Broadband services available
There are five major types of broadband service available to
- ADSL via BT telephone lines – coverage around 98% of
properties, but with significant limitations on bandwidth. Speeds
improve greatly when BT replaces some of the cable with fibre,
which is currently happening in many urban locations
- Cable broadband from Virgin Media – coverage limited to 40% of
- 3G and 3G plus broadband from the mobile phone operators –
coverage limited and varies between the various
suppliers. Uses a USB device to connect your laptop or PC to
the appropriate mobile phone network
- Wireless broadband from Call Flow Solutions or VFast – coverage
limited to specific locations and affected by a number of issues
such as trees between the transmitter and the customer
- Satellite broadband available from a number of suppliers –
nearly 100% coverage, but expensive and with some technical
How can I check which services I can get?
You will need to enter your telephone number and/or post-code on
the various availability checkers listed below.
Please note that predicted speeds are just that and you may get
a slower (or faster) speed in practice.
The speed you should take note of is the ADSLMax speed, and
potentially the ADSL2+ speed if your exchange offers this.
If the predicted speed is 512Kbps,
256Kbps or very unlikely you may
not be able to receive a broadband service via this route.
Infinity is the new superfast broadband service, promising
speeds of up to 76Mbps, and is being implemented at some UK
exchanges. You can check whether Infinity is available to you
by typing your home telephone number into the checker.
Virgin Media offer both cable broadband and services via ADSL on
BT phone lines. If you can receive a cable-based service the
checker will actually state this, and your predicted speed will be
shown as 30Mbps, 60Mbps or
100Mbps depending on location.
Note that the various providers have quite different
coverage. The checkers are fairly theoretical, and you should
be aware that coverage inside properties is generally
Call Flow Solutions’ wireless coverage is mainly in south Kent
and east Sussex. The company also offers higher speed
services based on BT telephone lines in a few locations
VFast coverage is largely in east Kent
Note that availability is affected by “line of sight” i.e. if
your property cannot “see” the transmitter because there are trees
in the way, it is in a dip or over the brow of a hill then coverage
may well be poor or impossible.
I can get ADSL broadband, but which provider should I use?
This is a personal decision, based on cost and download
Check the various