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broadband: Broadband Only

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Broadband is by far the most common way for us to communicate with one another as well as to enjoy many of the modern entertainment amenities that we take for granted. In essence, broadband is a means by which information can be transmitted more efficiently; in a “broader” spectrum in many ways”. As this technology has continued to advance, so have the means by which we can access this data. 3G, 4G, fibre optic and ASDL are some of the most prevalent platforms which are used and naturally, each is quite different. There are likewise a number of unique packages that are provided by the most major carriers across the United Kingdom. As this can be a relatively confusing topic, it is a good idea if we take a closer look at this revolutionary world and what it has to offer the modern consumer.

The Types of Broadband

There are four main types of broadband that are in today's market. These are:

  • 3G broadband
  • 4G broadband
  • ADSL
  • Fibre optic
  • Satellite

3G is actually being replaced by 4G. In essence, 3G broadband uses two complementary means to access information. This was (and still is) a primary source of data access for many mobile phones. Download speeds can be as high as 21 megabytes while upload speeds of 1.76 megabytes are not uncommon.

4G technology is now seen as being the next step forward. Commonly branded as “fourth generation”, 4G access is notably different from 3G services. The primary disparity is that 4G is able to integrate Internet access and television alongside mobile phones. Upload and download speeds and much higher as well.

ADSL is another type of broadband communication which uses existing copper wires (such as those with a typical household telephone). Although this is not as fast as 3G or 4G speeds, it is still ideal for those who are looking for an upgrade from a dial-up connection or a cable modem. ADSL is ideal for anyone who uses the Internet for static searches and does not require massive transfer rates.

Fibre optic is a final category to examine. Through the literal use of light, bits of data can be transmitted almost instantaneously. Tiny “packets” called photons are encoded with information and these are then interpreted by the recipient. Unfortunately, fibre optic transmission is physically based and not available in all locations.

Here are some tips on having a better broadband speed regardless of connection type:

The Top Broadband Providers

TalkTalk is a popular choice. This provider offers television, phone and Internet deals to its customers. Free wireless routers and services such as Netflix can be enjoyed while in certain areas, fibre optic access is likewise an option. Free weekend and evening calls are included within their television/Internet/phone plans.

Virgin Mobile has been known for their pay-as-you go mobile phones as well as their outstanding customer service. Still, they have made their way into the domestic broadband arena. Mobile 4G broadband, television packages and even high-definition audio bundles are available with many of their offers.

Sky is a well-known provider of broadband services throughout the United Kingdom. They are perhaps the most popular for their Sky “bundles” which include television, mobile phone and wireless Internet. As they tend to dominate the entertainment world, Sky also provides sports packages, on-demand movies and the ability to record television programmes.

BT,Otherwise known as British Telecom, is another reputable broadband provider. BT exists throughout the United Kingdom and provides 4G access in many areas. Fibre optic connections are likewise a possibility in urban centres. Television, Internet and phone plans are likewise available.

Things to Take into Account

  • The main consideration is your needs. Do you wish a mobile-only package or are you looking for a bundle deal? Keep in mind that if you are using different providers for different services, it may very well prove more efficient to choose a single company. The payments are likely to be much lower.
  • Also, compare the broadband speeds for your requirements. If you are planning on streaming videos or enjoying high-definition television, it is best to choose a fibre optic or 4G service.
  • On a final note, never forget that providers are offering regular deals and discounts. So, compare and contrast the leaders in the industry in order to make the most informed choices possible.

Top UK broadband only deals


Broadband Speed

Line rental cost

Broadband cost

Contract length



17 Mb



12 months

Free Bright Box router


17 Mb



18 months

Cheaper rates for one-time payment, unlimited data.


Varies (4G)

Rental fee included


Rolling contact (starts at one month)

No land line required, next-day installation


17 Mb



12 Months

Free router, friend referral offers.


17 Mb



18 Months

Free wireless router, 24/7 customer support.


50 Mb



12 Months

Free Virgin Media Super Hub


17 Mb



12 Months

Unlimited data, £5  rebate after 12 months


17 Mb



12 months

£5 per month after 12 months, only pay for the calls made


17 Mb


From £21.49

18 months

Four different tariffs, Internet security suite


Up to 17 Mb

From £25.45 


28 days

Free router, no setup fees.


17 Mb


£5 per month

18 months (6 months free)

6 months anti-virus software, free weekend and evening calls


From 17 Mb


£6.99 per month

18 months (6 months free)

Fibre optic  deals, movies (for extra), free router installation


Varies depending upon area


£5.00 per month

12 months

FiAnytime UK calls, firewall, unlimited usage


Up to 17 Mb


£11 per month

12 months (6 months free)

Free customer support, no activation fee, wireless router


Compiled from various third-party broadband comparison sites.  Information valid as of 6 March 2016.

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