Ultrafast Broadband Guide

Key Points

  • Over the years, there has been a steady increase in broadband speeds.
  • We've gotten to superfast and ultrafast fibre broadband (FTTC and FTTP) when we began the journey with ADSL.
  • This progression, which has birthed faster internet speed and connectivity, was influenced by demand.
  • The demand for high-speed internet broadband that's smooth, reliable and void of interruptions to facilitate modern users' personal and professional lives will always be high. This is why broadband providers must constantly update their services and technologies and why options like superfast, hyperfast and ultrafast broadband packages exist today.
  • Ultrafast broadband, the newest addition, seems to check all the boxes at face value, but is it the best choice for you? This ultrafast broadband guide is designed to answer all your questions about this browsing service.


There's a lot of buzz surrounding ultrafast broadband, and while it may sound like another marketing fluff established by your ISP to drive sales, it's very much real. As the name depicts, ultrafast broadband is internet that comes at a very high speed, higher than superfast broadband.

'Who needs that much internet speed?' you might ask yourself.

ISPs established ultrafast broadband to accommodate individuals who want to simultaneously stream content, download, browse, play video games and handle several data-consuming tasks online. While this might seem like a dream come true, it's essential to get all the facts before you jump ship.

To make an informed decision, BroadbandProviders is here to give you evidence-based insights on ultrafast broadband, starting with its definition.

What is Ultrafast Broadband?

Ultrafast broadband is an internet connection that offers speeds between 300 megabytes per second (Mbps) and 1 gigabyte per second (Gbps). Ultrafast broadband uses fibre optic cables, one of the latest technological advancements in broadband services, as it caters to the demands of modern internet users. The broadband uses these fibre optic cables to run connections from the local telephone exchange to the doorstep of your abode. This is why it earned the moniker Fibre to the Premise (FTTP).

As opposed to copper wires that weaken signal strength and are synonymous with a standard ADSL broadband, Fibre optic cables prevent the loss of signal strength over distance. Through them, ultrafast broadband can provide users with a reliable browsing experience. However, there's so much more you can do with ultrafast broadband.

What you can and cannot do with ultrafast broadband

At a maximum speed of 1 Gbps, there are endless possibilities. Ultrafast broadband easily supports severe online gaming, virtual reality, cloud storage, content creation, YouTubing, and much more. Large families and scores of people could simultaneously carry out these activities without experiencing lag, buffering, or dropouts. In essence, anything that would require high-speed internet is possible with ultrafast broadband.

On the other hand, Ultrafast broadband is a relatively new technology, and there is yet to be any internet-based task that is too much for it to handle. Now, a comparison is needed to ascertain the degree of improvements that ultrafast broadband has over other broadbands.

Therefore, here is how ultrafast broadband measures against other broadband types:

Ultrafast Broadband VS ADSL VS Superfast Broadband

Ideally, there are three technologies on which broadbands are based. These include:

  • ADSL
  • Cable
  • Fibre

Ultrafast broadband uses the latest technology, optic fibres. While it might be the fastest commercially-available internet type today, ADSL and superfast broadband existed before ultrafast broadband. Here's what you should know about them.

Standard ADSL

A standard ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) was the most common type of broadband connection. However, with the advent of ultrafast broadband, Openreach is planning to retire the ADSL by December 2026.

Nevertheless, ADSL broadband is the type that comes through phone lines. It is the cheapest among the three technologies and the slowest too.

A standard ADSL broadband operates on the existing landline infrastructure of Openreach and is delivered to your home via copper telephone wire. People who use ADSL broadband can still access the internet even while someone is on the phone. This is because the broadband technology plugs a microfilter into the phone line to separate it from the internet connection.

ADSL's speed depends on the distance between your home and the telephone exchange, as greater distances reduce the internet speed. Ideally, ADSL hosts connections under 24 Mbps, but urban residents get about 14.7 Mbps while rural residents receive about half of that (6.2 Mbps).

What you can and cannot do with ADSL

There are many things you can do with a standard ADSL broadband, like sending emails and basic web browsing. You can work functionally from home on ADSL broadband. However, you can't stream multiple things simultaneously, nor can you download large files or stream anything in 4K. Also, when streaming on sites like YouTube or Netflix, music streaming, app downloads etc., one might experience buffering.

Superfast Broadband

FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet), better known as Superfast Broadband, is presently the most common type of internet connection in the UK, as about 96% of the country access some form of it.

Like ultrafast broadband, Superfast broadband uses optic fibre cables to connect your home to the closest telephone exchange. Essentially, this broadband uses two types of wires. It uses fibre to connect Openreach's exchange with your local cabinet and then copper wires to connect said cabinet to your home.

So, what speed is superfast broadband?

Varying factors affect broadband speed, and according to Openreach, the superfast broadband download speed is a maximum of 80Mbps. However, most users average about 35Mbps in download speed. Now, this broadband typically offers internet speeds from 30 Mbps to 300 Mbps.

Hence, you can say that superfast broadband picks up the slack of the ADSL.

What you can and cannot do with superfast broadband

The Superfast FTTC broadband permits multiple users to download and stream in 4K resolution simultaneously. It’s also ideal for surfing the net and is reliable for small businesses and freelancers. However, game lovers, content creators, virtual reality lovers, and large families would not enjoy using superfast broadband as its internet speed is inadequate to accommodate either activity.

ADSL Vs Superfast Vs Ultrafast broadband at a glance

Investing in a faster internet connection offers you limitless potential and can only benefit your personal and professional life. However, at 1Gbps, that much internet speed is unnecessary to most. Therefore, it all depends on your browsing habits, routine, line of work and quest for convenience.

For most households, Superfast broadband can handle pretty much everything they need. However, the average Superfast broadband would start buffering if there were scores of people using it simultaneously for different purposes. Hence, ultrafast broadband might be for you if you never want to worry about your internet slowing down, regardless of how many people hop on it.

Also, if you're a content creator who uploads 4K content regularly and broadcasts streams and other large files, the ultrafast broadband can guarantee smooth and uninterrupted service. Other professions that appreciate this broadband service include online video game players and virtual reality gamers.

Maximum download speed 24Mbps 80Mbps 1Gps
Download time for a 4K, two-hour movie. 78 minutes Under 24 minutes Under 2 minutes
Technology Copper wires Fibre and copper wires Optic fibres
Service providers BT, Sky, Talk Talk, EE, Vodafone, etc. BT, Sky, Talk Talk, EE, Vodafone, etc. BT, Sky, Talk Talk, EE, Vodafone, etc.
Average cost (monthly) £12 - £18 £22 - £30 £35 - £70
Best analogy Walking Driving Flying
Weatherproof? NO YES YES
Longevity 5 - 10 years Over ten years Over two decades

Factors to consider when choosing broadband type

Internet access is just as important as other utilities like gas, light and water. Therefore, choosing a broadband type is a serious decision that impacts your personal and professional life. This being said, several factors besides cost are worth considering before this decision. These factors will help you make an informed decision, and they include:


Because signal strength depends on location, a high-speed optic fibre connection like superfast and ultrafast broadband is useless to you if it's unavailable in your location. Hence, you should streamline your search according to the available broadband options near your home or office.

Type of connection

We have briefly discussed the different types of connections (technologies) that various broadband services use. From copper wires to cable and optic fibres, you need to determine your preference and work with that in mind. Remember, connections with optical fibre technologies offer the fastest internet connectivity.


Your broadband's speed indicates its data transfer rate in a single connection. No one wants broadband that buffers during downloads or upstreams. It eats into your time and renders the entire activity unproductive. This is why your broadband speed is instrumental to your professional productivity. While there's an obvious priority in internet speed in the evolution of broadband, you have to be sure of the broadband speed as it affects your work efficiency.


The cost of the broadband would only affect your choice if you have a budget. The best broadbands are relatively pricy. However, several ISPs offer different monthly plans that make it affordable in the long run. These providers typically offer contracts of varying lengths from 12 to 36 months, with the longer contract lengths having the most affordable plans.

Other factors include:

  • Reliability
  • Customer service

Do you need ultrafast broadband?

How can you get ultrafast broadband?

'When will ultrafast broadband be available in my area?' is the question on everybody's lips. Presently, the availability of ultrafast broadband service is limited as only about 3% of homes in the UK are using it, most of which are in urban and suburban locations. The UK government and Openreach are working to connect about 10 million homes with FTTP by 2025. Nevertheless, with the complexity of installing an FTTP connection which includes planning permissions, digging up roads and inadvertently closing roads, the rollout of ultrafast broadband will take time.

So, to answer the question of when your area will get broadband, it could be anytime from a week to a year.

Nevertheless, by entering your address here, you can see if ultrafast connectivity is available in your area.

Is ultrafast broadband the fastest?

While ultrafast broadband offers insane internet speed levels, it is not the fastest broadband on the market. The fastest type of internet connection in the world is Hyperfast Broadband. This broadband operates on the FTTP protocol and offers speeds above 1Gps. However, its availability is limited as national ISPs don't typically offer this service.

Final Takeaway

The demand for high-speed internet has facilitated the evolution of broadband. With a maximum download speed of 1 gigabyte per second, the ultrafast broadband towers above all of its predecessors. It offers convenience and guarantees productivity in any internet-based task or activity. Hence, it is the best choice for homes with heavy browsing patterns.

With BroadbandProviders, you can compare the different ultrafast broadband plans offered by internet service providers like BT, Sky, Talk Talk, Vodafone, Community Fibre and many others in your area. Enter your postcode and find the best deals on our website!


What's the difference between Superfast and Ultrafast broadband?

Superfast broadband uses FTTC technology, while ultrafast uses FTTP or FTTH technologies. Also, Superfast broadband offers less download speed (80Mbps) than Ultrafast broadband, which offers up to 1Gbps.

Does faster broadband mean better Wi-Fi?

Yes, faster broadband would improve your Wi-Fi connection. However, your ISP or router could be the culprit if it doesn't.