Broadband is the term people use to describe mechanisms technology companies use to distribute internet services to their customers. It is the network that carries all the data that connects devices consumers use at the office and at homes such as Smartphones, smart TVs, and laptops. The three most common types of broadband in the UK are fibre, cable, and ADSL.
ADSL is the most common mode of internet distribution and uses the same copper wires that telecom companies use for telephone communication. In the UK, it comes in two subcategories of ADSL 1 and ADSL 2+. ADSL1 offers maximum speeds of 8Mbps while ADSL2+ can deliver speeds of up to 24Mbps. The quality of ADSL service available to customers depends on their distance from the telephone exchange. Users who are far away from receiving much lower speeds than the theoretical maximum for a particular type of network.
The cable is a term that represents networks that deliver internet services using coaxial cables and fibre optics. The cable is much stronger than ADSL in terms of speed and overall quality of network. Cable networks do not deteriorate with distance, meaning that all customers within the network enjoy relatively similar speeds. Cable broadband services are very fast with some internet service providers offering speeds of up to 152 Mbps.
Fibre denotes internet services distributed through fibre optic cables. It comes in the two models of fibre to the premises (FTTP) and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC). FTTC types involve the ISP using fibre-optic cables to deliver internet service to the main port and then proceeding to distribute it to customers’ homes using copper cables. Most internet providers in the UK use FTTC to supply internet services to customers at speeds of 38 to 76MbPS. FTTP involves ISPs connecting customers’ premises with fibre optic cables. It offers faster speeds than FTTC but very few internet providers offer it to their customers. FTTP speeds can rise up to 1000Mbps.
Broadband Providers in the UK
ADSL is the most accessible network in the UK due to its extensive coverage and low cost. Most providers offer both ADSL together with fibre options, these can be easily compared using a comparison site like Broadband Choices. Virgin Media is the main cable network provider in the UK while BT and Sky broadband offers super-fast fibre internet connections. Now Broadband, talk talk, and Plusnet are some of the other small players in the landline and fibre network.
Talk provides fibre connections at a minimum speed of 38Mbps, but customers can upgrade to a faster connection of 67Mbps without incurring extra costs. The price for their packages is inclusive of setup costs.
BT is one of the leading ADSL and fibre internet providers in the UK. They have wide coverage and reliable network.
Virgin Media offers fibre, cable, and ADSL services to UK internet users. It is one of the fastest networks with speeds of over 100Mbps.
Sky Broadband is the dominant cable internet provider in the UK. It boasts of superfast speeds of up to 145Mbps.
Now Broadband offers fibre packages at speeds of 36Mbps rising to 76Mbps. Their service is not contractual meaning that customers can drop their service at any time.
Plusnet provides both fibre and landline services to its customers. Their prices are some of the lowest in the market through their coverage is limited.
If you are into streaming and other forms of heavy internet consumption, you should subscribe to a cable or fibre service because they are faster and more stable than ADSL networks. However, if you have a limited budget, you can subscribe to ADSL because it is much cheaper than the other two.