Superfast broadband can improve house values – so which provider should you chose to upgrade to fibre broadband?
With a report published on 3 February that superfast broadband has added significant value to the homes in areas where it is utilised, it could be a savvy time to upgrade if you haven’t already.
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In 2012 a government scheme was launched to roll out superfast broadband to 'commercially unviable' parts of the UK.
An independent review published by the UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has now concluded the Superfast Broadband Programme “led to an increase of house prices of between £1,700 to £3,500.”
The programme secured faster broadband connections for 5.5 million homes and businesses, resulting in £2.7 billion in subsequent economic benefits since 2012.
Those benefits broken down:
- An increase in home values within programme areas of 1.16 per cent, worth £1.52 billion
- 17,600 more jobs in programme areas
- Increased workplace productivity, worth £1.1billion.
According to Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden, superfast broadband has benefits well beyond a faster download speed, "It’s boosting the value of homes and businesses, while helping to create thousands of jobs and keep the economy moving.
“Some 96 per cent of us can now access superfast broadband, but 11 million homes are still missing out on faster speeds available in their area.
“I encourage anyone fed up with slow loading times or shaky video calls to check with their provider or an online switching service and see if they can join the superfast lane."
What is superfast broadband?
Also known as fibre broadband, superfast broadband is any service uses fibre optic cable to send and receive data, and that has a download speed of 24Mbps or higher. Most operate at at least 35Mb. Ultrafast broadband goes up to 100Mbps.
This is considerably faster than traditional ADSL internet. ADSL internet speeds sit around 10-11Mb, making most superfast broadband at least three times as fast.
The result is a speedier, more reliable connection. In addition to much faster downloading, the extra speed helps internet connections in large households, especially if lots of people are using the internet concurrently. Play online games frequently, stream 4K TV or films? Fibre broadband revolutionises the experience. You will no longer have to deal with buffering.
Which provider is right for me?
Major providers are competitive in offering superfast packages, vying for market share. This makes it a buyer's market when selecting a company to go for.
Most broadband providers offer 18 month contracts, though some go up to 24 months. An installation cost is standard, though this varies from between £10 to £60.
There's quite a variance on price. As you may have experienced, some broadband providers are patchy and poor at customer service. We haven't included those that we have had disappointing experiences with in the past.
In terms of paying more, this is worth doing if you want TV channels as an add-on, faster speeds, and a more reliable service. We've noted who offers what below.
At the moment, you can secure a 66Mb superfast broadband deal with unlimited downloads for £25.99 per month. There's no installation cost, and the contract is 12 month contract.
This plan is one of the cheapest on the markets, and allows you to upgrade to superfast without being tied to a lengthy contract. Phone line rental is included. This is a great deal.
(You can get cheaper fibre broadband from plus net for £22.99 – 36Mb download speed – though we would argue you'd be well advised to pay the extra £2.50 a month, as it offers twice the speed).
New customers only.
Sky superfast broadband
Sky's superfast broadband package is available for £28 per month, for an 18 month deal, download speed of 59Mb. There's a £19.95 setup fee.
While that doesn't seem enticing as compared to the Plusnet deal, Sky is a good bet if you want to roll your TV deal into your broadband. For £39 a month, you can get their superfast broadband and Sky TV – an excellent proposition if you love good telly.
Love Sports? Go for the Superfast Broadband, Sports, and Cinema package – your every entertainment requirement met – for £64 per month, with a £39.95 set up fee.
You can also customise your packages. Sky has a strong reputation for reliability and customer service.
BT offers a superfast speed of 49Mb, for £28.99 a month, with a £9.99 set up fee. Their average speeds are absolutely respectable, and they have a strong reputation for customer service.
Apart from that, though, they aren't the cheapest option on the market, but they are certainly reliable. If you've dealt with poor internet providers before, you'll know this is worth the cost.
If you use EE for your phone, you'll know how speedy their 4G network is. Their internet plans are similarly impressive. With download speeds of 67MB, their broadband plan is sturdy option - £31 per month, for an 18 month contract, no installation fee.
They're pleasingly affordable, and you can add on TV options to your plan, too. A solidly performing option.