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How Much Does 1Gbps UK Home Broadband Cost – ISPs Compared

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 58,416

On top of that we’ve excluded gigabit plans that cost more than £100 per month – partly to keep our workload down and also because £100+ is moving more into business level pricing, as well as plans where the ISP is unclear about who is building their underlying network. On top of that a couple of providers, such as Air Broadband, seem to harness more than two underlying networks and we’re currently unable to handle those in this list (makes displaying prices complicated without a lot of repetition).

Overall, this isn’t an exhaustive list of gigabit providers and prices, but it should help to illustrate common trends. At present the only truly mass-market gigabit provider is Virgin, which will be available to 16 million premises by the end of 2021 (once their DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade completes). Openreach are some way behind that (aiming for 4.5m in March 2021 and 20m by 2026-2030) and then there are the many smaller alternative networks.

In order to save space we won’t list speeds (all the packages are gigabit) and these are all inc. VAT pricing. However, it’s worth noting that while many providers will give you symmetric upload speeds, a few often offer much slower uploads (e.g. Openreach-based, Virgin and Broadway Broadband etc.). On most gigabit plans this will still be 100Mbps+, which is more than enough for the majority of people, except on Virgin where they currently only offer uploads of 50Mbps.

NOTE: We don’t display one-off setup fees below (not enough space), but these tend to vary between £0 and £200. Monthly prices in brackets below are post-contract (after discounts) and nearly every package includes a router.

Summary of UK 1Gbps Home Broadband Plans (Alphabetic)

ISP Network Price (Post Contract) Contract (Months)
B4RN B4RN 30.00 1
Box Broadband Box Broadband 59.95 18
Broadway Broadband Broadway Partners 99.99 12
BT Openreach 59.99 (67.99) 24
Cambridge Fibre Cambridge Fibre 49.00 (69.00) 24
CommunityFibre Community Fibre 49.00 (54.00) 24
County Broadband County Broadband 80.00 24
Ecom Ecom 96.00 12
EE Openreach 60.00 (62.00) 18
Exascale Exascale 90.00 18
Fibrus Fibrus 49.99 (84.99) 12
Freeola Openreach 69.98 12
G.Network G.Network 57.00 12
Gigaclear Gigaclear 79.00 18
Giganet * Openreach, Cityfibre 49.00 – 79.00 12-24
Grain Grain 55.00 18
Hyperoptic Hyperoptic 40.00 (60.00) 12
InternetTY InternetTY 45.00 12
Jurassic Fibre Jurassic Fibre 95.00 1
KCOM KCOM 79.00 12
Leetline (Trunk Networks) Openreach 69.00 24
Lightning Fibre Lightning Fibre 59.00 24
Lothian Broadband Lothian Broadband 100.00 18
Optify Optify 60.00 12
Pine Media Pine Media 60.00 12
Pure Broadband KCOM, Cityfibre 79.00 12
Quantum Air Fibre Quantum Air Fibre 60.00 24
Swish Fibre Swish Fibre 75.00 1
Telcom (WeFibre) * Telcom 20.00 – 60.00 ?
toob toob 25.00 (29.00) 18
Trooli Trooli 80.00 18
Trunk Networks  Openreach 66.00 12-24
Truespeed Truespeed 69.99 18
Village Networks Village Networks 70.00 18
Virgin Media Virgin Media 62.00 18
Vision Fibre Media Vision Fibre Media 60.00 18
Vodafone Cityfibre, Openreach 48.00 24
Wessex Internet Wessex Internet 84.00 12
WightFibre WightFibre 55.00 (68.49) 24
Wildanet Wildanet 89.95 24
YouFibre YouFibre 50.00 18
Zen Internet * Openreach, Cityfibre 40.00 – 62.95 24
Zzoomm Zzoomm 59.00 12
  • Giganet is an ISP that works with both Openreach and Cityfibre, although at the time of writing the latter wasn’t live on their platform. But they have also unbundled some Openreach exchanges, which makes FTTP cheaper in some parts of OR’s network (e.g. Salisbury) than others, hence the price range.
  • Zen charges £62.95 for FTTP on Openreach’s network and £40 on Cityfibre.
  • Telcom has several outlets (WeFibre, BlackFibre and Velocity Fibre) that target different parts of the market over their infrastructure, which makes it a little hard to give a single price.

Out of the 41 providers listed, the monthly prices range from a high of £100 at remote rural ISP Lothian Broadband, to an extreme low of £20 at social housing focused WeFibre (Telcom); with toob not being too far behind on £25. Overall, the average monthly price works out at around £50-£60. One caveat is we aren’t listing any residential ISPs that cost more than £100 per month, but then there are only a handful of those.

However, if we only look at Openreach based ISPs, then they all seem to sit within a loosely similar range of £48 to £79.99 per month. The two cheapest Openreach based FTTP providers – Vodafone and Giganet – both run unbundled networks, which could in some areas help to reduce their costs (TalkTalk and Sky Broadband may come in at a similar level once they begin offering gigabit tiers via Openreach).

Some people may view these prices as expensive but, given the speeds involved, most of the packages are actually remarkably cheap for what you’re getting. Admittedly, you might be able to find cheaper packages in some other countries, but then the UK continues to trail most of Europe for FTTP deployments and thus our domestic market for such services is still a long way from being fully developed.

At this point it’s worth remembering that the vast majority of consumers today would struggle to fully harness a 1Gbps connection. Slow WiFi, general hardware restrictions and the performance limitations of various internet services (servers) mean that maxing out 1Gbps is still very difficult to do at home (here). Despite this, data demands never stop rising, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have this kind of speed at your disposal.

As ever pretty much all the aforementioned providers also offer cheaper “ultrafast” (100Mbps+) class packages, except those rare and wonderful exceptions like B4RN, where 1Gbps is both extremely cheap and their only package. Only a very few providers (e.g. CommunityFibre and Zzoomm) currently offer faster tiers than 1Gbps to homes and they’re closer to the £100 (monthly) level.

NOTE: The above prices are all from early February 2021. Some packages will have changed since then, but we won’t be going back to do later updates as that would become an endless task and this needs to remain historically relevant. Please see our ISP Listings for more up-to-date pricing.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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96 Responses
  1. Buggerlugz says:

    How Much Does 1Gbps UK Home Broadband Cost? Too much. (Unless you’re lucky enough to have a BARN access in your posh little hamlet.)

    1. Rbz says:

      2004 in Lithuania used cable broadband 100Mb/100Mb and paid around 10 Euro per month.
      At this moment this provider sell 1Gbps for 16.50 Euro per month.
      From 2005 I live in the UK. First provider was AOL and I paid around £15 for up to 9 Mbps,at this moment use Talk Talk and for 50Mbps pay around £24 per month…
      1 Gbps already available in my area, but at this moment only BT sell full fibre for £60 per month.
      Mad price.

    2. Sunil Sood says:

      I think you will find that the average salary in Lithuania is also much lower.

    3. Buggerlugz says:

      Which also goes to show that in Lithuania they could provide 100/100 for 10 Euro a month in 2004 and still make a profit.

      So how much profit does BT make from FTTP at the moment? £40 a month per customer?

    4. Ian says:

      You must be beyons poor if you think 6
      £60 a month for 1gb internet and repeat 1GB internet faster than anywhere else is a mad price idiot.

    5. Broviet Union says:

      I always enjoy those comments about Eastern Europe.

      “We had 100mb back in 2004 etc”. Great! Good for you! I’m very glad I don’t have to live with an autocratic government or the legacy of 70 years of Communism and the ever looming threat of Russian invasion.

      There’s a list several thousand long of things that are better in Britain than in the East.

    6. 125us says:

      @Lugz How does it prove they made a profit? Price tells you nothing about cost.

    7. x_term says:

      Well @Broviet Union… Italy did not have communism, but to compare a big ISP that’s in the UK as well, Vodafone on OpenFiber sells a 1000/200 for 29€ a month. Moreover, in Italy speed-tiered pricing does not exist. The offer is 29€ a month for the best available technology at your address. You have FTTP? Great, 1Gbit. You have FTTC? Great, up to 200Mb (oh yeah, because 35b exists, Openreach…).
      And Vodafone runs a network with their own OLTs as well, so fully unbundled. I wonder what’s the margin then.

  2. Jason says:

    If you cant afford 1Gb fibre thats fine as literally nobody in the country needs speeds that fast yet and 100meg is more than enough for a family of 4.

    by the time its needed costs will have shrunk .

    1. Barney says:

      Microsoft and IBM said that then developing PC-DOS specification, and the 640K RAM barrier was a big thing for some time. Let’s not set limits on what you see as practical from your use case.

    2. Bob says:

      100meg may be sufficient for a family of 4 but I wouldnt say “more than enough”. Especially given the rate at which bandwidth consumption continues to grow.

      4 x netflix 4k streams will all but saturate a 100meg line won’t it? So no one would be able to do anything else?

    3. DaveD says:

      We have a 1gb and fully harness it for running over night syncs to sandbox servers etc, you would be surprised the uses you can find for it once you have it. We view it now as a utility like electricity, not needing to worry about how much we use. Never worrying about who is downloading etc.

      To say no one needs it is a bit closed minded.

    4. joe says:


      Just run a VPN and you can lose 1/3->1/2 of the bw.

    5. Shen says:

      For your use case maybe but not mine I am an IT consultant I work from home and use a lot of data-heavy workloads 120mb is just about enough at this time for just me you add my partner and we struggle. I think the minimum should be about 300mb and if you want high speed something more like 500+ would be great.

    6. chris conder says:

      To get 100mbps symmetrical you need fibre to the home. Physically it costs the same to provide a gig. ergo, you may as well have a gig. Content yourself with fttc and you will soon find you are left behind.

    7. Sam P says:

      Nobody needs those speeds? Okay chap, you stay in the stone age.

    8. Matt says:

      I spose it depends how fast you won’t to download I got 600 and games download fast can do a lot simultaneously but most important for me is getting games downloaded quickly so 1 gbps is well woth it to me but if you just like steaming one two things and using Internet 100 mbps will be fine what makes a huge difference is a better router then the isp one if you cant change your isp one switch it to modem mode and hock your own with an eathernet cable most moden people a with the Internet is buffer bloat witch courses traffic to get congested making things slower then it should be get a router that has paket management techniques and you will see everything increasing in speed even if you have 50 mbps so do your self a favour get your own routers if you don’t have one yet

  3. Grant says:

    I strongly disagree, it’s not so much about the peak requirements here, and more the amount of wiggle room you’ve got when you need it and during slow moments forcing your isp to require them to provide you at least half of what your paying for in the case of virgin for example,they tell me if I’m getting at least 250mbps of my 500mb then that’s normal, piss take right?.

    So in a ideal you would still have over that 500mbps when there’s congestion or at least garenteed 500mbps, as faster lines means faster backbone, which equals more reliable bandwidth for everyone including 100mbps lines, but this all relys on a job done properly which let’s be honest is rarely done these days.

    1. CarlT says:

      If you’re still getting full speeds there’s no visible congestion, Grant.

      Full speed all the time, guaranteed, costs.

    2. 125us says:

      You’re describing a leased line here, to some extent. A guaranteed 500Mbps, 24/7, will cost you about £400 a month.

      Broadband is cheap because you share. It works very well because very few people saturate their links and even fewer people do that continuously.

      If you want it all to yourself, the economics demand that you pay for all of it too.

    3. Matt says:

      I think your trying to say capacity is too low so by having more wiggle room capacity there won’t be so many slowdowns during congestion isps need to upgrade there tech there responsible for it

  4. chris conder says:

    B4RN also provide 10Gbps for anyone who wants it and free for small schools. B4RN customers also own the network themselves. All their profit (income over expenditure) goes into helping more farmers and rural hamlets.

  5. Sid says:

    What are install costs like?

    Lila is 650 for it to your house and 49.99 install so near 700 in total.

    I would have normal fibre but it’s not available but 1gb is coming soon makes no sense.

  6. Paul says:

    Be good to include upstream speeds too as Virgin’s are pathetic on their gig product

  7. Walter G M Willcox says:

    I agree with Paul. Symmetric speeds become more important when you have e.g. a family of four all accessing different content simultaneously. Only symmetric services are fully future-proofed. Ask yourselves what happens when the major Telcos are expected to upgrade all their asymmetric services ?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      One issue here is that this isn’t just a big ISP thing. A fair few smaller providers are deploying GPON style FTTP and yet still advertising symmetric speeds, despite the underlying technology being asymmetric. I assume they’re banking on the fact that upload has significantly lower demand vs downstream, thus there’s more of it to share without customers spotting an impact. So this isn’t likely to become a big problem anytime soon and by the time it is the kit will probably be end-of-life.

    2. CarlT says:

      When the major telcos are expected to provide symmetrical services they overlay GPON with a symmetrical standard, Walter.

      Zero disruption to existing services in the case of Openreach, unsure about the others but certainly not a big deal.

      In the case of Virgin Media they upgrade their hybrid network and/or overbuild with FTTP.

      ‘Symmetric speeds become more important when you have e.g. a family of four all accessing different content simultaneously.’

      Have a read of what you wrote there. How much upstream do you think is needed to access content?

    3. Rich says:

      Even where they are using GPON (e.g. cityfibre) getting it built is the issue. Changing to XSGPON isn’t a big deal once the network is there, and WDM even potentially allows it to coexist with GPON on a segment.

      I fully expect CF to offer XSGPON, possibly as a business service, at some point in the next few years, and just upgrade only the line cards that need it.

    4. Fastman says:

      so walter did you get that when you got virgin media to dig up your road to you then – or did you accepot what you were given ?

    5. Cedric Briggs says:

      Im a Brit and I live in a so called developing country….India any I get 1 gig upload and download and I pay ₹3999 pm which is equal to GBP 40 and also get 5000 GB data allowance a month.

      If this is not given the monthly fee is refunded.

      ** in addition free Netflix // Prime video and much more

      When would will the UK come to this level

  8. Chris Jones says:

    Chris Conder beat me to it – B4RN are not just a one-speed provider. However, their package (symmetric in both cases) is likely to be impossible for commercial companies to even begin to emulate.

    I increasingly use cloud-based storage and with my sub-10Mbps connection, I struggle to upload even half-a-dozen jpegs in less than 24 hours.

    1. Winston Smith says:

      How large are your jpegs?

      The ones from my phone camera are around 3MB. Half a dozen of those should upload in around 15 seconds at 10 Mbps.

  9. Jamie Simms says:

    On BT there does seem to be some offers available when they first enable FTTP with a number of places having it available for £49.99 to encourage customers to switch.

    I would expect this to become more of the normal once Sky,Talk Talk and others start offering 900Mbps Openreach product

    1. Buggerlugz says:

      Still, who in their right mind would say £600 a year for gigabit is good value for money?

    2. CarlT says:

      Anyone whose use case makes it worthwhile, or for whom it is a relatively small amount.

      Value and price are different things.

    3. 125us says:

      …and therein lies one of the reasons FTTP rollout has been slow. Plenty of people clamour loudly for it, yet when it becomes available they say it’s too expensive.

      It’s not a situation that tends to get investors opening their wallets.

      “Can I have some money to build an network please?”

      ‘Maybe. How much more are your customers willing to pay?’


      ‘Bye then.’

    4. CarlT says:

      Some people could be paid to take broadband and would still complain. C’est la vie.

  10. Richard says:

    We were promised by City Fibre that with Full Fibre To Property, that it would not matter how many people in the household were online the internet it would work just as well. That when everyone in the neighbourhood wanted to use the internet in the evening it wouldn’t be slowed down, there would be no glitching, hanging or other problems. Upload and download would always remain at around the same level (depending if you had 100, 500 or Gigabit.
    True enough, even though we’d paid for and got “Fibre100” it was phenomenal. Absolutely as promised.
    But only until the next street was added to the network. Then although the download was still 103 -105mbps and upload dropped to 35mbps and stayed there. Even download has at times dropped to 25mbps!
    So the promise is broken.
    In fact you will now find that Fibre to Property 100 is grouped in with the Fibre to Cabinet section when advertised and only 500 and Gigabit are listed as FTTP
    Having had a close friend whose mother worked for the then, single telephone provider, as a Network Manager, I know that they could limit your speed when demand was high especially for those who paid hefty amounts of money for high speed internet.
    Obviously this still applies and they can dial down your speed in order to force you up to the next price bracket which of course will be so much better and make them more money.
    They broke their promise, it’s not likely that we are stupid enough to fall for the same spin time after time.
    “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”
    We are not stupid

    1. Martin Pitt - Aquiss says:

      CityFibre don’t sell direct to Retail, so the question is, who is your underlining retail provider selling your service? As handover is Layer 1, there is a chance the problems are the result of the retail provider and management they are imposing.

    2. CarlT says:

      Given the lowest CityFibre could go, even if absolutely everyone who could buy it did and all went flat out, is about 75 Mb I’m not sure the issue is capacity.

      Would take time for the network to overload, people have to finish existing contracts and sign up, wouldn’t be instant the moment the next street along were brought live.

      You probably aren’t connected to the same port as next door anyway.

  11. adslmax says:

    FTTC 80/20 are fastest enough for our need.

    Don’t need 1Gbps (waste of money and almost 90% of UK will not paying too much of this) Openreach FTTP are rip off in my view!

    1. JP says:

      Personally I think they are well priced, even alt-nets and some other ISP’s who are selling much cheaper won’t keep this up, sort of like people who got free and really cheap cable when that first got installed.

      It’s just a sweetner to encourage take up

    2. mary joan says:

      Other countries 1Gbps fibre optic selling less than £30 per month way cheaper than UK

    3. JP says:

      There is also other countries where it sells for £90-110 per month.

      So what are you comparing to, because the effort it is taking to install fibre here in my eyes is costing much more than in countries where they have had always had a fibre like network in place or easier to access infrastructure.

      If you keep asking for cheaper then the performance of fibre will be crap, as it will be highly contended, just like certain providers that provide high speeds already, the cost of operating this stuff is flying up because everything is being operated using it.

      If we don’t pay Sky for TV and move to Now TV or Netflix then thats more pressure/usage on internet networks, this then needs upgrading, thats costs money.

      The problem I keep seeing in these comment sections is people comparing apples to oranges, there is so many variables when comparing costs of ISP’s, Infrastructure, and areas that balancing this out for an operator like Openreach and in turn the ISP means giving a fair price.

      Personally I’m beyond giving a crap any more, I’ve had Gigabit, I’ve had 1mm ADSL, I’ve had 30-80mb FTTC. I’ve had cable 50mb – 1Gb, I’ve had 4G at 20-400mbps and 5G at 100-1Gbps and you know what the FTTC is the only one that performed as specified.

      I’ve used services in other countries that are more expensive than UK, and to be honest, they perform much better than the UK services, I’ve also used cheaper services in different countries and they are terrible for performance.

      I’ve paid premiums to ISP’s in the UK for better services and got worse than when I paid less and expected less, so to be honest the arguments are wasted because it is and likely always will be a game of luck, area and what and who.

    4. Anna says:

      Hmm and yet 21/5 is £27,99 on Plusnet but 150/50 is £29,99 on BT FTTP

      Rip off? Hardly!

    5. JP says:

      Once again Anna, it’s called introduction pricing, it’s upselling services to make them the norm.

      However got too bare in mind, many people running the same Plusnet service at much lower prices, comparing speed is not the way to price, the pricing should be based on cost of operation, fibre is cheaper to operate even though it has initially high installation price, copper networks cost more to operate.

    6. CarlT says:

      Can assure you 80/20 is not enough for my needs.

    7. JP says:

      Oh well then screw everything else in the world, make sure Carl gets what he needs for super cheap price

    8. CarlT says:

      Carl pays the market rate for his products. Why so aggressive?

    9. Finnish says:

      I paid almost 4000€ for Fibre installation to my single home in 30000 people “city” in Finland. Cable has 4 individual single mode fibers. One for data, one for CATV and spares.

      ISP Elisa prices are 50/25 39,9€ or 42,9€ (can’t remember now) , 100/50 46,9€, 250/50 51,9€ and 1000/100 56,9€. Bandwidth doesn’t cost almost nothing in that price, line is always point to point (P2P) 1000/1000. What costs is ENABLING and keeping you connected, maintaining, and fault finding if service tech needs to do something to your fibre/line.

      Gigabit enables my family be able to download anything from Steam, Epic Games etc, without anyone noticing. 100Mb up sucks, if you want to upload more than few hundred megs of data. But really no choice at that price point.

      Why would anyone buy new car as that’s expensive and 80s carbuerator Ford moves you A to B??

  12. Barry Forde says:

    Ironically 1Gbs is the cheap point for fibre delivered broadband! The price for optics and interfaces is higher at 100Mbs and 10Gbs than at 1Gbs so 1Gbs is the optimal price point. Those offering lower speeds over fibre are most likely rate limiting which can have unfortunate effects on goodput, its really about marketing price points. In terms of traffic the line speed ceases to matter once you exceed the needs of the customer. As everyone keeps saying “no one needs a gigabit” and thats true on average but to cope with peaks and to give a lively round trip performance having a headline speed several times above the required average speed makes for a much better experience.
    At the moment 10Gbs is relatively expensive due to the interfaces and CPEs costs, but I’d be willing to bet that within 12 months the 10Gbs rate will fall to about 1Gbs+20% reflecting the move of 10Gbs components into the mainstream. That will trigger more take up of 10Gbs services but probably not that much of an increase in traffic which is really driven by users making use of applications and streaming services rather than their line speeds.
    Interestingly we are seeing a lot of bare metal switches from the likes of Accton/Edgecore and others using the Broadcomm/Tomahawk and Intel/TolinoII chips sets offering 32x400Gbs ports for <£15K and falling fast. Add in the Open Networking operating systems such as OcNos and SONIC which will further reduce costs and white box systems are going to expand mightily in the altnet arena. For ISPs who own their own fibre this will trigger core upgrades that will easily cope with the growing traffic levels. The new Smartoptic DWDM kit for instance offers 40 wavelengths of 400Gbs(coherent modulation) so thats 40Tbs per fibre pair, wow!
    In addition most of the content providers are moving towards getting altnets like B4RN to host caches within their networks to reduce their own costs and improve end user experiences with reduced latency and congestion.
    I think life is going to become very interesting over the next 2-3 years and one of the biggest differentiators for customers will not be line speed, as now, but design of their core networks which will have a major impact on user experience. Old networks designed around ADSL and FTTC will really struggle.
    Exciting times guys…

    1. NE555 says:

      > Ironically 1Gbs is the cheap point for fibre delivered broadband! The price for optics and interfaces is higher at 100Mbs and 10Gbs than at 1Gbs so 1Gbs is the optimal price point.

      The cost of SFP optics is irrelevant. Most fibre-delivered broadband (certainly Openreach and Cityfibre) uses GPON, which is 2.4Gbps down and 1.2Gbps up. One OLT port in the exchange or POP serves up to 32 users.

      > I’d be willing to bet that within 12 months the 10Gbs rate will fall to about 1Gbs+20% reflecting the move of 10Gbs components into the mainstream

      I’ll take that bet. You’re not going to see a 10G home broadband product from Openreach or Cityfibre in the next 12 months. Remember that even with XG-PON or XGS-PON, one port is still shared between multiple users.

      However, it has been rumoured that Openreach will launch symmetric 500/500 and 1000/1000 products using these technologies. They are likely to be upgrades to the existing 500/165 and 1000/220 products (which typically cost £150-£200 per month at retail, with a £600 setup fee, so have been excluded from this comparison)

    2. CarlT says:

      ‘I think life is going to become very interesting over the next 2-3 years and one of the biggest differentiators for customers will not be line speed, as now, but design of their core networks which will have a major impact on user experience. Old networks designed around ADSL and FTTC will really struggle.’

      How do you think these networks are designed, Barry?

      Some of these old networks handle usage per residential customer considerably higher than yours, and have scaled massively around the same fibre networks.

      There is a lot of intelligence in networks now.

      I would also question that gigabit is required for nippy round trip times. Even residential CPE isn’t entirely dumb and a millisecond or two isn’t going to be notable in most cases with WFQ taking care of the rest.

    3. Buggerlugz says:

      You including those paying more for FTTC for the rest of their lives in that Carl?

    4. CarlT says:

      The ones who were the same people thinking they’d be paying for ADSL for the rest of their lives until FTTC came along?

      Not sure what that has to do with my comment but mostly same old. Some will wait longer, some will be covered by LEO satellite. Can’t please or cover everyone immediately.

    5. Barry Forde says:

      @NE555 Both very good points and inter related. The problem with PON is the shared media so if one customer wants something different you either have to overlay different bidi wavelengths or upgrade the whole 32 customers on the structure. This makes providing different services complicated/expensive. With PtP fibre you can shift a single customer to a different service without affecting any others. So early adopters who want a higher speed can be accommodated easily and cheaply. This will result in altnets who have gone with PtP offering early differentiated products affordably, increasing the challenge on the incumbents. When I said “1Gbs+20%” I didnt mean Openreach or the other big/GPON players, I meant new entrants to the market. For those with PtP offerings the incremental costs for 10Gbs over 1Gbs is negligible so why not offer it, perhaps a marketing ploy but a real offering anyway. This is extendable, B4RN for instance has options for 25Gbs/40Gbs and 100Gbs ready to roll as soon as any demand arises and it can be done on a line by line basis, the cost differential for each is a CAPEX one with minimal change to OPEX so its the price of optics/CPEs etc that sets the pace. You can buy 100GbE LR4/10Km optics for <£400 already so it wont be long!
      One of the strengths of the new entrants is their ability to be agile and stay at the leading edge without having to invest massively for each change. I dont know what VM is spending going to DOCSIS3.1,but it will be serious money and hence they couldnt justify it until the market was ripe. Same with OR and GPON to XG-PON, it wont happen early on as the market isnt there yet.
      As I said we live in interesting times!

    6. CarlT says:

      ‘I dont know what VM is spending going to DOCSIS3.1,but it will be serious money and hence they couldnt justify it until the market was ripe. Same with OR and GPON to XG-PON’

      Not a lot and not a lot respectively. Biggest cost is the CPE.

      3.1 is basically licences, bar business as usual cable network spectrum upgrades necessary regardless of 3.1 or 3.0.

      XGSPON is just SFP on one side and new OLT on the other, with more customers able to be migrated as necessary to relieve the GPON split or as new tiers require it.

    7. CarlT says:

      ‘Those offering lower speeds over fibre are most likely rate limiting which can have unfortunate effects on goodput’

      Wait. Rate limiting can have unfortunate effects on goodput while saturating layer 1 doesn’t?

      An explanation of this would be appreciated. Implemented badly, sure, but PON is fine and QoS is a pretty mature technology now.

      QoS can ensure that gigabit isn’t required to preserve nippy round trip times for instance.

      Modern, next generation networks of various kinds actually make extensive use of rate limiting to ensure that bearers don’t congest and protect against microbursts.

  13. Gavin says:

    That is an interesting article seeing all the prices side by side.

    I’d be interested in another article about the geographical locations of these providers. Because apart from VM there is there is little FTTP providers in Manchester. Even CityFibre hasn’t made it there yet.

  14. Julian Vallis says:

    Given that GPON has mostly been chosen despite it creating a horrible contention of sharing 2.4gbps down and 1.2gbps up, and shared by up to 32 premises, contention is likely to be worse than at any time during DSL days, as in effect they can only guarantee 75mbps down and 37.5mbps up. Which is hardly ‘gigabit’.

    Furthermore, I believe Ofcom should enforce that Max download speeds can only be sold relative to upload speeds with a maximum 1:4 ratio. That is for ‘gigabit’, the minimum upload should be 250mbps.

    Even for home use however, I’m unlikely to accept a gigabit ‘home’ package because a full SLA and guaranteed bandwidth options whether using EAD or EAD-like connectivity isn’t actually that much more expensive.

    1. Jonny says:

      £60 inc. VAT for a gigabit broadband connection is around a third of the price of just the Openreach bearer. It depends on your definition of ‘not much more expensive’ but I wouldn’t put them anywhere near the same cost bracket.

    2. CarlT says:

      This comment has worsened my ongoing headache.

    3. A_Builder says:

      You seem to be ignoring the upgrade pathway GPON -> XGSGPON etc.

      Full fibre has virtually unlimited potential to be upgraded so personally I am not caring too much what is plugged in where. I would rather see more pure fibre in the ground.

      Realistically no domestic is going to notice 1G GPON but they might feel the legacy 350/50 GPON’s that OR used historically.

    4. The Facts says:

      FTTP from both Virgin Media and Gigaclear have 32 microducts going into a small street cabinet. How do they combine?

    5. Jonny says:

      There will be something like https://www.fs.com/uk/products/11620.html in the cabinet

    6. Julian says:

      > £60 inc. VAT for a gigabit broadband connection is around a third of the price of just the Openreach bearer. It depends on your definition of ‘not much more expensive’ but I wouldn’t put them anywhere near the same cost bracket.

      And therein lies the crime. OR shouldn’t have any idea of who they’re connecting, especially not differentiating between residential or business. That’s purely the ISP’s game as is introducing any contention on backhaul bandwidth. Likewise with copper where we can choose SL levels, bandwidth commitment levels and the tech employed (DSL, ISDN30 or EFM), the bearer is all the same copper medium (although EFM and ISDN30 have multiples thereof). Equally a private customer should also be able to lay their own fibre via PIA to an exchange and simply buy a cable link via an ISP. We can’t do that like other countries such as Norway can and just pay an ISP to maintain that line for us. Until then, it’s all a sham.

      > You seem to be ignoring the upgrade pathway GPON -> XGSGPON etc.
      Not at all. Also NG-PON2 which Nokia are pushing. There’s a reason I specified 1:4 contention as XG-PON is that… unlike GPON’s 1:2.

      > Full fibre has virtually unlimited potential to be upgraded so personally I am not caring too much what is plugged in where. I would rather see more pure fibre in the ground.
      My issue is it’s just the wrong topology of fibre in the ground. It’d have even more potential if it was a simple point-to-point and we could choose what tech and standard we used between an agreement of ourselves as customers and the ISP. It really isn’t OR’s business to have any say in the matter other than maintain the fibre in the ground.

    7. Roger_Gooner says:

      Judging from a photograph I’ve seen VM’s small distribution cabinets directly serve 48 premises on its FTTP network and, I believe, some serve 96 premises.

    8. CarlT says:

      ‘Equally a private customer should also be able to lay their own fibre via PIA to an exchange and simply buy a cable link via an ISP.’

      You can. Though not the cable link part as that’s a specific Openreach product.

      If appropriately certified PIA to outside an exchange and a meet me chamber is doable but only really done for really high bandwidth requirements usually due to the high initial costs.

      GEA-FTTP is a different matter entirely.

  15. Julian says:

    I have just mov3d to a house with 50Gb download and can’t tell 5ge difference from the lightn8ng fast 28 at my last house. I really can’t imagine needing over 100Gb and certainly would not pay a premium for it. Another example of a service we don’t need just like 5G mobile!

    1. Mike says:

      You might not need 5G but you could do with an English lesson.

    2. Dom says:

      Are you ok.?

    3. Lamb frank says:

      What are you on about

  16. Arbortheus says:

    Aren’t we in Southampton lucky to have Toob. I just hope they don’t go bust due to having such low prices for brand new infrastructure.

    1. A_Builder says:

      Then someone would buy them out?

      Alternatively they may have a clue and a business model.

  17. Ben says:

    I’ve just had Toob installed in Southampton and am getting 900mb average both ways. It’s £25 (£29 after 18 months), insane speeds for the money.

  18. Jazzy says:

    I am paying £18 a month for 70MB download speeds with Sky including the old landline so it looks like the cheapest would be about £40 and to be honest, we download movies all the time, stream with Filmzie, Netflix, BBC, Freeview Play, You Tube and Chilli, have two tablets, two laptops, a desktop, printer and even a video doorbell and we never suffer

    At the moment, I feel it’s a boys and toys thing but ideal if you’re in an area struggling with ADSL

  19. Wayne says:

    Personally I think we should pay for the speed we can achieve rather than one price for all regardless of your download speeds, it would encourage isps to upgrade lower speeds before they give the fastest even faster speeds

    1. New_Londoner says:

      Alternatively it could discourage ISPs from serving properties with slower speeds as the costs will be higher and the returns lower. Be careful what you wish for!

    2. CarlT says:

      Not really. They’ll just stop serving those very slow properties.

      Exactly as some did when it came to average broadband speeds. Some stopped serving very low speed properties to protect their average.

      It costs ISPs basically the same either way so no point in losing money.

      This is one that’s often raised, has been since ADSL, and remains unworkable.

  20. Little by Little says:

    So what are you all doing about it? We set up a not-for-profit community organisation in 2014 part funded by government grants and now deliver gigabit symmetrical broadband to 100 people plus 650 FWA off the back of the fibre ALL unlimited for £15/month. This year it will be 250 FTTP gigabit connections with two 10Gbps backhauls.

    1. New_Londoner says:

      @Little by Little
      Alternatively it could discourage ISPs from serving properties with slower speeds as the costs will be higher and the returns lower. Be careful what you wish for!

    2. New_Londoner says:

      Ignore that, was meant for the previous post!

  21. Nik Owen says:

    Elon will have the market sewn up with Starlink by the time the fibre infrastructure is there, no doubt it will have mobile hardware by then too. £90/month currently in the UK (+initial hardware costs of around £400), even in beta it’s delivering around 100MB/s

    1. Bob says:

      Whilst I am in favour of Starlink, I do wonder how financially viable is it to keep launching satellites every few years to replace the ones that reach EOL. Surely it’s cheaper to reach the most expensive cables with a fibre cable ones, that keep launching satellites into orbit?

    2. Bob says:

      *once not ones

    3. Rich says:

      Don’t forget Bob that these are small sats and he owns SpaceX. NASA want to send resupplies to the ISS but the rocket isn’t full? Fill it up with Starlink sats.

      Honestly, long term they will make much of their money from commercial mobile users (cruise ships, planes, military, arctic research, etc) that they will be fine. Iridium etc manage to exist and they only make revenue from satphones.

  22. Steve says:

    Mark, thanks for putting all this information together.

  23. aboriginaltribes says:

    The problem is many aboriginals live in england and they only use facebook. So 50kb/s is enough for them end of story hahaha. Smarter people in romania lithuania they pay 10 euro per month get whole gigabit with upload and happy so that’s different ;DD.

    1. anonymous says:

      No doubt funded from France/Germany and the UK (when in the EU) 😉

      Apples and Pears….

    2. CarlT says:

      They also have an average net income a fraction of that in the UK and purely in broadband terms services that are nowhere near the quality of those in the UK in terms of performance at peak times, latency, jitter, loss, etc.

      In terms of raw purchasing power the average UK salary buys over half again as much as the average salary in Lithuania and Romania, despite the much higher prices here.

      International comparisons between the UK and the eastern fringes of the EU are no smarter than comparisons between the UK and Switzerland.

  24. anonymous says:

    Virgin Media seems expensive at £62.

    Open reach give a 110mbps upstream vs 52mbps on Virgin, better latency on non-faulty lines/areas and even their full charge is £59.99 (often on discount terms whereas VM’s standalone 1GB isn’t offered on discount currently). Latency won’t be improved until DocSIS 3.1 + latency firmware patch to CMTS on upstream.

    1. Roger_Gooner says:

      You are comapring apples with pears. Openreach’s FTTP network covers a little over 4m premises and, although I haven’t got a figure for Virgin Media’s DOCSIS 3.1 rollout, it’s expected that this will be completed by the end of 2021 and the whole of the UK network of 16m premises will be able to get 1Gbps download.

    2. anonymous says:

      It would still be overpriced. Appreciate VM may have more homes covered BUT the incumbent (BT/Openreach) is usually always more expensive that most others. Here they are actually cheaper by a few quid with over double the upstream, better latency and usually £10+ off on introductory 12 or 24 month pricing.

      Translating, VM are getting away with it because more homes passed but the service IS actually inferior based on latency and upstream speeds and cost (when comparing areas operating normally and not at fault or over utilisation).

  25. Walter Wellington says:

    This article was a godsend.
    Our neighbourhood has just gone live with Openreach fttp and before reading this article, I believed my choices were only BT or Sky. Never heard of most of the providers and did not find a helpful fttp comparison website.
    Long story short, after researching different providers, comparing prices, and customer reviews ended up going with iDNet and am very happy I did.

  26. Graham Long says:

    Noticably, Airband (Fibre roll out supplier under CDS contracts) do not appear in your list. Presumably they do not offer 1Gbps service. 250Mbps down, 50Mbps up seems to be their fastest product. https://www.airband.co.uk/broadband-packages/

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