Fibre Plus and Ultrafast Fibre Plus 2 with guaranteed speeds of up to 100Mbps and 150Mbps respectively. Delivered via fully fibre and G.fast networks, the packages include Smart Hub 2 wireless router, free access to BT public WiFi hotspots, 1000GB cloud storage, parental controls and Virus Protect for 15 devices. 24 month contract and setup cost apply. Availability: 10% of the UK premises
Ultrafast Fibre Plus comes with average download of 145Mbps and upload of 30Mbps and costs £39.99 a month for 24 months .
Ultrafast Fibre Plus 2 comes with average download of 300Mbps and upload of 48Mbps and costs £49.99 a month for 24 months .
Virgin Media offers more range of ultra fast speeds than any other provider in the UK. They are also widely available to the UK homes. Availability: 50% of the UK premises
There are ultra fast packages and bundles – M100 fibre, M200 fibre and M350 fibre. Triple play bundles include up to M500 fibre broadband plans.
For package details, pricing and latest pricing, read our Virgin broadband review
EE Home Broadband
EE has also included ultrafast plans for broadband users. It’s a brand of BT, having similar coverage and features.
EE offers two packages – Fibre Max 1 and Fibre Max 2. Deals include free Smart hub and 20GB mobile data boost. 18 month contract and setup costs apply. Availability: 10% of the UK premises
EE Fibre Max 1 Broadband
145Mbps average download speed. Monthly cost: £36 a month for 18 months .
EE Fibre Max 2 Broadband
300Mbps average download speed. Monthly cost: £43 a month for 18 months
Sky has just launched its own ultrafast broadband packages which are Ultrafast 1 and Ultrafast 2 which come with guaranteed download speed o 100Mbps.
Sky ultrast broadband packages include Sky Q Hub 2 wireless router, Sky Broadband Boost and free Sky public WiFi. 18 month contract and setup costs apply
Sky Ultrafast 1 broadband
145Mbps average download speed. 27Mbps average upload speed. Monthly cost: £39 a month for 18 months .
Sky Ultrafast 2 broadband
285Mbps average download speed. 45Mbps average upload speed. Monthly cost: £49 a month for 18 months
Hyperoptic is full fibre broadband provider (FTTP) offering superfast and hyperfast speeds (above 300Mbps). It has its own fibre network which is available to just 500k premises in selected cities though it aims to reach 2m premises by 2022.
Hyperoptic offers two ultra fast plans – Superfast and Hyperfast. Both are available as broadband only or broadband & phone options. Broadband & phone bundles include free evening and weekend calls. 12 month and 1 month rolling contracts. Activation cost applies.
150Mbps average download speed. 150Mbps average upload speed. Monthly cost: £29 a month for 12 months
900Mbps average download speed. 900Mbps average upload speed. Monthly cost: £48 a month for 12 months
Gigaclear is a small FTTP provider, offering full fibre broadband in rural areas across the UK. There are separate plans for homes and businesses. With 20k+ customers, Gigaclear is currently available in selected areas in the UK.
Gigaclear Home broadband offers two ultrafast plans – GO 300 and GO 900 which come with average download speed of 300Mbps and 900Mbps respectively. 18 month contract and activation costs apply.
Gigaclear Business broadband offers three ultrafast plans – Business 100 (100Mbps average), Business 250 (250Mbps average), Business 500 (500Mbps average) and Business Ultra (900Mbps average). 18 month contract and activation costs apply.