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What is broadband?

We nonchalantly answer a question that has baffled man since the dawn of time...


Broadband is the name given to a high, or broad, bandwidth web connection. It allows for faster data transfer than the old dial-up technology. All the detail on web pages, and anything you want to watch or download, can load much quicker with broadband, and there are different types and speeds available.

How fast is broadband?

This varies considerably; the different broadband types allow for different potential speeds. Also, broadband can be affected by external factors. With ADSL broadband you could be offered maximum speeds of anywhere between 16 and 24Mbps, but your actual average could actually be half, or less.

With fibre-optic broadband you can expect much faster download speed, with different packages offering anything between 30 and 100Mbps as the maximum. Faster packages will cost more, but you should find that you can get much closer to the top speed, when compared with ADSL. The broadband speed available to you can be viewed using our Broadband Speed Test tool.

Can I get broadband?

More than 99% of the country can get some type of broadband, but the superfast fibre network is still being rolled out in various areas. As there are different types, you should have options available. For information about broadband types, please see our Types of Broadband guide.

How much does it cost?

The price of broadband will depend on the package you choose, as there are slower, low usage deals available for a very cheap monthly fee, whilst the top-level fibre packages with TV and calls would be considerably more expensive. However, even the top packages and bundle offers can be great value, as long as they provide what you need. Some people find more value in taking services from different providers, getting broadband from one and TV from another.

Which broadband package is best?

There is no single right answer because different providers and packages are suited to different customers. Compare broadband to browse a comprehensive list of offers based on your requirements.

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