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What internet speed do you really need?

We’re always get asked, what internet speed do I need? So, here we explain more about the internet, the infrastructure we use, and what that means for your internet speeds.


What’s the difference between cooper and fibre networks?

Firstly, when we talk about internet speed, it just means how fast data travels to and from the internet. This is the thing that will affect your service the most. Normally, it’s measured in megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps). So, the higher those numbers, the faster your internet is, and the more reliable your service will be.

You can test your speed and find out how many Mbps you’re getting, here.

So, what speeds do you need for everyday use of the internet?

Let’s face it, we all stream TV shows and movies these days, often on more than once device, and there’s nothing more annoying that endless buffering. For the average family of four we’d recommend an internet connection of 130Mbps or more. At this speed, your whole family can stream the TV shows they want, at the same time, without any buffering. You can even stream in UHD and still get a seamless service.

If you’re a household with a gamer in your midst then you’re going to want even higher speeds, with a minimum of 300Mbps or more, and up to 900Mpbps if you’ve more than one gamer, or for any PC Gamers. You’ll also want good upload and download speeds. Some broadband doesn’t offer symmetrical upload/download speeds which won’t be great for PC gamers.

The same goes for home workers. If that’s you, you’ll want to ensure you have good upload and download speeds too (we’ve explained this more clearly below). And, as always, the higher the speeds (as in 150Mbps or above) the more reliable your service.

What’s an upload speed?

This is the speed at which you can send information. So, this affects how long it takes you to upload files, photos or videos. It will also impact the quality of your video calls, virtual meetings and real-time online collaboration tools: with your video feed getting pixelated or freezing to those on the receiving end.

If you’re a gamer, slow upload speeds are a big no-no. Depending on how slow your upload speeds are, you could begetting a lot of lag, affecting your ability to respond quickly in real-time multiplayer games.

What’s a download speed?

This is the speed you receive information. So, this will affect your overall web browsing experience and how well you can stream videos and audio without experiencing the dreaded buffer. Basically, any way you access the internet (Netflix, music streaming services, loading webpages, making video calls), this will be impacted.

If you’re interested in finding out more about whether you’re ready to get connected to the Fibre Heroes network, check your availability here.

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What’s the difference between copper and fibre networks?

When it comes to understanding what fibre internet is, it’s important to know the difference between copper and fibre internet. So, let’s start with the basics and take a look at what copper and fibre actually are.

What is copper internet?

This is the ‘legacy’ network, and it’s literally copper wiring that transmits data to and from you home for your internet. However, the signal on copper degrades over long distances, leading to slower internet speeds for those further from local exchanges (those green boxes at the end of your road). It can also be susceptible to environmental factors, such as electromagnetic interference, which will impact the performance of your internet.

What’s fibre internet?

This is the latest technology. It’s fibre optic cables that transmit data through very thin strands of glass or plastic using pulses of light. This is the modern standard of high-speed internet and signal doesn’t degrade over distance. So, no matter where you are, if you have a fibre optic cable right to your home, then you’re going to get highly reliable internet that is callable of streaming 1000’s of megabits, or even terabits, of data.

With this information we think it’s obvious what the benefits of getting full fibre internet are, but we understand that not everyone feels the same about fibre as we do. So, we’ll try and rein in our enthusiasm a bit and explain the benefits to you. Here goes…

Ultrafast speeds that will make your life sooooooo much simpler

Not only can you get amazing amounts of data streaming all at once, you can also get symmetrical speeds with fibre optic cables. That means your download and upload speeds are nearly identical, and that’s a game changer

It’ll make activities like video conferencing, online gaming, and uploading large files much quicker and easier. Working from home has never been better!

Check your speeds using our speed test button here.

So much reliability you’ll forget buffering was even a ‘thing’

Not only do the speeds make full fibre internet more reliable, but fibre optics are also far less susceptible to environmental factors and signal interference than copper. So, your whole family can stream seamlessly, all at the same time, all without a glitch.

It’s the future.

No, really, you’re going to need a full fibre connection very soon. There’s more and more demand for higher bandwidth on the current networks, and a full fibre connection offers a solution to this. It is simply the case that partial fibre networks (where the fibre doesn’t go all the way to your home) and old copper networks are starting to struggle with demand from the number of people using them, and also the technology we are increasingly using in our daily lives. Fibre is scalable and can accommodate HUGE amounts of demand. It’s fully future-proof.

It’s a much more secure network

Fibre is more secure network because it doesn’t give off electromagnetic signals that can be intercepted. This makes fibre-optic connections less susceptible to hacking and unauthorised access.

Ever heard of latency?

Well, the lower the better and fibre optic networks deliver low latency. This makes them ideal for real-time applications, and Gamers will benefit hugely from reduced lag and a more responsive online gaming experience.

So, if you’re interested in finding out if you can access full fibre services on our network, check availability to your home, here.

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Building a full fibre network for ultrafast internet

Our aim is to bring full fibre internet to as many towns and villages as we can. That’s why our network covers every premise in our 130+ build towns.

If you’re wondering what fibre internet is, how it’s built and how you can upgrade your broadband, this blog explains it all more clearly. Starting with how we build it…

How do we build full fibre networks?

Well, for the most part (80% of it, in fact) we put our fibre optic cables through Openreach’s existing infrastructure of underground ducts and telegraph poles. This ensures the build is largely straightforward with minimal disruption to the areas we build in. However, there are a handful of areas where existing ducts or poles are not available. In these areas, we follow the industry-standard process of either using other existing ducts, or putting in telegraph poles. We really have to emphasise that we only put poles in when there’s no realistic alternatives.

What to do if you want to get our full fibre internet?

Once our services are built and live in your area, we have a range of excellent partners to choose from. They can set you up with a broadband package to suit your needs.

All of our service partners are ready to bring you the best broadband deals on the market. Your chosen service provider will be the one to set up or switch your broadband contract and provide you with all the relevant details about your full fibre service: from budget plans to subscription perks.

However, we’ll be the ones to arrange the physical installation of your new ultrafast broadband. We’ll arrange a time for one of our engineers to install ultrafast broadband in your home, which usually takes a few hours.

If you want to know more about what to expect when it comes to installing fibre optic cables to your home, watch our video on what happens at an installation.

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Get your broadband ready for Christmas!

It’s that magical time of year again! Which means we can all officially eat chocolate and watch lots of movies without feeling bad about it.

It’s also party time. So, if you’re thinking of hosting a holiday gathering at your place, don’t let the fear of bad internet affect your festivities.

This Christmas, Fibre Heroes are here to make sure your house is ready for epic holiday gatherings. Whether that’s the ultimate festive gaming session, the party with the best sounding tunes streamed seamlessly, or a Harry Potter binge in Ultra HD. Get your Megabits ready for the mega bits this season by following these simple steps:

Make your router the centre of attention.

As in, actually get it to a central location so you can give the signal the best chance of being evenly distributed through your home.

You could also elevate your router.

The higher the router, the better the signal will be.

Extend your WiFi with either a repeater or extender.

This will amplify the signal and extend its range so more people in your home can use it.

Make sure your routers firmware is up-to-date.

Manufacturers often release firmware updates that improve performance and security.

Give your router a bit of a re-start before your Festive gathering.

This will help to clear any temporary bugs or glitches that may be there, but that you may not know about.

For the more techy broadband users, you could get your hands on a WiFi analyser.

This will troubleshoot any problems you may have with your WiFi and router: it will show you signal strength, channel usage, and other information that will help you improve your Wi-Fi performance.

Of course, you can also just get ultrafast full fibre internet and then you’ll have enough megabits for everyone to stream on their devices seamlessly. ‘Tis the season to Eat, Stream & Be Merry!

Find your perfect broadband package on our deals page.

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Full fibre broadband the whole family can use

We’re here to help you find the right broadband package for your family, so you don’t have to suffer the dreaded ‘buffer’ this Christmas.

Firstly, the general rule of thumb is to add 30 Mbps for every person in the house who wants to stream, download files, or play games simultaneously. This means a family of four will need speeds of no less than 120 Mbps, so you can browse, conference call, stream, and do homework all at the same time!

That’s for the basics. If you’ve a gamer in your midst, or you regularly download large files, you’re going to need an even faster connection. For households with gamers, we’d recommend looking at internet packages with anything between 300 and 1000Mbps. This is now full fibre broadband and it’ll deliver downloads in minutes instead of hours, and ensure the rest of the family can go online without having to negotiate timings. Or argue about who needs the internet most!

You’re welcome.

Some important things to consider…

It’s not just the speeds that you sign up to that will give you a new experience, but it’s the quality of your internet connection too. For instance, if you’re not on full fibre, which is 100% fibre, then you could be paying for internet on a network that includes some copper. If this is the case then your download speeds will depend on how far away from the local cabinet you are (usually these are green boxes at the end of your road).

For those families in rural areas, you can be a lot further away from these green boxes, and that will have a big impact on the speeds you receive compared to the speeds you signed up for.

You can use our speed tester here to find out how many Mbps you’re currently getting. That will basically tell you how reliable your internet is – the more Mbps you have, the more reliable your internet and the faster your download and upload speeds are.

Getting better broadband

In summary, the amount of broadband speed you need for your home depends on a number of things, including the number of people in your household, the types of online activities you do, and the quality of your internet connection. If you’ve bought speeds of 150Mbps but you’re not receiving them, then perhaps it’s time to consider going full fibre?


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Want to leave your broadband contract early?

When you sign up for a broadband contract, you’re usually agreeing to a minimum term of 12 or 18 months. This means that you’ll have to pay the full monthly fee for the duration of the contract, even if you want to leave early.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. In some cases, you may be able to leave your broadband contract early, without penalty, and here are the things to look out for:

Moving home.

If you’re move home, you may be able to leave your broadband contract early without penalty. However, you’ll need to check with your provider to see if they offer this option.

Service issues.

Serious service issues with your broadband may mean you can exit your contract early. But you’ll need to prove that the issues are serious and that your provider has been unable to resolve them.
Financial hardship. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, this can also mean you’ll be able to leave your contract earlier. Again, you’ll need to provide evidence of your financial hardship, such as a recent payslip or a letter from a benefits agency.

The 14-day cooling-off period.

When you sign up for a broadband contract online or over the phone, you’ll have a 14-day cooling-off period, so you can cancel your contract at any time during these 14 days and it will be FOC.

Some things to watch out for:

Outstanding charges.

Even if you’re able to leave your broadband contract early, you’ll still need to pay for any outstanding charges. This could be for the cost of equipment that you’ve been loaned, such as a router.

Early termination fees.

Watch out for early termination fees, which can be as much as the cost of the remaining months of your contract. Check this with your current provider before you make any decisions.

You may not be able to switch to another provider. There may be a cooling off period, which will mean you can’t switch to another provider for a certain period of time. This varies from provider to provider, so double check this.

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Not getting the best deals on your broadband?

We’re all feeling the pinch when it comes to the cost of living and, let’s face it, the bills we pay always go up and rarely go down.

Plus, there’s more to pay for too – most of us have mobile phones and internet, which we need day to day.

So, as experts in ultrafast broadband, we’ve got a few tips below on how to make sure you’re getting the right broadband services and not paying for the bits you don’t need. If you’re looking for cheap broadband deals, or how to make the most of your internet, read on!

Figure out how much broadband you actually need. If you only stream a few videos a week, you can get the cheaper deals because you won’t need lots of Mbps. But if you’ve got UHD devices or you’re a household of more than two people, you’ll need to consider packages of 100Mbps or more.

Choose the right contract length.

It’s usually the case that the longer contracts tie you in, the better the price per Mb, so consider committing to 24 months and you’ll likely get a better deal. But, if you’re not sure how long you’ll be staying in your current home, it’s best to choose a shorter contract. That way, you won’t be locked into a long-term deal if you need to move and you won’t have to pay additional fees.

Bundle your broadband with other services.

Service providers offer discounts if you bundle your broadband with other services, such as TV or home phone. This can be a great way to save money, especially if you already use those services.

Watch out for price rises.

Our service providers don’t do mid-contract price rises, but some networks will let their providers increase their prices annually. Make sure you’re aware of the terms of your contract so you can switch to a cheaper deal if your price goes up.

Switch providers.

If you’re not happy with your current broadband provider, you can switch to a new one when your current contract ends. Many providers offer sign-up bonuses, so you could even save money by switching!

For those of you mid-contract and unable to shop around for deals, here are some additional tips:

Use a router that supports traffic shaping.

You’ll be able to prioritise certain types of traffic over others, such as streaming video or file downloads.

Set up a usage monitoring tool.

You’ll be able to track how much data you’re using each month, so you can make sure you’re not overpaying.

If you’re interested in finding out about our broadband deals, check out our deals of the month here.

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How to Troubleshoot Common Broadband Issues

We all know how frustrating it can be to see the error message on your screen when using the internet; whether that’s when you’re sitting down to stream a film in the evening after a long day’s work or shopping online to find a last-minute gift.

If the usual disconnect/connect option doesn’t seem to cut it, what are your other quick-fix options? Our guide provides ways to diagnose your broadband issues and some easy solutions so you can avoid contacting your provider.

Your device or your internet connection?

The first thing to do is to check if the issue is the internet or a specific device. We recommend looking at all devices in your home that connect to broadband such as your mobile phone, TV, and tablet.

If the rest of your devices have a healthy wi-fi status, the fault is probably with your specific device and may just require a simple switch on/off. However, if the rest of your devices are disconnected too, the fault lies with your internet connection, but don’t panic, there many things you can check for confirmation before contacting your provider.

Check your provider’s internet status

Before carrying anything more complicated, it’s with checking their status page where you’ll be able to input your postcode to find out if there are any issues in your area. All information on where to do this should be found on your provider’s contact page.

Ask Google

If in doubt, you can always ask Google! Google can do a quick check to see if the issue is with your device or internet connection. Here’s how to do it:

  • If you’re using a Windows PC, press the Windows key+R on the keyboard and you’ll see the Command Prompt panel. Type ping
  • If you use a Mac, go to the Network Utility app, select Ping and then type ‘’.

If no issues appear, the problem is more likely to be with the specific device you’re using. If, however, you see either a timed-out or unsuccessful message pop up, there is an issue with your connection.

Check the IP address

If an Ethernet doesn’t solve the issue, you can further check your router by searching for the IP address that can tell you if there are any errors. Follow these steps:

On Windows:

  • Click Windows key + R to open the Command Prompt panel.
  • Type: ipconfig | findstr /I “Gateway”
  • You should see a line like this: Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . . :

On Mac:

  • Open System Preferences, then Network under Internet and Wireless.
  • Select Ethernet and then the Advanced
  • Click the TCP/IP tab to see the IP address.

If your IP is valid without error, it will start with 192. If it starts with 169 or something else, this is an issue that your provider will need to look into.

What can your router tell you?

Knowing what lights should be displayed on your router can be a little confusing. However, generally, if there are no lights at all, this means there is a power issue, which may be related to your socket or electricity outage. Green flashing lights suggest your router is working as it should and if some lights are flashing red or even amber this is often a sign that something is wrong.

The first option, and often the most effective, is to turn your router off, wait about 30 seconds, and then turn it back on again. Routers are usually left on 24/7 so a little reboot is sometimes needed.

Once you have restarted it, it might take a while to reconnect to the internet depending on your router and the devices you use so it’s important to remain patient and allow at least 5 minutes before forming a diagnosis for your provider.

Use a cable to connect your router

If the router seems to be working as it should, try connecting your device directly to your router. Households that use multiple devices via wi-fi may struggle to keep an uninterrupted connection, especially during peak times.

Using what’s called an Ethernet cable to connect your device will limit the stress on your wi-fi connection. If this solves your issue, the problem is your wi-fi and you may want to consider upgrading your broadband to full fibre if it’s available in your area.

Final checks:

Check all wires – Sometimes it’s worth checking all your connected cables to make sure nothing is damaged, and everything is connected correctly. Unplug and remove all cables and then reinsert them after 30 seconds.

A fault with the microfilter (the small white box on the phone line) could be affecting your broadband. You can replace this microfilter yourself and they are relatively cheap to purchase. If your microfilter is built into the socket, you’ll need to contact your provider for a diagnosis.

Check your phone line – The final thing to check is your phone line. You can listen out for a dial tone by plugging in a home phone directly into the wall socket. If you can’t hear anything or can only hear constant noise, you will need to report it to your provider using your mobile phone.

When it comes to issues with your broadband connection, there are many things you can try to diagnose the problem, correct it yourself or offer information to your provider to avoid unnecessary long phone calls.

We recommend keeping a note of your provider’s contact number in case anything goes wrong with your broadband that you cannot fix.

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Fibre Broadband for Education

There’s no denying that the internet has changed our everyday lives, but as full fibre broadband becomes more widespread it also has the capacity to transform education.

Not only do ultrafast internet connections increase efficiency and better facilitate educational tools in schools and the home, but they also mean new technologies such as Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence can be used to enhance the way we learn.

We know that everyone learns in different ways, and this is key to understanding how education can be transformed through technology; education can become a brand-new experience, accessible to everyone.

If schools and institutions can access fast and reliable full fibre broadband more opportunities can be created.

Personalised and immersive learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a technology that can be personalised to each student, catering for a variety of learners. This is shown through adaptive learning platforms such as Prodigy Math, which uses an algorithm to match students’ learning styles and levels.

This online technology means students can access it whenever they want, in their own time.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are immersive technologies that provide a unique and fun learning experience. The Unimersiv app is an example of how VR offer an exciting way to learn about things such as history, space or human anatomy, whereas the AR Gibson App helps students learn guitar in a brand-new way.

New immersive ways of learning can greatly benefit students who find traditional ways of learning difficult. Therefore, a powerful, reliable full fibre connection can make a huge difference in education.

Technology that ensures learners can fully understand and interact with information at their own pace is transformative but only if full fibre networks are made readily available.

Full fibre expansion

The expansion of full fibre internet across the UK has meant that more than a thousand schools are experiencing next-generation internet speeds with government and private investment.

Full fibre networks are now being supplied to schools and other public buildings that had previously suffered from slow and unreliable connections.

This recent change means that teachers and professionals can use pre-existing technology in the classroom with more efficiency and perhaps introduce immersive technology.

Here in the UK, the mission is to level up internet access by investing in fast gigabit broadband, especially in rural or hard-to-reach areas but there is still a lot of work to be done.

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Broadband Price Rises

Millions of customers will be affected by a mid-contract price hike being rolled out by household names such as BT, EE, Plusnet, Shell, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin and Vodafone.

If you are a customer of one of the named companies, you could experience a price increase of up to 14.4% on your monthly contract bill.

Providers can increase their prices by the rate of inflation plus an extra amount on top (usually around 4 percentage points) as per their own terms and conditions.

For some customers, you will be able to break your contract with your existing provider penalty-free within 30 days of the initial notification of the price rise. (Please check your contract and do your research into this. This will only apply to some customers.)

If you are wanting more information about how to cancel your contract, we’ve linked appropriate resources for each provider below:

What does this mean for you?

Some providers allow for a 30-day window to break the contract penalty free meaning that you have an opportunity to switch providers if the price increase is too much.

As mentioned, the 30-day window starts from the initial notification of the price rise so it is important, that if you are wanting to switch, you don’t leave it until the last minute.

Switching providers can be an easy process and having it done sooner rather than later would be imperative to ensuring the continued service of your broadband.

How can you switch?

We have many blogs about this, but the short version is, speak to your existing provider and notify them that you would like to leave your contract within the 30-day window.

Also, order from one of our internet service partners with the package you desire. We have partners that offer broadband only packages, TV bundles and landlines. Please look into them and do your research to find the perfect package.

(This will only work if your home is viable for a connection on our network)

Your existing provider will most likely request their equipment to be returned. This should be done in line with their terms and conditions appropriately.

From there, our partners will send you a new router and our installers will connect your property to our new full fibre network (a broadband network made up entirely of fibre optic cables).

We’d recommend that you ensure your new connection is up and running before sending any equipment back (with that being said, there are some deadline requirements for returning equipment so again, check what these are with your existing ISP!)

Take Action Now

There is a limited time to act on this if you are unhappy with the price hike. If you haven’t received the notification, the suppliers have confirmed that there will be price increases this year.

As mentioned, once notified, you will have 30-days to change providers penalty free (again, please research into this to see if your provider is allowing this break of contract to happen).

To reiterate, if you are wanting more information about how to cancel your contract, we’ve linked appropriate resources for each provider below:

Our partners are ready and waiting to connect you to a network with a better value for money from existing copper broadband connections.

Research our partners today to browse their packages and see which one works best for you.