At a speed of 1,000 megabits per second, internet connections will be available to businesses at speeds of ten to a hundred times faster than most users experience. Next it will be homes to receive this service.
This fast-growing and competitive marketplace is driving down prices for ordinary users – and costs could fall further in the weeks to come.
Ofcom – the regulator for TV, radio, phone and internet – is cutting the wholesale charges suppliers have to pay to Openreach, the infrastructure wing of communications giant BT, from the start of next month. This could lead to further discounts, although suppliers are themselves pushing prices lower.
Broadband-plus-TV packages are likely to be more competitive later in the summer when the new football season begins.
Households who see a better deal can also try haggling with their current provider to see if it will match or better a new offer, especially if the reason for a potential change is simply cost rather than service.
If the supplier refuses to negotiate, be prepared to follow through with the switch.
Prices range from
EE has also just announced that it will market fibre optic broadband to all households, not just its mobile customers. And anyone who wants an early escape from a rival provider can get up to
By trading her
Angie, who works as an assistant for a music agency, resents paying for line rental when she relies on her mobile phone for calls.
'The fact that nearly every provider makes you have it is frustrating,' says Angie, who lives in a house-share in Islington,
MOST households are still being hit by inflation-busting price rises for line rental, which covers the cost of delivering a phone line and broadband into homes.
The latest and fastest broadband available uses a fibre optic or 'cable' network, rather than the older copper wires. But most customers with fibre optic broadband must still pay line rental – the cost for which has risen by an average 38 per cent over five years to more than
Despite there being more companies selling superfast internet, they are charged for their dependence on BT's network – with the exception of
'This gives the impression that line rental is only for a home phone, when in fact it is essential for broadband in most cases. It's unnecessarily confusing.'
The rising cost of line rental is frustrating to consumers who underuse it, but are forced to fork out for it nonetheless. A third of landline users say they think it represents poor value and a fifth think that it is an excuse for companies to charge more. Nearly two-fifths would ditch their landline altogether if they could get broadband without it.
YES – in one of two ways. Either by relying on mobile broadband, the technology used by smartphones, or by switching to cable or fibre optic broadband.
Mobile broadband is often criticised for offering a patchy and unreliable service, but it is getting better. The 'fourth generation' system known as 4G offers higher speeds.
New supplier Relish, which currently just serves homes in central
Hyperoptic, which works with property developers to install a new network of fibre optic broadband into homes, offers 'gigabit fibre' broadband to select customers in
OFCOM accredited websites such as broadbandchoices, Simplify-digital and cable.co.uk can be used to search for the full range of deals based on what is available in particular postcodes. These sites have been put through their paces with an independent audit, and have been checked and approved for accuracy and transparency.
For free advice about switching over the phone, broadbandchoices can be called on 0844 804 2430 and Simplifydigital on 0800 542 4704.
Baliszewski says: 'It's not just about price – compare all aspects of a package, for example reliability and the cost of call rates if home phone is included.'
Switchers should then ask their existing supplier for a MAC – Migration Authorisation Code – and offer this to the new chosen supplier, which will help smooth out the transition when a connection is transferred.
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