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Choosing the best broadband provider which is highly rated for speeds, reliability, value for money and customer support could become simpler and easier with the help of our impartial reviews and customer satisfaction ratings provided by authentic source such as Ofcom.

Customer Satisfaction Ratings

(based on Ofcom December 2013 report)

Providers Customers satisfied
with Broadband service
Customers satisfied
with Landline service
Customers satisfied
with customer support
Virgin Media 71% (+10) 74% (+10) 60%
Sky 71% (+8) 69% (-1) 55%
BT 63% 63% 46%
EE (Orange) 63% (+4) n/a 48%
TalkTalk  62% (+2) 66% (+2) 46%

Performance by Broadband Speeds

ISP package by advertised speed
BT (up to 16Mbps Plusnet (upto 16Mbps) Sky (upto 17Mbps) TalkTalk (upto 16Mbps) EE (upto 17Mbps)
Actual Download speed  11.9Mbps  11.1Mbps  11.4Mbps  10.4Mbps  11.7Mbps
Actual Upload speed  0.9Mbps  0.75Mbps  0.95Mbps  0.75Mbps  1Mbps
Fibre optic broadband (by advertised speed)
Virgin Media (up to 30Mbps) BT (upto 38Mbps) Virgin Media (upto 60Mbps) BT (upto 76Mbps) Virgin Media (upto 120Mbps)
Actual Download speed  32.9Mbps  36.3Mbps  62.6Mbps  71.6Mbps  126.4Mbps
Actual Upload speed  2.5Mbps  7.5Mbps  4Mbps  17.5Mbps  12Mbps
According to Ofcom, UK fixed broadband services offer an average speed of 17.8 Mbps (November 2013) and more than three-fourths of Brits are satisfied with the speeds offered by the ISPs (2013 consumer experience report).

Reliability

Reliable broadband connection ensures that you get faster speeds, good connectivity and better user experience all the time. While technology like fibre can improve speeds over network, the capacity is also important, especially, when multiple users access bandwidth-hungry applications like streaming videos or download large files. A stabler connectivity should ensure that most of its customers get the share of their connection speeds when they need.

ISP performance by connectivity (based on Ofcom November 2013 report)

ISP package by advertised speed
BT (up to 16Mbps Plusnet (upto 16Mbps) Sky (upto 14Mbps) TalkTalk (upto 14Mbps) EE (upto 14Mbps)
*Web page loading time  700ms  900ms  1300ms  1200ms  550ms
*Latency  22ms  23ms  23ms  30ms  19ms
Fibre optic broadband (by advertised speed)
Virgin Media (up to 30Mbps) BT (upto 38Mbps) Virgin Media (upto 60Mbps) BT (upto 76Mbps) Virgin Media (upto 120Mbps)
*Web page loading time  250ms  300ms  250ms  220ms  250ms
*Latency  14ms  17ms  14ms  12ms  14ms

*Lower figures show better performance. ms – milli seconds.
*Low latency improves user experience during VoIP or gaming.

Value for money

BT Sky Virgin Media TalkTalk EE Plusnet Tesco
Free
connnection
yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon
Free
wireless router
Home Hub Sky Hub SuperHub 523a router Brightbox N rouer N router
Free calls Weekend calls weekend weekend E/W calls E/W calls Weekend calls E/W calls
WiFi  Free access to BTFON wifi hotspots Free access to The Cloud wifi hotspots Free access to VM wifi hotspots  n/a
Security (anti-virus)  McAfee Net Protect Plus McAfee Internet Security Suite  Web Safe & F-Secure  HomeSafe yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon
Free TV box  BT Vision+ YouView+  Sky+ box, Sky+ HD box  TiVO, V HD box, V+ HD box YouView+ box  n/a  n/a  n/a
Online & telephone Support yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon
Emails  5  10  15  5
Extras Free online storage Free webspace
Free Gifts yes_icon yes_icon  yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon
 Discounts  yes_icon  yes_icon  yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon  yes_icon yes_icon
*Line rental saver yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon yes_icon

*You get more than 30% discount, when you pay 12 months’ line rental in advance, by debit/credit card.

Comparing speeds, usage allowance, monthly price and other costs could help you to find which providers offer the best value for money. It is not just about cheap deals or special offers. Internet service providers now offer an array of new features like home wireless & public wi-fi access, family internet protection, digital TV and  free online storage. More and more homes are now dependent on wired and wireless sharing and the use of  multiple devices simultaneously to access a range of web applications like streaming TV or online games has also dramatically increased recently. It is important to see that if your home connection does not lack any of the features that you consider the most important for your daily online activities.

Customer Service

Sky BT Virgin Media TalkTalk EE
Quality of service 7.5 7.2 7.1 6.8 7.1
Ability to resolve consumer complaints 6.9 6.7 6.6 6.5 6.3

Ratings: 1 to 10. Higher figures indicate better performance. (based on Ofcom customer Satisfaction survey 2012)

Customer satisfaction surveys from impartial sources like Ofcom are helpful and useful for you to know the quality of service reported by the consumers themselves. They also let you know what issues (technical problems like line fault and slow connection speed, changing package/service, billing) are likely to make you complain about and whether the ISPs resolve them speedily with their customer service advice and technical support.

Broadband Availability in UK

Currently, the UK market has some ten major broadband suppliers with BT and Virgin Media are the main players. Both the ISPs have developed their own infrastructure over the years, however, Virgin Media’s cable network has just over 55% UK coverage against the nation-wide coverage of BT infrastructure.