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Best ultrafast broadband deals with up to 600Mpbs speed on offer

New full fibre BT broadband customers will be able to trial its ultrafast speeds of up to 500Mbps for a month at no extra cost.

The internet provider said it will give households speeds up to 25 times faster than superfast fibre with a reliable connection, even at busy periods.

With many working and studying more from home than pre-pandemic, the extra speed and power is likely to be a draw for many consumers.

However, are speeds this fast really worth the higher price tag and what difference will customers see compared to normal internet packages?

Households can now access ultrafast broadband speeds of 500Mbps – but is it worth the cost?

What should customers consider?

There are a few points to consider when upgrading to ultrafast broadband, according to industry experts.

Firstly, availability should be checked as speeds of 500Mbps will only be available to people in proximity to exchanges that have been upgraded to cope.

The first locations available are major cities such as Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London and Manchester with Fibre To The Premises (FTTP, also known as FTTH – Fibre To The Home) broadband available to around 20 to 25 per cent of UK homes currently.

If you’re not in a city, it may be worth checking with providers to see if they would be able to offer a service to your home. 

While ultrafast internet is not as expensive as some might think, there are definitely cheaper deals for slower speeds which may suit households. Find a list of the best deals below.  

Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, said: ‘It’s questionable whether anyone needs 500Mbps or more at this current time. 

‘Video streaming tends to be the activity that costs the most in terms of bandwidth, and the most demanding of those doesn’t require more than 40Mbps.

‘There is some justification among gamers however, with both the games themselves and their updates pushing absolutely vast file sizes that will take slow connections many hours to download to your console or PC.

‘Of course, the more people in your household using the internet, the more speed you’re going to need for those busy times of the day.’

BT is offering new Full Fibre customers the chance to test out faster speeds for one month free

BT is offering new Full Fibre customers the chance to test out faster speeds for one month free

How can people get these speeds?

To get these speeds on a fixed line, households will need either a Virgin Media connection or a FTTP connection.

With FTTP, the fibre optic cable runs all the way into your home, so it can deliver much better performance than the Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) technology used by most other fibre optic broadband services, which have a maximum average speed of around 65Mbps.

Virgin Media uses a mix of FTTP and a technology called Hybrid Fibre Coaxial to be able to offer download speeds from 50Mbps up to 1Gbps.

The network has the best availability of all the ultrafast networks right now with approximately 53 per cent of homes covered, compared to approximately 21 per cent coverage for FTTP services, though Virgin does not offer the same choice of speeds across its whole network.

For example, the 1Gbps service is still fairly new and deployment is ongoing.

Is it worth upgrading?

BT said those using its ultrafast fibre broadband will be able to download a 4k movie in 34 seconds, highlighting why some households would be tempted. 

However, it all depends on how fast you really need your internet, according to experts.  

Matt Powell of Broadband Genie said: ‘As for whether it’s worth upgrading to ultrafast, it comes down to what you’re doing with the broadband, how many people are sharing the connection, and how much it costs.

‘These kinds of speeds make short work of massive file transfers but it’s not going to deliver tangible benefits for typical day-to-day usage unless you have a large family or shared home where there are many people online at the same time.

‘In that situation, you’d definitely appreciate the extra bandwidth. There are probably also many home workers who’d find that extra speed useful if their work demands frequent large downloads or uploads. 

‘We expect costs to fall further over the next few years as coverage improves and competition intensifies. 

‘Eventually, ultrafast broadband coverage will be available to the majority of homes and it then comes down to which provider can offer the best value for money.’

Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone all have broadband services with speeds of 500Mbps to 1Gbps

Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone all have broadband services with speeds of 500Mbps to 1Gbps

What are the best deals?

Ultrafast broadband speeds are offered by numerous providers. Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone all have broadband services with speeds of 500Mbps to 1Gbps. 

There are also many smaller internet service providers such as Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, and Community Fibre which specialise in ultrafast broadband. There’s even at least one supplier (Zzoomm) offering 2Gbps broadband.

Before deciding to upgrade, you’ll need to check you’re in an area which can cope with these speeds and the network serves your postcode.

BT is offering new full fibre customers the chance to test out its speed boost for one month free of charge. 

Customers taking out its full fibre essential or full fibre 1 will be bumped up to full fibre 100 which is five times faster, while full fibre 2 and full fibre 100 customers will see their package boosted to full Fibre 500 saving £20. 

To activate the speed boost, customers can simply visit the ‘broadband: extras’ tab on the BT’s website and upgrade to a new package of their choosing.

Meanwhile, if customers decide not to upgrade their current plan after their trial, they will automatically switch back to their previous package for no extra cost.

If customers choose to continue, they are likely to be put on BT’s full fibre 500 plan which currently costs £49.99 a month on a 24 month contract.  

Virgin Media has offered 500Mbps+ for nearly two years now and currently offers its ‘gig1’ service to most of the locations it serves with speeds of up to 1140Mbps. 

However, one of the providers best deals is for speeds of 516mbps on its M500 ultrafast fibre broadband & phone costing £45 a month on an 18 month contract.

Meanwhille, HyperOptic can give customers speeds of 500Mbps on its Hyperoptic 500Mb fibre connection for £35 a month on a 12 month contract.

Gigaclear offers one of the fastest speeds of 600Mbps on its ultrafast 600 Broadband plan at £34 a month on an 18 month contract.

Vodafone also gives households speeds of 500Mbps on its Vodafone pro ultrafast 500 deal for £48 a month on a 24 month contract. 

ULTRAFAST BROADBAND DEALS  
Provider Tariff Additional features Average speeds Cost per month Contract length Set up fee?
HyperOptic Hyperoptic 500Mb fibre connection – broadband only n/a 500Mb £35 12 months None
Gigaclear Gigaclear ultrafast 600 broadband n/a 600Mbps £34 18 months None
Vodafone Vodafone pro ultrafast 500 4G broadband backup

Super Wi-Fi booster

500Mb £48 24 months None
Virgin Media M500 ultrafast fibre broadband & phone n/a 516Mb £45 18 months None 
Source: Uswitch          

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